Tag Archives: Bobby Rosengarden

Bobby Rosengarden and Glenn Zottola Orchestra

This is promotional clip I made when i started the partnership with my friend and great drummer Bobby Rosengarden. In 1982 i came off the road in Europe and my daughter was 2 1/2 and I decided i wanted to spend more time at home. I moved the family from Manhatten to Darien CT. and started Glenn Zottola Music Productions out of my home. I had met Bobby Rosengarden on the Benny Goodman Sextet earlier and he lived in New Canaan very close to me. Bobby is a great drummer and had his band at the world famous Rainbow Room in NYC. One day he asked me which was very gracious would you like to cover me at the Rainbow Room with Johnny Desmond as I am going to Europe. I told him sure but I don’t have any arrangements, bandstands and have never led a big band. He said you can use all my stuff and i know you will do great. We opened to rave reviews and i ended up rotating my big band along with Bobby’s and other band leaders like Cy Oliver for 2 years. Later i asked Bobby if he would like to become partners and he said sure. Bobby was another “foil” and mentor both musically and business wise and i learned a lot about leading a big band as he was was a master having been the band leader on the Dick Cavet Show and he had lots of funny stories. When i met him he was doing about 35 dates a year with his big band and i was doing about 25 with my small group. In a few years after we became partners i built the business up to over 300 dates a year before i left for LA to be bandleader on the Suzanne Somers TV show at universal studios. Those were great times and very productive with 18 hour days ! I had the band at the Rainbow Room 6 nights a week and was entertainment director at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stamford CT and the Hyatt Regency in Greenich CT along with doing over 300 gigs including private parties, high end weddings and corporate work plus all my jazz activity and recording in NY. I would finish my last set at the Rainbow Room in Manhatten and rush out to CT to catch the last set of the groups i booked into the Hotels. I never forget the feeling as I was driving up the highway from Manhatten and crossed over into New England only a 40 minute drive late at night but a whole different Vibe. Those were really good times and a great 9 year run !

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Playing with Frank Sinatra

What a thrill to work with Frank Sinatra. Bobby Rosengarden and i were already doing the Jerry Lewis Telethon every labor day in NY and we got a call one year from Mary Tyler Moore who was launcing her own Telethon in LA for Juvenille Diabetes. Bobby called Doc Severinsen who he was very good friends with from the Tonight Show when it was in NY as Bobby was the drummer on that show. We both flew out to LA to put together the show and Doc graciously loaned us the whole tonight show band for this gig. These classic Sinatra arrangements were amazing and my trumpet almost played itself that night and what a band that was especially playing next to trumpet player and friend Snooky Young who swings like no other plus playing for the “Chairman of Board” is something i wont forget for sure. The twist and turns in life are amazing. I played with The Benny Goodman Sextet for 2 years and Benny was part of Frank’s launch at the famous Paramount Theatre in NY with lines of kids around the block and 50 years later here i am on TV with Frank who’s career went well beyond Benny.

Glenn