Johnny Costa

Johnny Costa recorded many fine records over his long career. But he is most remembered for his contributions to television music. He began his childhood studying accordion, and later took up piano lessons with an instructor who also taught Oscar Levant. Costa found that he could pitch well and was awarded two college degrees in music education. However, teaching was just a secondary goal to his true passion of performing. He was the music director at KDK-TV, Pittsburgh for 15 years and also recorded LPs for Savoy Coral in 1950s. His greatest fame was as the music director of the popular public television series Mister Rogers Neighborhood. He insisted that jazz be played, arguing that good music will attract children. He proved right, and he was with the program for his last three decades. He was a regular participant in Chiaroscuro sessions in the 1990s. Dream was released in 1996, shortly before his death from leukemia.

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