Bill Clifton - In the Movies

Bill Clifton's versatility as a pianist made him an ideal choice as a studio musician for all kinds of productions.

His frequent appearances on radio and television (in its pioneering infancy) gave Bill some great opportunities to insinuate his "modern" approach to the music. As a staff pianist for both the NBC and CBS studios, Bill displayed his individuality as a stylist, while providing all the necessary adaptability, technical skill and precision for any on-air situation. Among his credits for television are his contributions as pianist for the Tony Mottola Trio; one of the lynchpin groups that supplied live musical backing for many early television programs and led by the brilliant guitarist, Tony Mottola.

The Laughmaker

Studio One in Hollywood: Season 5, Episode 34
The Laugh Maker (18 May 1953)

Bill Clifton appears as "Montgomery", the piano-playing musical accompanist to the rising comedian character of Jerry Giles (Jackie Gleason). Bill's piano playing alternates with some pleasant, lush orchestrations throughout the film. We hear flowing interpretations of "Pennies From Heaven" and the Jackie Gleason-penned "Melancholy Serenade" , performed in the distinctive Bill Clifton style.

Confessions of a Nervous Man

Studio One in Hollywood: Season 6, Episode 11
Confessions of a Nervous Man (30 Nov. 1953)

The establishing shot features Bill Clifton's powerful and graceful presence at the piano while playwright George Axelrod, as portrayed by Art Carney, discusses his performance with the bartender.