Camarata Dead at 91

Posted on Mon, Apr. 18, 2005

Music arranger-composer Salvador "Tutti" Camarata dead at 91

Associated Press

BURBANK, Calif. - Salvador "Tutti" Camarata, who worked with everyone from Bing Crosby to Billie Holiday to Disney teen heartthrob Annette Funicello in a long and distinguished career as a composer, arranger and trumpeter, has died at the age of 91.

Camarata died Wednesday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank after a brief illness, said his son, Paul Camarata.

In addition to his Big Band work in the 1930s and '40s, Camarata was the musical conductor for several TV series, including "Startime," "The Vic Damone Show" and "The Alcoa Hour." He was also the vocal supervisor for the 1963 movie "Summer Magic," which included musical performances by Hayley Mills and Burl Ives.

While living in England in the late 1940s, Camarata co-founded London Records with Sir Edward Lewis to make classical and pop recordings for U.S. distribution. Among the label's best known artists were the Rolling Stones.

Returning to the United States in the 1950s, he joined with Walt Disney in co-founding Disneyland Records, which recorded such pop stars as Funicello and Mills.

It was there that he helped Funicello the former "Mickey Mouse Club" mousketeer, develop the vocal style that briefly made her a pop star in the mid-1960s.

"Annette felt she couldn't sing," Camarata once said. "So I developed a way of recording her voice, creating an echo. The first time she heard it, she was surprised and happy. She began to gain more confidence as a vocalist."

In 1960 he opened Sunset Sound Recorders, where the Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Miles Davis and others have recorded. His son currently runs the studio.

Camarata studied music at the Juilliard School in New York before embarking on a career as a Big Band trumpeter in the 1930s. He was both lead trumpeter and arranger for Jimmy Dorsey's band, arranging such hits as "Tangerine," "Green Eyes" and "Yours."

He left Dorsey in the early 1940s to work as an arranger for Glen Cray and the Casa Loma Orchestra and for Benny Goodman's band. He also arranged music for Crosby, Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and others.

His own recordings include "Tutti's Trumpets," recorded in 1957 and considered a classic for trumpet composition. In the 1970s, he orchestrated and conducted a series of albums for the London label that showcased the work of Bach, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.
Some of my favorite LP's of all time conducted or produced by Camarata:

Alice in Wonderland (with Darlene Gillespie)
Hawaiiannette (Annette)
Babes in Toyland (Original Cast)
Summer Magic (Original Cast)
Hi-Ho (Mary Martin)
Sleeping Beauty (Told and Sung by Mary Martin)
The Parent Trap! (Original Cast)
Italiannette (Annette)
Annette's Beach Party
Annette at Bikini Beach
Muscle Beach Party (Annette)
Something Borrowed, Something Blue (Annette)
Annette Sings Anka
Annette's Pajama Party
Annette Sings Golden Surfin' Hits
Camarata Interpets Sonow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Camarata Conducts Music From Cinderella and Bambi
33 Great Motion Picture Melodies by Camarata
Disney Songs the Satchmo Way (Louis Armstrong)
Let's Fly with Mary Poppins (Louis Prima, Gia Mione)
Let's Get Together With Hayley Mills

...and so many other LP's and singles... Thanks, Tutti, for all the inspiration and enjoyment (and for giving Annette the triple voice-echo chamber sound!)!
Tutti Camarata's death saddens me greatly! As a little boy, the name "Camarata" on a Disney record always conjured up some exotic personality who single-handedly was creating all these memorable LPs for my collection, and that may not have been far from the truth!

A true Disney Legend, he and his Disney contributions will no doubt be thoroughly recorded in the forthcoming book by Greg Ehrbar and Tim Hollis; I can't think of a better tribute than for Disney fans to be able to read and learn about this great man's contributions when their book is published.

Hats off to Tutti Camarata!
This is truly sad news. I had the great honor of working with Tutti ? first was when I asked him to join me in the studio as we remixed and restored Annette?s songs for ?Annette: A Musical Reunion with America?s Girl-Next-Door?. Not only did Tutti (the original Producer) join us, but Bruce Botnick (the original Engineer) and the Sherman Brothers. It was an incredible time working with these legends. Though Tutti and I kept in touch on occasion over the years, we recently began working together (in preliminary stages) on the History of Disney Records for the Seattle EMP as we planned to interview him about his extraordinary career. But, alas, that was not to be. However, several months ago, David Agnew (President of the Buena Vista Music Group), Tutti and I went to lunch. I had the opportunity to give Tutti several copies of some records he did and that I restored for The Wonderland Music Store. He was delighted and quite tickled that I remembered. It was then he told me what a great job I had done with the classic soundtracks and that even Walt himself would have been pleased with the amount of effort and detail that went into each restoration. I was speechless ? literally speechless for a couple hours. For you see it was Tutti who created what we know as soundtracks today. He felt that the soundtrack should be more than just the songs, that the score was even more important in expressing the story that the songs alone. To receive a compliment from someone like Tutti, who created the genre (so-to-speak), was, for me, life changing. You may find my reaction a bit maudlin, but Tutti was a genius, a true pioneer and a wonderful man.

The Maestro shall be missed and I am honored to have known and worked with such a brilliant and gentle man. God Bless You Mr. Camarata!

Your Obedient and Faithful Student,
Randy Thornton


It is great to read all of your thoughts and tributes to this Legend. Thank you all. His work has touched our lives in such beautiful ways. He was an amazing talent.

Tutti left us a wonderful legacy as the first producer of Disneyland records. I was so glad to see him honored as a Disney Legend.

exerpt from the back of WDL 4001 ( the first soundtrack LP on DL records 1956):

"Disney directors and artist and even the Disney musicians have always considered that most Disney film music had no place apart from the film. It took a couple of talented outsiders, visiting the Disney studio to find material for the new Disneyland Record label , to discover the fabulous quality of the sound track music itself. These two; Tutti Camarata, the celebrated musician, composer and arranger and Charles Hanson of Hanson publications, Inc,. the firm which handles Disney educational music, dared to watch a screening of SONG OF THE SOUTH with their eyes closed. They beleive they are the first people ever really to hear the score of the Disney film. That may be rigght because the visual impression of color and action in the Disney features are often so over-whelming that one literally does not hear the music. Camarata and Hansen came out of the projection room convinced that they had discovered somrthing that must command a place on Long-playing (LP) phonograph records. Disney executives were dubious but, after some of the other Disney films were screened, includiing Pinocchio which the Disney officials also viewed with their eyes closed, the decision was made to produce original sound track albums from the Disney scores.
So, the idea for this original sound track album was born"

And with it all the sound tract albums we enjoy today
Thank You Tutti!!!!!
Just got back Sunday from a road trip to WDW. I tried to keep the trip going yesterday with "Firehouse Five Plus Two at Disneyland" and "Dave Digs Disney", but reality is tough to beat, between being back at work, participating in the current Disneyland CD set buying frenzy--and receiving sad news like this post, which I hadn't heard--thank you, merlinjones.

Tutti Camarata will always be at the heart of Walt Disney Records. Randy referred to the Annette 2-CD set; as a tribute to Tutti, I listened to disc 2 today. Granted, the songs may not make any of Rolling Stone's lists(and I really don't care anymore), but listening to them always takes me back to that special time--Walt's time--a time of relative musical innocence, especially when contrasted to much of the material being produced by today's largely soul-less pop music machine.

From the founding of London Records to his musical directorship of Disneyland Records, Tutti Camarata's musical legacy is a reminder of what can be accomplished when a true artist is involved in the creative process.

Thank you, Tutti, for all of your musical contributions; hope you and Walt are having fun catching up on all the news.


P. S. Randy--I sure hope "Tutti's Trumpets" is in the works for Wonderland Music.......


New Member
Has anyone mentioned Camarata's great "Seasons" albums from Disneyland Records? (I just found the "Summer" LP in a local thrift shop).

The "Fantasia"-like cover art is also wonderful and one of the few examples of Disney commercial art which is actually signed by the artist.

I especially like the "Winter" album.

Much to my surprise I recently discovered that one of the "Winter" tracks - I'd have to check on which one - is actually a cue from the (somewhat obscure) musical "Those Redheads from Seattle".

I discovered this when excerpts from the film were screened at the 3-D Expo in Hollywood about a year or so ago. (The same series that screened Disney's great musical "Melody" cartoon in the original 3-D).

There's also a beautiful Victor Young theme on the "Winter" album.

These were all issued in both mono and stereo. As with some other Disneyland LPs the "stereo" designation was sometimes a sticker pasted on the mono LP cover.

All of the season LPs are great "mood music" albums, circa the 1950s.

I would add that these are not specifially Disney music, but mostly popular standards with a few unique tracks and rarities, such as the "Redheads" cue.

Obviously Disney Records was wooing a more mainstream adult (easy listening) audience with these releases.
Hi Donito,
These records sold individually and in a set called "Music of the Seasons".

Much to my surprise I recently discovered that one of the "Winter" tracks - I'd have to check on which one - is actually a cue from the (somewhat obscure) musical "Those Redheads from Seattle".

I think the track could be "Majestic Cascades" which is the mountain range in Washington state that includes Mt Rainier.



New Member
Thanks, Ken.

I've never seen this set.

I like the album cover art as much as the LPs themselves. I'm wondering if the set includes the original album covers, and if there is any additionl art included?

And you are correct about the Redheads track.
Hi Donito,
Yes the set includes the 4 albums (same covers) that were released separately. No other new artwork.