The “Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Ennio Morricone)

RCA Victor 9423

No.2   June 1, 1968




Hugo was born in 1925 and raised in New York City.   He attended the city schools, and after a two-year

stay in the Navy where he arranged for Service bands, grad­uated from Manhattan College. Montenegro

was for some years the staff manager for Andre Kostelanetz, the conductor for Harry Belafonte sessions,

and (start­ing in 1955) a purveyor of easy-listening music.   None of Hugo’s mellow recordings–such as

Bongo’s and Brass, Pizzicato Strings, and Montenegro and Mayhem–made the top pop albums chart

until the release of Original Music From “The Man From U. N. C.L. E.” in 1966.


Montenegro moved to Los Angeles to do film work, eventually creating and conducting the scores for Otto

Preminger’s Hurry Sundown (1967) and The Ambushers (1968), Elvis’ Chario (1969) and the John Wayne

flick The Undefeated (1969).   In 1967, he undertook what he thought would be his last project for RCA–

Music From ”A Fistful of Dollars” & “For a Few Dollars More” & “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


Hugo wanted the album to be different and hip.   After studying a number of rock’n’roll disks, he brought

electric guitars, a full set of drums, and an assortment of oddball instruments into the studio.   On the title

track to the final entry in Sergio Leone’s “spaghetti western” trilogy, Montenegro used an elec­tric violin (the

only one then in existence, played by Elliot Fisher), a piccolo trumpet (played by Manny Klein), an ocarina

(played by Arthur Smith, writer of the VIRTUES’ “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” and ERIC WEISS­BERG & STEVE

MANDELL’s “Dueling Banjos”), and an electronic harmonica (played by Tommy Morgen).   The whistler

was Muzzy Marcellino, noted for his extensive blow job throughout John Wayne’s The High and the

Mighty (1954).   The tune’s distinctive grunting was actually Hugo himself, mumbling nonsensical syllables

in Italian.


Hugo Montenegro died of emphysema on February 6, 1981, at the age of 55.