Johnny Rotella
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November 4, 1920 - September 11, 2014 Johnny Rotella, 93, musician/song writer for Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Johnny was born in Jersey City, NJ, one of 8 children of Italian immigrants, Francesco and Angela Rotella. He began his music career in his teens, playing clarinet and saxophone with his brothers. After serving in the 389th ASF Band at Ft. Monmouth, NJ during WWII, Johnny joined the Raymond Scott band in NY, then Benny Goodman's and Tommy Dorsey's. He met Ann Graziano, in 1946, in NY and they married in December 1947. He came to Hollywood to join Jerry Gray's band on Club 15 and started his recording career. Johnny went on to play for Jimmie Haskell, Earle Hagen and Buddy Baker on TV shows like the The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Mickey Mouse Club, I Spy, Andy Williams and film scores including Godfather 1 and 2. He recorded with Neil Diamond, Frank Zappa and Steely Dan, and played for theatre productions in L.A., with artists like Ethel Mermen and Billy Ekstine. Johnny wrote over 200 songs including those with Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn, Paul Francis Webster, Ray Gilbert and Jerry Gladstone. His songs have been recorded by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Doris Day, Rosemarie Clooney and Tony Bennett, and his hit song, "Nothing But the Best" was the title track for the ten year anniversary CD of Sinatra's death. Johnny is survived by his wife of almost 67 years, Ann (Graziano) Rotella. He is also survived by children: Geraldine Rotella Rotter, son in law Peter Rotter, Joanne, John, Bill and Mary Rotella; grandchildren: Jessica, John, Brianna, David, Danielle, Mia and Mason; and great-grandchildren: Viola and Miles. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30AM on Wednesday, September 24, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood. Interment Services will be private, at San Fernando Mission Cemetery.

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Published in Los Angeles Times on Sep. 24, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
October 8, 2014
Rest In Peace Johnny. "Nothing But the Best" for you. Condolences to your family. Heard many great stories about Johnny from his nephew Marty.
Anthony DiFlorio
September 24, 2014
You have my deepest sympathy. May the God of loyal,love comfort the family during your time of sorrow. Psalm 119:76
Pat
September 24, 2014
You have my deepest sympathy, May the God of loyal love comfort the family during your time of sorrow. Psalm 119:76
Pat
September 19, 2014
Johnny at work with Bill Perkins and Bud Shank
To the Rotella family from Malcolm & Ildiko
We wish you comfort at this time of sorrow. Johnny was very special to all of us and he was one of the greats of all time. God bless Johnny Rotella
Malcolm McNab
September 19, 2014
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
G. Freeman
September 18, 2014
Dearest Aunt Ann and family: Much love to our Ca. family. Our uncle is gone but always will be with us in spirit. As time past by Uncle John became our second father giving us love, attention, knowledge, and fun. He will always be in our hearts. Till we met again Uncle John. Much love to you."" Nothing but the Best Uncle. XXOO Love Rosemarie & Nick Le Rose
September 17, 2014
Bill , I am so sorry to hear about your dad. My father, Les Robinson , was a good friend of your dad. He also played with your dad, in a number of bands. Both were great musicians! My name is Dennis Robinson, if you would like to say " hi " my phone # is 818-621-3195 Take care, Dennis Robinson
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