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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.

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