I've seen you in performance in Columbus, Ohio. And I moved from Tulsa the year before your conductorship there. My favorite recording of yours is "Mountain Greenery" from the 1960s. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PETER! https://themusicworkshop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/a.baa-Very-cool-piano-cake.jpg
My Dad, who passed away in 2009 at age 98 and 364 days, grew up in Eau Claire, Wis., where he was taught how to play piano by a blind teacher. Not being musical myself, I never could understand that, but I always enjoyed listening to my Dad play piano as I was growing up. He would always say, "I'm just messing around," but to my ear, he was good. When he wasn't playing piano, Dad loved to listen to a somewhat more accomplished piano player: Peter Nero. The first record he bought was "Up Close," and I must have listened to that record with my Dad a thousand times. Maybe more. I am not exaggerating. Dad also loved Al Hirt and Pete Fountain, so I grew up listening to a lot of Dixieland jazz as well. And he loved the big band sound and drumming of Buddy Rich. But more often than not, when Dad turned on the stereo, it was to play a Peter Nero record. Over the years, we added to the record collection. Peter Nero records made good birthday and Christmas presents for my Dad. I remember "discovering" the music of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass on my own, and then being absolutely thrilled to be able to give my Dad a Peter Nero record of TJB songs. Of course, nobody has ever played Gershwin better than Mr. Nero, and I've always loved his Gershwin "improvisations," not to mention his flawless rendition of "Rhapsody in Blue." As I grew into my teen years, Dad and I started going to Nero concerts together. There was one at Pepperdine University, and another at the Segerstrom Center in Costa Mesa, Calif., that also included Mel Torme — who sang AND played drums. WE also saw him perform with the Pacific Symphony — but always preferred him in the trio setting because he was the focus of attention. We always got seats "behind" Mr. Nero so Dad could watch his hands. "Watch his left hand," Dad would say to me. "Amazing." When Dad passed away, we had every Peter Nero record except for five. I then went to work to fill out the collection, and thanks to Amazon, I was able to do so within about a year. I also have about 20 compilation albums on which you'll find between one and five Nero performances. We also have tickets from most of the concerts we attended, as well as the programs. In 2015, when Mr. Nero played at Cal Berkeley, I took my new bride to see him... both for my own enjoyment, and to honor the memory of my Dad. (She loved him.) I will conclude this post with my favorite Peter Nero-related story. For 20 years, my folks owned the Balboa Bakery on the Balboa peninsula in Newport Beach, Calif. One morning, my Dad was taking care of the retail area while my Mom took a break, and a woman came in. She was absolutely gushing about having seen Liberace a few nights earlier while on vacation in Las Vegas. "He's the greatest piano player I've ever seen," she said. My Dad contemplated whether he should reply, but couldn't help himself. "I guess you've never seen Peter Nero," he said.
I was driving through Dallas on my way back to graduate school at North Texas State University. One of my friends was a Sunday DJ on KRLD-AM, so I turned him on. The first song that he played in that set was Peter Nero's "Night and Day." I bought the LP the next day from Ellison's Record Shop in Denton. I still have it.
Mr Nero it was wonderful to talk with you these last few days. I look forward to more in the future. Roy of Jackie and Roy.
Hey Pete, we get up to Sun Valley, ID, and take in their piano player, Joe Fos. He's pretty good, and a big fan of yours. His bass player knows Russ Barnette. Now that you are kicking back (in Florida?), maybe a trip to Idaho would be a fun break? Duckworth
Bernie, I turned 82 three days ago, and you're close to turning 83. Don't you think it's time that we got together again, after all these years? My sister lives in Boynton Beach, and Max Augustower lives in Boca. I still have the letters you wrote to me from Las Vegas. Best, Arthur
21 years ago I met you at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. I was 37 years old then. You were wearing an RCA badge and since my company had business with RCA I asked what you did. For whatever reason, I didn't notice your name on the CES badge. You told me you had written some songs but that I was probably too young to remember them or know who you were. I said, "try me". And you said....well, I wrote SUMMER OF 42 and I said, sarcastically ...."ya right....that was Peter Nero" ....at that moment I took another look at your CES Badge and saw it was really YOU! Not sure if you remember. I got your autograph. Today, I went through my 33 rpm LP collection and found your records and remembered our encounter on the CES floor 21 years ago. I still have your autograph and would love to hear you in person some day soon..
My husband, a former Brooklyn musician, sat here as I asked Alexa to play some Peter Nero. He was so surprised and I was able to tell him of a young 14 year-old girl who saw you live in her first concert in 1964; not the first time we have had this same conversation but all the sweeter for it. So, as you played we wandered down memory lane together with you. Thank you.
Just want to say you inspire me and always will.thank you for being you.
Dear Mr. Nero, My husband and I had the joy of seeing you last in Cape May, NJ. Right now, we are listing to Holiday Pops and loving it and missing you very much! Please take good care and we hope to see you again! Happy 2017!
Has anyone noticed that 2017 will mark 60 years since the release of the first piano album credited to the Bernie Nerow Trio? By 1961, once RCA Records had heard of his classical training, jazz savvy, and pop chops, they bought him the new name Nero and then happily sponsored him through ten years of the best pop-piano albums ever. If there could be a "highlight reel" teaching newcomers about his 60 years of disc-history it would have to include tracks like these: his baroque romp through the old dance tune "Pick Yourself Up," his powerful concerto-like playing on "Bess You Is My Woman," "Let's Not Waste a Moment," or "Black is the Color," or on his own concert piece "Blue Fantasy" -- then, too, the smooth triple-time fingering in his performances of "Scratch My Bach," "Just One of Those Things," or "Cherokee" and the graceful cross-hand phrasing on the second verse to "When the World Was Young" -- or consider the witty-literate mash-ups of Beethoven/Porter ("It's Alright with Me"), Rachmaninoff/Duke ("Can't Get Started"), deFalla/Arlen ("Out of This World"), or Schubert/Porter ("Easy to Love"). Newcomers will be impressed but for us longtime admirers it's not about "dazzle": the Nero technique is based on a beautiful lyrical touch on the keyboard and crisp articulation that only the best classical artists -- Perahia, Kissin, Dinnerstein -- have. It's on display in his version of Gershwin's "My Man's Gone Now," in his own ballad "Are My Dreams Real?" or especially in his remarkable jazz-trio medleys of "West Side Story" and "Porgy and Bess". Dazzle indeed. Newcomers gather 'round. This is an anniversary to celebrate and a career to treasure.
Mr. Nero - Just saw you in "Sunday in New York" on TCM and you were great! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with the world.
Thank you for everything. My first recording of yours was "Summer of 42" in 1971. I was 10 and studying piano in Dayton OH with the Wassons. Later my studies were with Joseph Esposito Jr. in Pittsburgh PA then at Duquesne University until singing with The Skyliners from 1981 till the present. I have my own show and am proud to include "Summer of 42"....your version of course! Isn't it something that all the beautiful piano music was part of top 40 radio?
As a teenager, vividly recall your appearance at 'The Imperial Room', in the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, in the late 1960s. Unforgettable. Gershwin was never the same after that. Rising star YUJA WANG has just attempted 'Rhapsody in Blue'(still a 'WIP' for her, although she nailed 'Concerto in F' a couple of years ago). You remain the template.
Hi Mr Nero, Attended a concert at the Sydney Town Hall in the 1970s and loved every note. Especially remember Mountain Greenery. Wishing you all the very best. Please keep playing for you and us. Thank you for the music.
I JUST VIEWED THE PERRY COMO KRAFT SHOW FROM BOSTON.I AM GUESSING THE EARLY 60'S.I VIEWED A YOUNG PETER NERO AT THE PIANO.VERY TALANTED.COMO IS MY IDOL.
I have several of your albums,and I saw you in person twice at the Melodyland Theatre in Anaheim,CA in the late '60s. One show was with Robert Goulet,one with Ed Ames. Years later,you signed my copy of the Summer of '42 album when you appeared at the Sundome in Sun City West,AZ. Happy birthday!
Dear Peter, Happy "82nd" Birthday! Hoping you can get to the Seattle area to do one of your spectacular concerts with your bassist, Michael Barnett in the future bookings. You've lead the musical world with your piano genius that no one has ever matched! Your performing has kept you forever young! The best to you always!
Dear Mr. Nero: I am 85 years old and I have enjoyed your music since I purchased "Piano Forte" in ll961. I have traveled to Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Arizona and Northern California whenever you appeared at any of these venues. I have all your albums, and most of your tapes and CDs that I could find. I keep the CD's in my car and never leave home without them. Anyone who rides with me has to listen to Peter Nero. No one has ever complained. You have no idea of the joy you have have given me these past 56 years. I am not in good health and I plan to be cremated. If I had chosen to be be buried or entombed, the only valuables I would have wanted to take with me are your recordings and John Stewart's TV tapes. You are a gift from God. The reincarnation of Franz Liszt, I believe. NO joke. Thank you
Hello Mr. Nero. As an aspiring musician and a senior in High School I had the wonderful opportunity to hear you perform at a Community Concert Association event in Parkersburg WV on February 4, 1975. Not only did I get to hear you perform, but I also had the opportunity to meet you after the show. It was an honor, and to this day I have the autographed photo that I received in February 1975 hanging in my den. Thank you for all that you have done!
Hello Mr Nero You have always been an inspiration to me, ever since I listened to The Colourful Peter Nero on vinyl as a child. Yesterday, I sat down to do some aural transcription and finally worked out the first 16 bars of your solo on Journey to Red Rocks - one of my favourites!
Hi Mr. Nero, Saw you performing at Lehman College for the Gershwin Project. Loved it !!!! Still waiting for the re issue of the On Tour album on CD. Finally got the Fantasy and Improvisations CD. You are fantastic. Thanks so much.
Dear Mr. Nero, My husband and I saw your performance in Scottsdale and I can honestly say I have never seen or heard ANYTHING that I enjoyed as much as your rendition of West Side Story. Absolutely a privilege to have gotten the chance to listen and watch you perform it. Thank you so much.
Hello Peter Hope you get this..not quite a year ago you performed at Berkley on campus (CA) and my younger sister saw you play. She was able to visit briefly after the concert and you were very gracious to her. Thank you for being so approachable all these years. Your musical influence was and still is priceless to me and to many others. Thank you for always remembering me....Betsy
Dear Peter, as you can hear Mr Dutton (Vocalion) has done a good job on Rhapsody (the horrible wooooov at 9:5). I asked him why not "recovery" Piano Forte. He asked me you do not allow it. Very strange. Roberto.
Dear Mr. N, This is a bit late, but here goes. My father, Mike Lucas, bought a baby grand that once belonged to you, back in the 70s. He was Johnny Mathis' tour pianist most of my growing-up years. My first music was heard on a George Steck grand, and it was then on your baby grand that I learned to play. Thank you, thank you.
-Mr. Nero,I´d like you to know that a few days ago, at a flea market, I found your "PIANO FORTE-THE MAGNIFICENT PIANO OF-PETER NERO, it´s an american edition, vinyl -of course- it´s almost new, I mean that it has a very good sound or audio; it´s a beautiful cover, Im very happy...greetings Mr. Nero.
I wish y'all had put "You are there" on a CD. It is one of my favorites. (I wish that I could play the piano like y'all. I still struggle with intermediate books after half a century of practice. I can't golf either. I once hit the same tree five times in a row. I wish I was kidding.)
Hello from Amsterdam Holland. To: Mr. Nero (Peter), It is with awe that I write you to tell you that at age 14, living in Amsterdam, I got the 'Sunday in New York' album as a birthday gift from my uncle, who was a great fan of yours. I loved the music instantly and I played certain tracks over and over again. As a little boy I dreamt of ever being a piano player like you (never reached that goal though). Until one day I left the record out on the table near the window and the vinyl got warped in the heat of the sun. No more Peter Nero... All these years I have searched and searched for a new copy and now, thanks to iTunes and AppleMusic I relocated the album and played it today. Tears filled my eyes when all the memories flooded back. How wonderful to hear it again! And thank you for the beautiful music you left us. I'll be Florida next year July (2016) and will try to locate your next performance venue. Keep on going; you look vibrant and energetic! Best regards, Eduard Vooren
My wife and I attended Peter latest concert in Missouri this year and enjoyed it beyond belief. We were watching a genius at work. He took us on a journey thru music forums of many forms . what a ride. we want to do it again. Clyde Ehrhardt