Born April 7, 1924, Denver, CO
Died August 3, 2005, Los Angeles, CA
Nick Perito was a composer and arranger who most noteably worked with
Perry Como. He joined Como in 1963 as the singer's long-running
"The Perry Como Show" was ending, and stayed on as his music director
and conductor for frequent television specials, tours and recording
Perito also handled the music for television specials for Andy
Williams, Bing Crosby and Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. He played
piano in recording sessions for Steve & Eydie and for Julius La
Rosa, among others. He is even featured on accordion on albums with The
Ray Charles Singers.
For the big screen, Perito scored the 1968 comedy "Don't Just Stand
There," starring Robert Wagner and Mary Tyler Moore. Perito was
nominated for a dozen Emmys, primarily for Como specials and televised
presentations of the Kennedy Center Honors in the 1980s and early
'90s. For a time, he was also the Musical Director for the
orchestra which played for “The Hollywood Palace” tv show in the 1960s.
Born in Denver, the multifaceted musician began playing the accordion
at parties and then majored in piano at the University of Denver.
During World War II, he moved to New York, serving as an Army medic but
also arranging music and playing piano with the Army Band. The pianist
entertained at a pizza parlor on weekends. After the war, Perito
studied piano, conducting and orchestration at the Juilliard
School. He wrote the music for such songs as "Stay with Me" and
"We Are Love." In 2004, he published a memoir, "I Just Happened
to Be There: Making Music with the Stars."
Back to Main Index
Back to Home Page