Piano Rock Pioneers Helped Change the Face of Rock and Roll Music

Piano rock is not that old music style your parents or grandparents listened to. It first surfaced in the mid-1950's. At that time, piano rock pioneers such as Ray Charles and Jerry Lee Lewis were creating a new style of music. The main difference of this style is that it is the piano which plays the main role and not the guitar as it is in rock and roll. Modern rock piano players still use most of the techniques of those times.

Everyone knows about rock - it is a very popular music style and there is probably no person who has not heard about rock music. But in fact there are many different styles that rock involves. So, you can meet different "rock" styles these days. In what is now called "classic rock" everything is gathered around the guitar (in most cases, the electric guitar) with a strong bit on a background. Most of the music styles which are popular these days outgrew from rock and roll. One of the earliest kinds of rock style is so-called piano rock. And this style is mostly based on piano-like instruments.

Not so many musicians these days perform in that style but it is still popular. For example, famous singer Tori Amos uses piano as the main instrument following the tradition of piano rock pioneers. But of course, the most well-known figure of these days' piano rock is Elton John. Many people think of him as a pop artist but still he is considered to represent piano rock on modern scene.

Piano rock style appeared in the beginning of the rock and roll movement and was developed by piano rock pioneers. Of course, there are many different famous people who are considered as piano rock pioneer but usually only several musicians are treated as the main piano rock pioneers.

These piano rock pioneers are Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Jerry Lee Lewis. They are three main stones of piano rock and many other rock and pop styles. They brought a huge wave of inspiration to many musicians of different styles.

Probably, the most representative figure among piano rock pioneers is Ray Charles. His full name is Ray Charles Robinson and he was born in 1930 (September, 23). At the age of 5 he became blind but that fact did not prevent him from becoming a famous musician and in 1929 he introduced his first hit "Mess Around". And then many other hits from this great artist had followed. He soon became a piano rock icon - many modern musicians say that they were inspired by Ray Charles.

A great number of Grammy Awards and many other music awards belong to Ray Charles. And in 1994, Ray Charles for his great contribution to music (rock, soul and many other music styles) was inducted to the "Jazz Hall of Fame". There were many controversies in his life and political positions and that caused many different problems in his life. But talking about music almost everyone says that Ray Charles is the greatest.

Another big artist who represents piano rock pioneers is Jerry Lee Lewis. Like Ray Charles he is a great pianist but he is also a song writer (most of his songs are in country style). He was born in 1935 (September, 29) in Louisiana. His family was poor but they took a loan to buy him an old piano.

His first record was introduced in 1954. That was the beginning of his music career. Many people admired his active and sometimes even strange way of performing. Many modern piano rock artists try to perform just like Jerry Lee Lewis did in early days of his career. And in 1986 he was inducted into the "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame".

Even though he is much younger, Stevie Wonder also gave a lot to piano rock style. His music influenced many modern R&B artists.

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