Alessandro Alessandroni isn't a household name in popular or film music, but his contributions to the two fields have made his work among the most familiar of any musician to emerge since the 1950s. Born in Soriano nel Cimino, north of Rome, in 1925, Alessandroni never aspired to formal music training -- he was entirely self-taught, and started learning the guitar and the mandolin by listening to and watching the men who made music at the family's barber shop. He listened to classical music on his own and bought his first mandolin at age 13. He also discovered as a boy that in addition to being proficient on a multitude of stringed and keyboard instruments, he had an uncanny ability to whistle. By his early thirties, he was making a living touring Germany as a singer, pianist, and guitarist, and he later formed a group in Rome called the Four Caravels whose sound was modeled on the work of the Four Freshmen, and served as their arranger as well as leader. The multi-talented Alessandroni was soon to become one of the busier session musicians in Italy, and achieve stardom in a wholy unexpected musical idiom.