Grade: Classical Guitar Method under Master Richard Pick
Private Studies with Master Richard Pick
Activities and Societies: Classical Guitar, Composition, Harmony and Theory.
Rick's famous father Rick Verde of "The Three Sons" taught young Rick at the age of 5, the basics on guitar, piano, dums and tenor saxophone. He also taught him how to work the home studio recording equipment. He noticed Rick was fluent in music and enjoying guitar. Rick asked his father if he could learn to play guitar like him. Thus begain his muscial journey and his formal musical education.
In January of 1964, Rick was the youngest student ever to audition in front of the school jury. He was excepted by Master Richard Pick himself to attend the Chicago School of Music to study under the professor, at the young age of 8. Rick quickly became Master Pick's prize student. By the age of 11 years old, Rick was taking the train from Elmhurst to Downtown Chicago and then took the El Train to the Chicago Loop by himself, to attend school. He was determined and dedicated. He always wore a suit and tie with guitar in hand ready for school. After 8 years of studies, Rick surpassed Master Pick's expectations and sent young Rick on his way with an arsenal of musical information in all it's forms and a strong grasp of the classical guitar.
Chicago School of Music
Master Richard Pick-Chicago School of Music
Chicago School of Music was a private music educational institution owned and located inside the Forster Music Publishing Inc. Building at 310 S. Wabash Ave. Downtown Chicago.
The Loop underneth the El Train in front of the school S. Wabash Ave.
A young Rick Vittallo at the age of 11 playing his first concert at the Chicago Guitar Society.
Dick Grove School of Music
Trade, Arranging, Harmony and Theory, Composition, Guitar
Activities and Societies: Jazz Band, Master Guitar
Master Guitar Class Private instruction
Film, Composition, Lyrics and Song Writing
Arranging, Orchestration, Composition, Harmony and Theory
Independent Coursework with Music Masters
Conductor, Musical Director, Arranger, Composer for Frank Sinatra, Jack Jones, Vic Damone, Anthony Newley, Tom Jones, Carol Lawrence, Connie Stevens, Cher, Paul Anka, Nancy Sinatra and many more.
Rick learned from Joe Conductor, Musical Director, Orchestration, Arranging and Composing
A famous Chicago jazz man (pianist and arranger). He played with Art Pepper, Conte Candoli, Chuck Mangione, Don Bagley and many more. His latin jazz band Poco Loco was one of the best of the genre in the Chicago era.
Rick learned from Gene, Arranging and Orchestration
Hal Blaine (Rick's Godfather)
Drums, Percussions and Music Supervision
Hal Blaine has played on over 5,000 records, film scores and TV jingles.
“These guys used to show up to work in suits and ties for these record dates. We’d show up in blue jeans and t-shirts, smoking cigarettes… and the older session guys would say “they’re wrecking the business.” So I started calling our group of musicians the Wrecking Crew.”
My Godfather, and educator, Uncle Hal Blaine, has taught me the ins and outs, ups and downs, and a deep respect of all aspects of the music industry in both recording and live performance. He is the most influential presence in my life. My appreciation and love for him is eternal.
Rick Verde (Rick's Father)
Rick is definitely his fathers son.
"My Dad's talent was only overshadowed by his
sense of humor."
Jack Cecchini Classic & Modern Guitar Studios
Further studies in Classical Guitar with Jack Cecchini in Chicago.
Harmony and Theory, Composition, Arranging and Orchestration.
Dick Grove Music Workshops
Signed endorsement from Hal Blaine for Rick's First Solo CD
Richard J Vittallo (Rick Verde) 1927-2011 RIP.
From my Godfather, Hal Blaine in the Los Angeles union paper, "The Overture":
In Memoriam: Richard 'Rick' J. Vittallo
Editor's Note: Chicago-born guitarist and entertainer
Rick J. Vittallo's accomplishments include the muti-mil-
lion seller RCA hit song by The Three Suns, "Twilight
Time," as well as several hit albums. Briefly holding mem-
bership at Local 47, he remained a member of Chicago
Local 10-208 from 1948 until resigning in 1994.
A young musician, on the road with funny hat
bands, I used to build and fly model airplanes. I flew
them at airport lounges which were always open.
One night in Great Falls, Montana, when I was toss-
ing my airplane off of the balcony, I almost hit
another model airplane. That was my first meeting
with Rick, as we all knew him. He was pickin' and
grinnin' and playing his guitar with another funny
hat band. That started our friendship of just about
60 years. I went off to school in Chicago where Rick
lived. We've been pals ever since that meeting in the
airport. Rick was a member of Local 10-208 for 10
years then came to L.A. where he did a lot of side-
line work. His son, Ricky Vittallo, Local 47, has
taken over the reins and is playing and conducting
in Las Vegas.
—Hal Blaine, Local 47 Life Member
Entertainer, Singer, Pianist, Drummer, Song Writer, Comedian, Musical Director at the Playboy Club and America's Host of his generation.
The man himself was amazing. A staunch Democrat came to write a song for Richard Nixon (Nixon's The One), among other primo show-biz anecdotes (Sinatra grabbing his ass, Elvis, Marilyn, Hugh Hefner....) Played all of the Playboy Mansion parties. And Dick Van Dyke wrote the album's liner notes. Why isn't this guy a legend?!"
Vic knew Rick from the day he was born and was one of his fathers best friends. He took Rick under his wings and guided and protected him throughout his career.