Al Viola, frequent Frank Sinatra collaborator, died at his Los Angeles home Wednesday, Feb. 21. His wife confirmed he died of cancer. He was 87.
Viola first met Sinatra as a guitarist in the Page Cavanaugh Trio. During World War II, Cavanaugh and Viola were stationed together in the army in Sacramento. At the war’s end, they formed the trio with bassist Lloyd Pratt. After hearing the group in Los Angeles in the late ’40s, Sinatra was so taken with the trio that he decided to fly them out to the East Coast for performances in New York and Atlantic City.