Steve Ferguson: Well-Tempered Piano 1

Steve Ferguson: Well-Tempered Piano 1
Title: Well-Tempered Piano 1
Label: CD Baby

Pertinent Facts 1. Born in Wash., D.C. 12/26/50. Father respected chemistry professor at Howard Univ. 2. Start piano lessons at 4. Still play piano bought for me at that time. Get first guitar at 8. 3. Live in Zurich, Switzerland 1961-2. High point of childhood. 4. Rejected by Stephanie Smith in 9th grade, 1964. Low point of childhood. 5. Move to Los Angeles, Ca Sept, 1965. Get chance to start over. 6. Attend Fairfax High. Prefer to stay in Trig class rather than attend free Byrds concert. Evidently not over Stephanie Smith yet. 7. Summer of Love, 1967. Graduate high school and explore Sunset Strip. Seriously naive and don't realize best friends are smoking dope. Meet Little Richard, who wants me to go on road as organist in his band. I decline, thinking college might be safer. 8. Enter UCLA at 16, Fall 1967. My rock band, The Odyssey, signs to Liberty Records and begin recording. 9. 1968 -- Group's 1st single well-received, but group breaks up because the bass player doesn't always show up and the lead guitarist opts for spiritual pursuits over show business. 10. 1969 -- Thoroughly discouraged, leave girlfriend, UCLA and LA. Work on ranch for summer in desert, 120 degrees. Come to senses and return to LA. 11. Fall 1969 --Start performing as singer-songwriter, doing recording sessions as sideman and going on road with Ry Cooder as pianist. 12. 1971 -- Move up into the hills of Topanga, north of LA. Sign deal with David Geffen's Asylum Records and begin first solo album. 13. Fall 1972 -- Open for Joni Mitchell at LA's Troubadour. Finish album and travel to East Africa, India, Thailand, Japan and Hawaii. 14. Feb. 1973 -- Start touring solo, but album not released until after tour. Gets good reviews, but doesn't sell well. Record company admits to not knowing how to market me 'because I'm too black for the white radio stations and too white for the black, but they love my music and hope I'll stay on the label'. I 'stay', but am not allowed to record again for three years. 15. Spring 1973 -- Sign publishing deal with Warner Bros Music. Jennifer Warnes records my 'Mama' and 'You're The One I Love'. Mary McGregor records former on hit album and latter song also recorded by The Carpenters, Jane Olivor, Janie Fricke among others. Best selling song to date. 16. Mid 70's -- Karla Bonoff records 'Flyin' High' on her debut solo record, Andrew Gold records 'Hope You Feel Good'. Continue performing solo, opening for Linda Ronstadt, Poco, Wendy Waldman, Al Stewart, John Hammond, Jr., among others. 17. 1976 -- Record second album for now Elektra-Aylum in Woodstock and Burbank, but is not released. Instead, I'm released from label and manager suggests I move to Berkeley. 18. 1977 -- Spend 18 mos rehearsing with new band, 'The Blackhawks' and play one 25 minute set at Troubadour. Two major labels interested. Do demo for Elektra-Asylum, but band disintegrates in studio before demo can be submitted. Take hard look at career. 19. Early 1978 --Move in with girlfriend Chrys and her 4 yr-old son Joaquin, also in Topanga. Try family life. 20. Early 1979 -- Family life works, get married to Chrys. Start taking on any music job I can get. Play weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, cocktail parties, political fund-raisers, film events, jazz clubs, sidelining and small parts in films and tv. Work repertoire of 20's through 60's material, frequently using small bands. 21. May 1980 --Son Miguel is born. Eventually also becomes musician. Violist, composer, arranger, plays lots of recording sessions. Member of 'Supernova' jazz string quartet. Proud parents. 22. Early 80's -- Play guitar and piano with Johnny Otis, guitar with Screamin' Jay Hawkins, piano with Etta James. After Hawkins drives band van from Seattle to LA in about 4 hrs, I decide to stop touring and stay in town for awhile. 23. Feb 1986 -- Daughter Frankie is born and I begin playing background piano at popular restaurant, 72 Market St. Within month I'm hired at two other upper-scale eateries and I find myself booked every night for three years straight. 24.Through 2001 -- I am happy to get paid to improve my musicanship and develop a repertoire of my own favorites, which include Bach, Mozart, Chopin and other classical composers, operatic transcriptions, Beatles, Motown, country, folk, bluegrass, old-timey, Gilbert and Sullivan, British, French and American Vaudeville, movie tunes including those made famous by Astaire, Garland and The Marx Bros, TV songs and my own compositions as well. I meet and play for the most famous people in the world. I get to play Gene Autry tunes for two hrs for Gene and have a great chat with him afterwards. I play Beatle tune for Ringo and George, Miles Davis tunes for Miles, who asks me for my card and Motown tunes for Berry Gordy, who sits right next to me and we chat as I play. I play Mahler for Zubin Mehta who also sits right next to me and responds approvingly. Baryshnikov, Billy Wilder, Elizabeth Taylor, Clint Eastwood -- I am continually surprised as to who might be sitting at the next table listening to my music. I eventually developed the repertoire and the stamina to play for 6 or 7 hrs without stopping or repeating myself. I get hired to play for private functions, including one for then-President Clinton, who comes over to the piano to talk music. I make more money than I ever did in the more 'prestigious' recording industry and get to become a better musician in the process. Eventually, however, the economy's plummeting affects the expensive restaurants. Some are forced to close, some are forced to go back to piped music, styles and habits change and I along with them. Chrys says I've been getting 'kinda squirrelly' and I decide to concentrate on composing. 25. 2004 -- I record my 'Well-Tempered Piano, Bk.1' at the same Hollywood studio where Stravinsky, Art Tatum, Mario Lanza, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and many others have recorded. Elvis recorded Jailhouse Rock' and 'Love Me Tender' there. Bing Crosby recorded 'White Christmas' there and I'm looking for all the help I can get. I call on my predecessors for their blessings and record my CD in one night. 26. March 2005 -- My CD is released on my own 'Gypsy Hollow Music' label and I'm currently composing Bk. 2 of the same project and preparing to record a CD of some of my vocal tunes in April. By the end of this year, Gypsy Hollow Music should be able to offer these three CDs for purchase at this website.

1.1 The Ry Cooder Rag
1.2 Stomp Furioso
1.3 Creole Days
1.4 Demimonde in Half-Light
1.5 Frenchy's Waltz
1.6 Reflection in the Water
1.7 The Yearning
1.8 Chesapeake Special
1.9 The Farmer and His Crops
1.10 Mourning Song
1.11 After the Rain
1.12 Cross-Eyed Katie with the Two Left Feet
1.13 Frankie
1.14 Sir Galliard
1.15 Linda
1.16 Stomp Serioso
1.17 Juba Jubilee
1.18 Whistler's Waltz
1.19 The Funeral Waltz
1.20 Stomp Melanchole
1.21 Banjorine Sousette
1.22 Jelly's Last Ride
1.23 The Bird in the Hand That Got Away
1.24 A Mother's Song

Steve Ferguson: Well-Tempered Piano 1

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