Joe Giattina

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Joseph P. Giattina Sr (born 1907 - died August 7, 1998) was a musician, bandleader and insurance executive. Giattina pursued his love of music as first violinist for the Ensley High School orchestra and formed his own big band, the Bama Cardinals immediately after graduation.

The band debuted on WBRC-AM in 1925 and played every Sunday evening through 1931. After that he moved to Pensacola and led a band at the Casino Club there until 1936, at which point he returned to Birmingham and took a job with the Brown Service Insurance Company (now Liberty National Life Insurance) to support a growing family. He rose through the ranks and retired as a vice-president in 1974.

In 1978 the members of a Shrine band contacted Giattina to help them raise their commercial profile. The new Joe Giattina and his Bama Cardinals debuted that year and began playing weddings, parties and and community events. Giattina remained with the band until his wife, Grace suffered a stroke. He handed over the baton to Don Cornutt on December 31, 1992 at their annual new year's performance in the grand ballroom at The Club on Red Mountain. The band was immediately renamed the Joe Giattina Orchestra in his honor.

Giattina died in August 1998. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1990. His son, Joseph Giattina Jr became a prominent Birmingham architect.