tommy tedesco

Tommy Tedesco was a part of the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra in 1967 when Frank Zappa recorded the orchestral parts for "Lumpy Gravy". 

According to Carol Kaye, he also played 12-string on "Freak Out". However, the album credits, and the session sheets from the Musicians Union don't support her story.


4 frank zappa: lumpy gravy
   (1967, lp, usa, verve)


random notes

born: july 3, 1930  -  died: nov 10, 1997

     from: steve cobham (

tt was the self-proclaimed most recorded guitarist of all time, (he probably was too)  and his credits include zappa and hundreds of other people including the beach boys, spector (?) etc, as well as film and tv soundtracks. his main electric was a really crappy looking tele and he played gut string guitar with a pick and mandolin in regular tuning. tt died a short while ago (last month in fact). hear him on lumpy gravy. he was a regular columnist on guitar player for a long while, with his studio log column - always an entertaining read. in many ways, he was the quintessential journeyman guitarist. as for more info, help........!

     from: mdec500157 (
i had the pleasure of attending a workshop tommy conducted once in detroit. he demonstrated how he got "underwater" effects for "jaws" (an old pedal controlled flanger), did some spiffy imitations of oriental instruments on a banjo, and sang the song he did on "the gong show", which contains a line like "frank zappa still says 'hi'." partial credits on tv include : ozzie & harriet, dallas , m*a*s*h, munsters, green acres, gilligan's island, happy days, etc.

movies: the godfather, e.t., the deer hunter, french connection. cool hand luke, the exorcist,  m*a*s*h*, etc. etc. studio work with: e'vis, sinatra, streisand, aretha, quincy jones, stevie wonder, kenny rogers (who once appeared on "mike douglas" w/frank) and of course fz's "lumpy gravy". obviously, i was impressed by the guy.

      from: johnny manone (
tommy tedesco story (who is, of course probably the most recorded guitarist in history) showed up for a lumpy gravy session dressed up like a native american because he heard this zappa guy was a real wacko. he felt pretty dumb when he couldn't play the music put in front of him on the first read-through.




(all credits for guitar unless otherwise noted)


1957 angelou, maya- miss calypso

1959 torme, mel- back in town

1963 jan & dean- surf city

1963 spector, phil- christmas gift for you from phil spector

1964 de-fenders- drag beat

1965 judy henske- death defying judy henske

1965 mcguire, barry- eve of destruction

1966 crawford, don- don crawford

1967 fifth dimension- up up & away

1968 newman, randy- randy newman                                                        

1968 fifth dimension- stoned soul picnic

1968 nesmith, michael- wichita train whistle sings

1968 van dyke parks- song cycle (balalaika)

1968 frank zappa- lumpy gravy

1968 presley, elvis- elvis tv special

1969 monkees- instant replay

1970 fifth dimension- portrait

1970 kooper, al- easy does it

1970 previn, dory- on my way to where

1970 partridge family- partridge family album

1972 partridge family- at home with their greatest hits 

1972 hot rock- hot rock                                                          

1972 fifth dimension- greatest hits on earth

1972 vaughan, sarah- with michel legrand

1973 partridge family- crossword puzzle

1973 fifth dimension- living together, growing together

1973 franks, michael- michael franks

1973 garfunkel, art- angel clare (bouzouki, mandolin)

1974 ellis, don- haiku

1974 muldaur, maria- waitress in a donut shop (guitar, requinto)

1974 baez, joan- gracias a la vida [heres to life]

1975 beach boys- spirit of america

1976 alpert, herb- just you and me (mandolin)

1976 bingo long traveling all-stars and

1976 bishop, stephen- careless (mandolin)

1976 lee, peggy- mirrors

1977 riperton, minnie- stay in love

1977 phil spector's 20 greatest hits

1977 loggins, kenny- celebrate me home (mandolin)

1978 newton-john, olivia- grease

1978 mancini, henry- theme scene

1978 alpert, herb- herb alpert/hugh masekela

1978 california suite- california suite

1978 tommy tedesco-  autumn

1978 tommy tedesco-  when do we start

1979 tommy tedesco-  alone at last

1979 alpert, herb- rise (balalaika, lute, batucada)

1980 mark-almond- tuesday in new york (mandolin)

1980 alpert, herb- beyond

1981 cale, j.j.- shades

1981 tommy tedesco quintet-  my desiree

1982 new american orchestra- blade runner (not o.s.t.)

1982 blade runner- blade runner

1982 fitzgerald, ella- best is yet to come

1983 connor, chris- love being here with you (drums)

1983 franks, michael- previously unavailable                                                         

1983 ronstadt, linda- what's new

1983 tommy tedesco trio- carnival time [live]

1983 tommy tedesco-  thomas and ocean tedesco

1983 camarata, tutti- tuttis trombones

1986 ronstadt, linda- round midnight with nelson riddle a

1986 tommy tedesco trio- hollywood gypsy

1988 fitzgerald, ella- best of ella fitzgerald [pablo]

1989 anderson, lew- fired up (drums)

1989 rotella, thom- home again

1989 revenge- revenge ep

1989 rip chords- hey little cobra

1990 laine, frankie- on the trail

1991 shire, david- david shire: at the movies

1991 spector, phil- back to mono (1958-1969)

1992 hitsville usa: the motown singles c

1992 jackson, mahalia- mahalia jackson, vol. 2

1992 carlos, juan- juan carlos quintero

1992 severinsen, doc- good medicine

1992 cano, eddie- cole porter, duke ellington & me

1992 i got rhythm: the music of george gershwin

1992 tommy tedesco- tommy tedesco performs roumanis' jazz...

1992 tommy tedesco- fine fretted friend

1993 presley, elvis- harum scarum/girl happy

1993 beach boys- good vibrations: thirty years of th

1993 presley, elvis- spinout/double trouble

1993 cano, eddie- deep in a drum

1994 bishop, stephen- on & on: the hits of stephen bishop (mandolin)

1994 everly brothers- heartaches & harmonies [box set]

1994 partridge family- partridge family shopping bag

1994 torme, mel- jazz round midnight

1994 bluiett, hamiet- live at the village vanguard  (assistant engineer, mixing) 

1995 hellbound hot rods!- hellbound hot rods!

1995 israel, yoron- gift for you (assistant engineer)

1996 shaken not stirred- shaken not stirred

1996 usher, gary- gary usher greats, vol. 1: the kick

1996 jan & dean- surf city/folk 'n roll

1996 monkees- missing links, vol. 3

1996 cowabunga! the surf box

1997 nyro, laura- stoned soul picnic: the best of laura

1997 bass talk, vol. 4: who's afraid of (fuzz guitar)

1997 cale, j.j.- anyway the wind blows: the j.j. cal

1997 presley, elvis- platinum (a life in music)                                                      

1997 day, doris- move over darling

1997 lindberg, john- luminosity (engineer)

1997 fifth dimension- up up & away: the definitive collection

1997 beach boys- pet sounds 30th anniversary box set

1998 big band all stars- tribute to artie shaw

1998 presley, elvis- touch of platinum, vol. 2                                                       

1998 meurkens, hendrik- quiet moments (engineer)

1998 jan & dean- as easy as 1-2-3

     secret agent file- secret agent file

     tommy tedesco- live in concert at the musician's institute 

     tommy tedesco- roumanis jazz rhap.




-- additional informant: Charles Ulrich

frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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