Sweet sounds of success - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sweet sounds of success

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CARLSBAD, Calif. (CBS 8) - At 86 years old, Sammy Nestico is in the groove. He's been in the groove for a long time. Just ask Quincy Jones.

Sammy and Quincy have been good friends since 1968. They worked together on the sound track to the movie "The Color Purple". But Sammy Nestico's composing and arranging collaborations began way before that.

"I have 10 albums with Basie; four won Grammys," Sammy said.

His legacy includes over 100 CDs and all of his music is archived in the Library of Congress.

"That's my first album, first album I ever did on my own and you know what? I gave so many away I didn't have any. So for years I didn't have any and my wife's been buying them off the internet," Sammy said.

The walls of Sammy's spacious Carlsbad home are filled with awards for his work in composing and arranging for CDs, movies and television. He's even penned an autobiography that chronicles his days as director of the White House band.

"Someone said, 'Did you ever talk to the president?' I said 'Yes, once, President Johnson.' I was working under Kennedy and Johnson and I was directing the band at the White House and he came up to me in his Texas drawl and said, 'Do you call that music?' So I wasn't too flattered," Sammy said.

Hey, Lyndon Johnson never had a groove and Sammy Nestico never lost his.

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