Rich Cerniglia - Guitarist - Songwriter - Producer



Hi, my name is Rich Cerniglia. I have been playing and studying guitar since I was ten years old. My first teacher, and inspiration was my Uncle Joe Geneli who played with the Morton Downey Orchestra and toured in the USO shows in WW II with Glen Miller. When I was fifteen I helped form a band called The “Avantes”, and we worked the local band circuit on Long Island, N.Y. There was one club that stood out from the rest because it brought in major acts. It was "The Highway Inn." In this time period we are talking about Motown acts. This was my first real experience in the industry and it was very challenging. We started backing up the acts on a weekly basis. Names like "Benny King', "The Shirelles", "The Chiffons", "The Ronnettes", "Little Anthony and the Imperials", "Ruby and the Romatics" and so many more.

While I was still in my teens I became a member of a group with some local talent from Long Island and started a band we named "The Illusion". I recorded 3 albums with "The Illusion" on "Steed Records". We toured the country promoting our hit single "Did You See Her Eyes" as an opening act for many different bands. Names like "The Allman Bros", " Jimi Hendrix", "The Who", "Chicago", "SavoyBrown", "Robin Trower", "Ten Years After", "Mitch Ryder", and many many more. I recorded and toured with Daryl Hall and John Oates on their "War Babies" album. I recorded one album on Polydor records with the group "Wiggy Bits", managed by Tommy Matola. We toured with that group opening for The groups "Foghat" and "Boston". While still under the management of Tommy Matola, (Champion Ent.) I recorded 3 albums on RCA records with "Ellen Shipley", writer of "Heaven is a place on Earth", recorded by Belinda Carlisle. We toured the country and appeared on "Saturday Night Live" with Jamie Lee Curtis hosting.

While still under the management of Tommy Matola I recorded 2 albums on Epic records with the band "Network", the first album recorded at Criteria studio's in Florida, produced by Ghalutten and Richardson. Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, also wrote and produced one song for us on that album. The second was recorded at the Record Plant in N.Y. city with Ed Leonetti producing. In the mid 80's I recorded my last album under the management of Tommy Matola on RCA records with the Group Aviator. This album was produced by Neil Kiernon at Electric Lady Studio's in Manhatten.

I spent the next 20 years playing club dates in the tri sate area. Playing all sorts of affairs, from corporate events to weddings and Barmitzvah's, playing in rooms like Cipriani's, the World Trade Center and the Waldorf Astoria down to every other little catering hall. This period was a great learning experience for me. i was being called on to play all kinds of music with musicians that I met for the first time on the job, very different from playing in bands, but effective. I worked with some of New Yorks finest, and some of New Yorks worst. I learned how to survive as a musician, though not the career I had dreamed of, I still had a love of the instrument and a desire to be better and create.

Spread out through the years of touring and playing I studied classical guitar with Albert Valdez Blain, a student of Andres Segovia, and Frederick Hand, a student of Julian Breame, both in Manhattan. At the same time, I was studying harmony and counterpoint with Fred Werle who was then the Dean of "Mannes School of Music". Much later in my life I graduated from Empire State College with a BA in music. I have 12 credits toward my Masters Degree in music composition. I taught songwriting and Sound Engineering at Broome Community College for 8 years.

 In the last 8 years I have been writing and producing music for televison through a music library. I have had music on 'Montel", "Access Hollywood", "Jane Pauley", "Eyewitness Kids News", "Geraldo", "Unique Whips", "Fox Sports Network", "Greg Berendt", "Celebrity Expose", and "Fabulous Life". I currently live in Smyrna, TN. and play every Friday and Saturday night at MoCaras fine southern dining restaurant in Lebanon. Come out and say Hi!