Thursday, 25 December 2014

The History Of Floyd Cramer

Floyd Cramer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Floyd Cramer
Floyd Cramer (1965).jpg
Floyd Cramer (1965)
Background information
Birth nameFloyd Cramer
BornOctober 27, 1933
ShreveportLouisiana, United States
OriginHuttig, Arkansas, United States
DiedDecember 31, 1997 (aged 64)
Associated actsElvis PresleyChet Atkins,Patsy Cline
Floyd Cramer (October 27, 1933 – December 31, 1997) was an American Hall of Fame pianist who was one of the architects of the "Nashville sound". He was known for his "slip note" piano style, where an out-of-key note slides into the correct note.




Born in ShreveportLouisiana, Cramer grew up in the small town of HuttigArkansas, teaching himself to play the piano. After finishing high school, he returned to Shreveport, where he worked as a pianist for the Louisiana Hayride radio show.
In 1953, he cut his first single, "Dancin' Diane", backed with "Little Brown Jug", for the local Abbott label. During 1955 he played dates with an emerging talent who would later figure significantly in his career, Elvis Presley.[1][2]
Cramer moved to Nashville in 1955 where the use of piano accompanists in country music was growing in popularity. By the next year he was, in his words, "in day and night doing session".[3] Before long, he was one of the busiest studio musicians in the industry, playing piano for stars such as Elvis PresleyBrenda LeePatsy Clinethe BrownsJim ReevesEddy ArnoldRoy OrbisonDon Gibson, and the Everly Brothers, among others.[4] It was Cramer's piano playing, for instance, on Presley's first national hit, "Heartbreak Hotel". However, Cramer remained strictly a session player, a virtual unknown to anyone outside the music industry.
Cramer had released records under his own name since the early 1950s, and became well known following the release of "Last Date", a 45 rpm single, in 1960.[5] The instrumental piece exhibited a relatively new concept for piano playing known as the "slip note" style. The record went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The song was kept out of the No. 1 position by Elvis Presley's "Are You Lonesome Tonight".[6]
In 1961, Cramer had a hit with "On the Rebound", which went to No. 4, and No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart.[7] ("On the Rebound" was later featured during the opening credits of the 2009 Oscar-nominated film An Education, which was set in England in 1961.) That same year Cramer also had a hit with "San Antonio Rose" (No. 8).
By the mid-1960s, Cramer had become a respected performer, making numerous albums and touring with guitar maestro Chet Atkins and saxophonist Boots Randolph; he also performed with them as a member of the Million Dollar Band.
Over the years, Cramer continued to balance session work with his own albums. Many of these featured standards or popular hits of the era and from 1965 to 1974 he annually recorded a disc of the year's biggest hits prefaced "Class of . . ." Other long-players included I Remember Hank Williams (1962), Floyd Cramer Plays the Monkees (1967), Sounds of Sunday (1971) and Looking For Mr Goodbar (1978). In 1977 Floyd Cramer and the Keyboard Kick Band was released, on which he played eight different keyboard instruments.[1]
Floyd Cramer died of lung cancer in 1997 at the age of 64 and was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in the Nashville suburb of MadisonTennessee.


His grandson, Jason Coleman, inherited his grandfather's skill on the piano, performing with him on television and in concert at a young age. At age 17, he played "Please Help Me, I'm Falling", the first song to feature Cramer's signature slip notes, with Hank Locklin at the Grand Ole Opry, and two years later played piano for the Medallion Ceremony at Cramer’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He carries on his grandfather's legacy with recordings and a touring tribute concert, The Legacy of Floyd Cramer, sharing the piano arrangements and story of Cramer's contributions to American music.


In 2003 Floyd Cramer was inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2008 Cramer was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, offers the Floyd Cramer Competitive Scholarship.


NME - November 1961[8]



YearAlbumChart PositionsLabel
US CountryUS
1957That Honky Tonk PianoMGM
1960Hello BluesRCA
1961Last Date
On the Rebound70
1962America's Biggest Selling Pianist
Floyd Cramer Gets Organ-ized113
I Remember Hank Williams130
1963Swing Along with Floyd Cramer
Comin' On
Three Great Pianos (with Peter Nero and Frankie Carle)
1964Country Piano-City Strings
Cramer at the Console
The Best of Floyd Cramer
1965Hits from the Country Hall of Fame10
Class of '65107
The Magic Touch of Floyd Cramer
1966The Distinctive Piano Style of Floyd Cramer
Only the Big Ones
Class of '66123
1967Night Train
Here's What's Happening!20166
Floyd Cramer Plays the Monkees
Class of '6721
We Wish You a Merry Christmas26
1968Floyd Cramer Plays Country Classics16
Class of '68
Floyd Cramer Plays MacArthur Park36
The Best of Floyd Cramer Volume 2
1969Class of '6931
Floyd Cramer Plays More Country Classics17
1970The Big Ones, Vol. 2183
With the Music City Pops
This Is Floyd Cramer39
Class of '7043
1971Almost Persuaded
Chet Floyd & Boots (with Chet Atkins and Boots Randolph)
Sounds of Sunday44
Class of '7134
Class of '72
Best of the Class of Floyd Cramer
Date with Floyd Cramer
1973Floyd Cramer Plays the Big Hits
Super Country Hits
Class of '7334
1974Young and Restless
Spotlight On
Floyd Cramer in Concert25
1975Piano Masterpieces 1900–1975
Class of '74 and '75
1976Floyd Cramer Country46
1977Floyd Cramer & the Keyboard Kick Band50
Chet Floyd & Danny (with Chet Atkins and Danny Davis)46
1978Looking for Mr. Goodbar
1979Super Hits
1981Great Country Hits
The Best of the West
198220 of the Best
1985Collector's Date
Country ClassicsPair Records
1988Special Songs of LoveStep One Records
Country Gold
Just Me and My Piano
1989Forever Floyd Cramer
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
1991Gospel Classics
1994The Piano Magic of Floyd CramerRanwood
1995Favorite Country Hits 1
1996The Piano Magic of Floyd Cramer 2
1997Blue Skies
Favorite Country Hits 2


YearSingleChart PositionsAlbum
US CountryUS R&BUS ACCAN Country
1958"Flip Flop and Bop"87Last Date
1960"Last Date"2113
1961"On the Rebound"416On the Rebound
"San Antonio Rose"883
"Your Last Goodbye"63America's Biggest Selling Pianist
"Hang On"95
1962"Chattanooga Choo Choo"36(single only)
"Let's Go"90Floyd Cramer Gets Organ-ized
"Lovesick Blues"87I Remember Hank Williams
"Hot Pepper"63(singles only)
"Swing Low"110
"Losers Weepers"127
1963"Java"49Swing Along with Floyd Cramer
"(These Are) The Young Years"129Comin' On
"How High the Moon"121(single only)
"Heartless Heart"124Country Piano-City Strings
1967"Stood Up"53(single only)
1977"Rhythm of the Rain"67Floyd Cramer & the Keyboard Kick Band

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