Just found your website via Jim Redfarn's site and noticed you want stories of how people got into playing boogie. My story is below.
Two wonderful men influenced me to play boogie: my late Great Uncle Ken and my dear dad Frank. Great Uncle Ken performed on the stage with his wife Marjorie during the war. As long as I can remember there's been a piano at my parent's house which Ken would come round and play at parties. When I was about 3 or 4 I started trying to play the piano myself so my parents organised lessons for me. Whilst I received classical training, I really wanted to play like Ken. His signature tune was 'Ballin the Jack'. Ken taught me the rolling left hand boogie rhythm which is used in the first 8 bars of Oscar's Boogie by Oscar Peterson. I was heartbroken when Ken passed away but his music lives on in me, and I have a photo of the two of us playing together on the wall above my own piano - probably playing Swanee River which was one of our favourites.
My Dad is a huge jazz and blues fan and, again, as long as I can remember he's been playing his vinyls and now recently his CDs of people such as Oscar Peterson, Earl 'Fatha' Hines, Albert Ammons, Art Tatum etc. Every Sunday after lunch he'd play his records. Also somehow Dad knew the late Joe Piano Henderson who gave me a bundle of his sheet music when I was about 8 - I was thrilled and played Trudie over and again. My sister and I finally took dad to see Oscar Peterson last year for Father's Day - wonderful.
My final influence was my classical piano teacher. She perhaps could see I didn't have the discipline to complete my classical training (I eventually failed my grade 8) so early on she gave me a wonderful book of Scott Joplin rags. Now that I DID have the discipline for. It was excellent training for both hands and to this day, Maple Leaf Rag is one of the few pieces I can play without music.
I'm 30 now and as my husband and I start contemplating having our own children, one of the things I look forward to most is being able to share with them and pass on my love of music.
Pam from America recalls...
Gee, how did I get turned on to boogie......
I've studied classical piano for many years and it just stopped being fun after awhile. I actually stopped playing except for the occasional Christmas carol. (I basically didn't play for almost 8 years after taking 10 years of lessons!)
A few months ago, a public radio station was doing a show on American musical roots. I have no idea who they were playing, but the minute I heard the boogie piano, I just knew I had to get back to the piano and learn some boogie. I started taking lessons a few months ago and have just mastered Pinetop's Boogie Woogie -- what a blast!
Not really boogie influences, but I've been a big fan of Marcia Ball for many years, and have loved Scott Joplin since I was a kid. Maple Leaf Rag was one of the few fun songs I learned to play in high school.
I've been ordering boogie woogie cds from Amazon for the last few months. Unbelievable musicians, but some pretty tough recordings. One I highly recommend is Blues 88's Boogie Woogie Piano Instrumentals. Cost only $7 or $8 and I can't stop listening to it! Katie Webster, Preacher Jack, James Booker, David Maxwell, Roomful of Blues -- most of whom I hadn't heard of until I got the cd. AMAZING boogie!
I have my piano lesson today in a few hours and I can't wait. I can truly say that boogie woogie has brought me back to playing and loving every minute of it.