Tony Peluso, the lead guitarist with the Carpenters for 12 years and a successful Motown and Latin music producer, died June 5 of heart disease in Los Angeles. He was 60.

Peluso got his start as musical director for Bobby Sherman, played guitar for Paul Revere and the Raiders, produced records for the likes of Smokey Robinson and Michael Jackson, and collaborated with Gustavo Santaolalla on the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning "Brokeback Mountain."

Raised in a musical family, he teamed up with Richard and Karen Carpenter when he was 21. Perhaps his most memorable work with the siblings was on the 1972 power ballad "Goodbye to Love," where he conceived and played the masterful, melodic solo and outro.

After Karen Carpenter's death in 1983, Peluso partnered for a decade with the top talent scout at Motown Records and co-produced dozens of records for such artists as Robinson, Jackson, the Temptations, and the Four Tops.

He also produced and/or engineered for artists such as Kenny Loggins, Seals & Crofts, Apollonia, Player, Animotion, Stephanie Mills, the Fixx, Dave Koz and Boyz II Men, as well as Latin artists Cafe Tacvba and Julieta Venegas.

Additional reporting by Ayala Ben-Yehuda.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print