Veteran jazz keyboardist Pete Jolly, who performed on some of television's most popular theme songs and was a regular on the Southern California jazz scene for 40 years, has died at age 72.

Veteran jazz keyboardist Pete Jolly, who performed on some of television's most popular theme songs and was a regular on the Southern California jazz scene for 40 years, has died at age 72.

Jolly died Saturday (Nov. 6) at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena of complications of bone marrow cancer and irregular heartbeat, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.

The musician, whose composition "Little Bird" was nominated for a Grammy in 1963, formed the Pete Jolly Trio in 1964 with drummer Nick Martinis and bassist Chuck Berghofer. The group continued to play South California clubs until Jolly was hospitalized in August.

Jolly, who played piano, organ and accordion, can be heard on such television theme songs as "Get Smart," "The Love Boat," "I Spy," Mannix," "Dallas" and "MASH," as well as hundreds of movie soundtracks, including "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

His recordings included 1963's "The Sensational Pete Jolly Gases Everybody," "Strike Up the Band" in 1980 and "Yeah" in 1995. His last album, "Collaboration," was recorded with Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren and released in 2001.

Born Peter Ceragioli Jr. in New Haven, Conn., Jolly began playing the accordion at age 3. At age 7, he appeared on the coast-to-coast radio broadcast "Hobby Lobby," where the announcer mispronounced his name as Pete Jolly.

Jolly, whose father was also a musician, began playing in bands in junior high school. Over the years he worked with such jazz fixtures as Buddy DeFranco, Red Norvo and Art Pepper.


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