×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Musician Johnny Rotella Dies at 93

Musician and songwriter Johnny Rotella died in his sleep on Sept. 11, at the age of 93.

Writer of over 200 songs as well as a saxophonist, clarinetist and flutist, Rotella recorded with artists including Neil Diamond, Frank Zappa and Steely Dan, and had his pieces recorded by Dean Martin, Doris Day, Tony Bennett and many more.  His work is featured in films “Jersey Boys,” “Hope Springs,” and “That’s My Boy,” among others. He wrote the song “Nothing But the Best” was recorded by Frank Sinatra.

He also helped to establish the Musician’s Guild in the 1960s, which evolved into the current Musicians Secondary Markets Fund.

Rotella also played with the Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman big bands, and was a band regular on ‘The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour.”

Born in Jersey City, he grew up in North Bergen, N.J. where he began his music career in his teens before serving in World War II as part of the 389th ASF Band.

Rotella is survived by his wife, Ann Rotella, five children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  His son John Rotella is VP of sales at Shout! Factory.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 24 at Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in North Hollywood, Calif.

More Music

  • Madonna Madame X

    Madonna Reveals Collaborators, Tracklist, Release Date for 'Madame X' Album

    Madonna has posted a lot of material on social media positioning the concept of her new album, “Madame X,” but until “Medellin,” the first single from the album, dropped today, there was precious little information about the album itself. We knew she’d worked with “Medellin” collaborator Maluma, longtime producers Mirwais and Mike Dean… and that’s [...]

  • Anne del Castillo Named NYC's Commissioner

    Anne del Castillo Named New York City's Commissioner of Media and Entertainment

    The film and TV industries in New York City have a new boss: Anne del Castillo, who has been tapped by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Del Castillo had served as general counsel and chief operating officer of MOME since 2015. She succeeds Julie [...]

  • Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President

    Warner/Chappell Music Names Ryan Press President of A&R for the U.S.

    Warner/Chappell Music has announced the promotion of Ryan Press to president of A&R, U.S. Press, who joined the publisher in 2009, has worked closely with an array of acclaimed songwriters and producers, including Rihanna, Rae Sremmurd, DJ Khaled, Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill, T-Minus, Tayla Parx, Gucci Mane, Mike Elizondo, Aloe Blacc, The-Dream, Priscilla Renea, Lil [...]

  • Madonna

    Single Review: Madonna’s ‘Medellin’

    While a song that begins with a cha-cha count-in and the lyric “I took a pill” sounds like it should be a dancefloor rager, it’s actually the unexpectedly low-key return of Madonna, who today dropped “Medellin,” the first single from her forthcoming album “Madame X.” A collaboration with Colombian singer Maluma — himself a native [...]

  • Beyonce Lemonade HBO

    Beyonce to Release Audio of 'Lemonade' Film Across All Music Streaming Platforms (EXCLUSIVE)

    Beyoncé is offering up some more “Lemonade.” Variety can exclusively reveal that the audio of Beyoncé’s 65-minute “Lemonade” film will drop across all music streaming services on Tuesday, April 23. The drop marks the third anniversary of the film’s debut on HBO. It’s also the first time all of Bey’s catalog is available for streaming. [...]

  • Jordan Feldstein

    Beanie Feldstein Writes Touching Tribute to Her Brother, Maroon 5 Manager Jordan

    Actress Beanie Feldstein has written a moving tribute to her late brother Jordan, longtime manager of Maroon 5, who passed away of a heart attack in December of 2017. “It is impossible. Grief is just impossible. It cannot be contained or summarized or enclosed,” the tribute, published in InStyle, begins. “To describe the wound grief [...]

  • Madonna

    Madonna Drops New Song ‘Medellin’

    Madonna today dropped “Medellin,” the first single from her forthcoming album, “Madame X.” The song is a collaboration with Colombian singer Maluma and is named after that country’s city of Medellin, formerly the home base of narcoterrorist Pablo Escobar, but now a peaceful and thriving metropolis. On April 24 at 4 p.m. ET, MTV will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content