Tag Archives: Ted Mack

Encounter With Miles Davis


It was 1961 and i had just finished the Ted Mack show (see video) and my dad took me to the famous jazz club in NYC Birdland.  Those days if you were under age you could sit in a section called the bleachers and watch the shows and they didn’t serve alchohol. At the time my dad was working with Maynard Ferguson making him a mouthpiece and he was performing that night with his famous 1961 big band. Also headlining was the classic Miles Davis Sextet above with Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane in the front line with Miles. After Miles finished his set i went over to the bandstand to take a look at his horn from a distance. As i was looking this head pops out from behind the courtain (Miles) and he says in that voice “what are are you doing”.  I reply “i am a trumpet player and i am just looking at your horn”.  Miles says “alright” and dissapears and i never saw him again !   After Maynard saw my performance on Ted Mack he asked my dad if he could take me out on the road as his protege in which my dad politely said “thankyou but i would like him to have a normal childhood”.  Amazing times !  Glenn

Glenn Zottola on the Ted Mack Show at 13 years old

This is where it all started as far as the big time on national TV and it is amazing 30 years later I found myself full circle after doing everything in music from Broadway , Carnegie Hall and travelling the world as a jazz player and recording back on TV as Bandleader on the Suzanne Somers show at Universal Studios. This was a great experience and the show was the American Idol of its day and many acts like Sinatra and Johnny Mathis came through this show.  I toured for a year with the show after becoming a 3 time winner and then played Madison Square Garden for 30,000  people in the final playoff.  I guess I peaked early and don’t know if I could hit that high note today unless I had some Geritol that you see in the backround as I was playing !  What a wild life and I wouldnt trade a minute of it.  Glenn