Lucy; “Come on dad, I’m trying to take a nap here.”
“You’re just not going to let it go until you get a photo are you? Okay, take the picture already.”
Monday’s Music Moves Me
WooHoo…it’s freedom of choice week! Last time I had my pick I chose to feature Mr. Leon Russell. Leon was an iconic cog in a large wheel of talented piano players/keyboard artists in rock n roll music. So, today I am going to feature a few more ivory ticklers that you may or may not recognize. First up is none other than “Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee was one of the first “Wild Child” musicians in rock n roll, both on and off stage. He had two famous cousins, the Pentecostal evangelist Jimmy Swaggart and country music legendary piano player Mickey Gilly. Jerry Lee was the first keyboard player to get up off of the bench and pound the piano into submission. He, like Leon Russell was a major influence on Sir Elton John. While Lewis was a founding father of rock n roll, he was also a very good country artist, so I have selected one of his performances from the country side to feature here.
Who am I kidding? You have to see “Killer” in the beginning, when the whole world was asking what this thing called rock n roll was all about. It was all about A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On!!!
One of my all time favorite keyboard masters was Ray Charles. Two of the first albums that I owned were by Ray. I also own one of his last albums, a duet compilation with various artists. Ray injected rock n roll with a heavy dose of the blues and the sound was awesome.
Next up is an artist that played in Ray Charles group before going his own way. Most bands have three guitars, lead, rhythm and bass, a drummer and maybe a keyboard. How many groups do you know that have three keyboards on the platform, a baby grand, a Hammond B3 organ, and electric keyboard? Billy Preston also had a horn section similar to Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chicago. It all made for a great sound.
I know, there was Fats Domino, Billy Joel, Floyd Cramer and others that I have left out, but no list of great keyboard artists is complete without Sir Elton John. I have been a fan of his since the beginning. I saw him twice in concert and they were the best concerts that I ever attended. The word “showman” just barely describes Elton’s talent and ability to connect with the crowd. The first time I heard “Your Song”, I was a fan and I purchased every Elton John album over the next decade. Elton is preparing for a three year farewell tour, but we will always have his recordings.
I saw Elton in the early 70’s and he rocked the house with Pinball Wizzard. This clip from his Vegas show is even more theatrical than his early efforts. Play on Elton, play on!