Peter Van Wood was born as Peter van Houten in The Hague. He began playing guitar when he was fourteen years old, and studied at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. At the same time he started listening to great jazz guitar players and began playing in small groups in and around the Netherlands.
He was among the first to use the electric guitar with special effects such as echo and reverb. In 1946 he performed at the London Palladium and in 1947 and 1948 he toured all over the world, including concerts at the Olympia theatre in Paris and at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
About this time he acquired his signature guitar, a custom Gretsch White Falcon; this was allegedly a personal gift or "endorsement" from Fred Gretsch, and was humorously dubbed by an Italian TV host "the Texan milkman's guitar".
In 1949 he moved to Italy. After a series of concerts and shows in Naples, he was contacted by pianist and singer Renato Carosone, who was asked to put together a group for a club's opening night, and the Trio Carosone, with Gennaro "Gegè" Di Giacomo on drums, was formed. The trio recorded several albums for the Pathé record label, and then became a quartet with the Hungarian Romani musician Elek Bacsik on bass, guitar and violin.
In 1954 Van Wood left the Trio Carosone in order to devote himself to his solo career. He formed a quartet, which signed for Fonit and released many successful records.
Van Wood Quartet - Fofo piccolo fofo