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I saw there were similar posts but didn't answer my question.
I am running php and mysql on the same server and I have access to the local database just fine. As for connecting to the remote server, I can telnet port 3306 and can also connect to mysql on the remote machine through command line no problems. I restored a copy of my databases from my local mysql to my remote mysql server using command "mysql -u -h -p". So it does not appear to be a permissions issue.
I thought maybe this was a module that was not installed. So I installed php-mysql and mod_auth_mysql with yum on the remote server then restarted mysql service. Still to no avail.
The error I am receiving from mysql_error() is:
Can't connect to MySQL server on 'servername' (13)
It restricts Apache remote database connection as default. So our scripts work in command line (# php sqltest.php), and mysql can connect to server but when Apache is involved (calling a php script as web page) then it doesn't work.