Earl Hines: The real Piano Man

28 Dec

Born on this day in 1903, Earl Hines was one of the first great pianists. Played at a Chicago club partly owned by Al Capone. Nicknamed “Fatha” after he lectured a broadcaster on his drinking; wasn’t fond of nickname. His tombstone — sorry Billy Joel — says: “Piano Man.” Died in 1983. “Most jazz pianists were either blues performers or stride pianists. Hines filled the space between these approaches.”

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