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Don Costa


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Dominick P. Costa was born in Boston, Massachusetts[1] to an Italian American family. As a child, he took a keen interest in learning the guitar, and he became a member of the CBS Radio Orchestra by the time he was in his teens. In the late 1940s, Costa moved to New York to further his career by becoming a session musician. He played guitar along with Bucky Pizzarelli on Vaughn Monroe’s hit recording “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” It was around this time that Costa started experimenting with combinations of instruments, producing musical arrangements, and peddling them to a few notable big bands.

It was this self-promotion that caused two young up and coming singers to notice his work. Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme invited Costa to write some vocal backgrounds for their future recordings. He agreed, and thus began an association that led to their joining a new record label being headed by Sam Clark as president: ABC-Paramount records. It was here that Costa accepted the position of head A&R man as well as chief arranger and producer.[1] Many hits were to follow, not only with Lawrence and Gorme, but with Lloyd Price, George Hamilton IV, and Paul Anka.
Costa found several of his own instrumental recordings becoming hits, including the theme tunes from Never on Sunday and The Unforgiven. “Never on Sunday” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[1] He was voted number one in Cash Box as the most popular recording arranger and conductor. It was at this time that Lawrence, Gorme, and Costa left ABC to join the United Artists label. Costa continued to produce and arrange for others as well as release his own instrumental albums.


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