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Piano for dummies - Blake N.

Blake N. Piano for dummies - IDG, 1996. - 353 p.
Download (direct link): pianofordummies1991.pdf
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Bitty Joel
Not your average kid, Bill Joel (born in New York in 1949) was a classically-trained musician, member of a street gang, and a boxer. He once broke his nose in the boxing ring, but I’m sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the piano-playing thing. His first album, released in 1971, was titled Cold Spring Harbor After its release, he moved to the West Coast and played in piano bars. Appropriately enough, his first big seller was a song titled “Piano Man,” followed by “The Entertainer.” He continues to sell out concerts around the world and has recently focused his attention on composing concert music for the piano, a slightly less aggressive career than boxing, wouldn’t you say?
Elton John
At the age of 11, Reginald Kenneth Dwight (born in England in 1947) studied piano at the Royal Academy of Music. He auditioned for Liberty Records, who suggested he team with another auditioner, lyricist Bernie Taupin. Publisher Dick James signed the songwriting team as house songwriters. Since his American debut in 1970, John has set many chart-topping records: first album to enter the charts at #1, first artist since The Beatles to have four albums in the Top Ten at once, and best-selling single record in the history of recorded music for “Candle in the Wind 1997.” Not too shabby, huh? His highly acclaimed work on Disney’s animated film, The Lion King, won an Oscar for Best Original Song.
282 Part VII: The Part of Tens
Topping the charts
You can’t have a #1 record without recording one first. The following list features some of the albums that won these artists the gold:
. Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes (Atlantic); From the Choirsirl Hotel (Atlantic).
J' Billy Joel: Greatest Hits, Volumes I & II (Columbia).
J1 Elton John: Greatest Hits (MCA); The One (MCA).
Southern Stars
New Orleans is well known for Mardi Gras, crawfish, and a particular brand of jazz. But what about the rest of the South? Get on the bus and travel to other Southern locales that have given the world some unforgettable pianists, new musical styles, and .. . rhubarb pie.
Ray Charles
Blind since childhood, Ray Charles Robinson (born in Georgia in 1930) began playing piano at the age of 5. He attended the St. Augustine School for the Blind and learned to read music in Braille. In 1945, he left school and toured with a band through Florida. As his notoriety grew, he decided to shorten his name to Ray Charles to avoid any confusion with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson. In 1955, he had his first big hit, titled “I’ve Got a Woman.” He is credited as the main influence behind the transformation of R&B into what’s now considered Soul music. Through his music, Charles is a legend; with his trademark smile, he is an icon.
Ftoyd Cramer
Upon graduation from high school in Arkansas, young Cramer (1933-1997) moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, and joined a band for the radio show The Louisiana Hayride. Soon after, he became a highly sought-after session player for such legendary artists as Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers. Wisely taking the advice of Chet Atkins, he moved to Nashville In the mid-1950s and quickly established himself as a legend — he will be forever remembered as the person who successfully adapted country guitar style to the piano ... and without plucking the strings!
Chapter 18: Ten Types of Performers and Their Recordings
Dr. John
Malcolm (Mac) Rebennack (born in Louisiana in 1942) grew up playing piano and guitar. A session player in high demand, he began producing and arranging in his early twenties. A move to Los Angeles brought session work with the legendary producer Phil Spector. It’s not difficult to see how being raised in New Orleans might lead to an interest in voodoo. And from this interest came the self-appointed alias Dr. John Creaux the Night Tripper. Such a big, exotic name garnered a big, exotic cult following. Over the years that followed, he has recorded with such artists as Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Mike Bloomfield. His unique style is punctuated by a blend of blues, rock, boogie, and jazz.
Scott Joplin
As a teenager growing up in Texas, Scott Joplin (1868-1917) was known all over Texas and Arkansas for his improvisational piano skills. His specialty was a new form of piano music called ragtime, named for its “ragged” syncopated rhythms. His playing at the Maple Leaf Club inspired his first important composition, “The Maple Leaf Rag,” an enormous hit all over the world. A few years later, a second hit was born in “The Entertainer.” You may remember this song as the theme used in the motion picture The Sting. After his death in 1917, he and his music were all but forgotten until a 1950 book titled They All Played Ragtime first called attention to the genius that he was.
Cooking up a collection
Stir the beans, warm the cornbread, and mix up the following recordings in your stereo for a taste of Southern-fried masterpieces:
« Ray Charles: Genius and Soul — 50th Anniversary (Rhino).
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