Floyd Cramer, pianist

Floyd Cramer

October 27, 1933, Samti, LA ~ December 31, 1997, Nashville, TN

A distinctive pianist whose unique, slip-note playing style came to typify the pop-oriented Nashville sound of the late '50s and early '60s, session and solo musician Floyd Cramer was born October 27, 1933, in Louisiana. After a childhood spent largely in Arkansas, he returned to his home state in 1951 and began appearing on the radio program The Louisiana Hayride, where he performed with the likes of Jim Reeves, Faron Young, Webb Pierce, and, in his debut, Elvis Presley. While Cramer cut a few solo sides in 1953, his most important work in the early '50s was as a session musician, where he first met Chet Atkins, who encouraged the pianist to move to Nashville. He did in 1955, rejoining Atkins as the house pianist at RCA Records to begin developing what would ultimately be recognized as the Nashville sound, a style shorn of the elements associated with traditional country and honky tonk instead favoring a more polished, progressive sheen. With Atkins behind the production boards, Cramer began to perfect his unique style of playing, a method not dissimilar to guitar-picking in that he would hit one key and then slide his finger onto the next, creating a blue, lonesome sound. ~ Allmusic: Floyd Cramer ~ retrieved October 23, 2013 © Allmusic

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October 27, 1979 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (2) Michael Jackson, Don't Stop 'Til You Get Get Enough ~ #2 (3) M, Pop Muzik ~ #1 (1) Herb Alpert, Rise


Floyd Cramer ~ Inducted in the 2003 Country Music Hall of Fame ~ When the piano became an integral part of Nashville arrangements in the early 1960s, the pianist who shouldered the load was Floyd Cramer. He popularized the “slip-note” technique on dozens of hits by a wide range of artists, but deserves to be just as famous for his unerring taste and his understanding of what not to play. ~ 2003 © Country Music Hall Of Fame

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