Regarded as one of the most versatile trumpet players in the music business, Terran had an impact on the Los Angeles music scene for more than four decades as a specialist of many musical styles. He performed and recorded with many artists including Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Perry Como, Linda Ronstadt, Benny Goodman, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Bonnie Raitt Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Bob Hope, Barbra Streisand, Chicago, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Bee Gees, The Tijuana Brass and The Baja Marimba Band.
Terran played on many recordings of television shows and film soundtracks such as I Love Lucy, The Lucy Show, The Brady Bunch, I Dream of Jeannie, Happy Days, Popeye, The Carol Burnett Show, Cheers, L.A. Law, The Simpsons, Star Trek, Rocky I, II and III, The Karate Kid I, II and III, The Natural, All the President's Men, Broadcast News, Field of Dreams, Grease, An Officer and a Gentleman, Ghostbusters, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deep.
He was also a featured soloist for composers and conductors including Nelson Riddle, John Williams, Patrick Williams, David Shire, Lalo Schifrin, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, Johnny Mandel, James Horner, Johnny Mandel, Charles Fox and John Barry. Terran received the Most Valuable Player award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1974.
Terran was in high school when he started working on live radio shows in Buffalo. In 1944, he arrived in Los Angeles after touring with Horace Heidt. In 1945, he began working with Bob Hope, and then with Desi Arnaz in 1946. His relationship with Arnaz helped shape Cuban/Latin music in the United States. Tony is the last surviving member of the Desi Arnaz Orchestra from the "I Love Lucy" television show. He had the distinction of playing on the first filmed television sitcom, and playing with some of the first R&B combo bands to use horns in the early 1950s.