[Dixielandjazz] Re: The "Music" of Fred Astaire

Bill Haesler bhaesler at bigpond.net.au
Wed Dec 1 14:34:58 PST 2004

Dear John,
You said in part: > Somebody .... once told me that Astaire was quite a
decent pianist. ...... "Not My Girl" - an Astaire composition ......
contains a great piano solo which I learned later was played by Oscar
Peterson. Is there any truth in the rumours of his alleged piano playing
Of course there is! Peterson is a magnificent pianist.
Just kidding.
So far as Fred Astaire's pianistic ability was concerned, we have to accept
hearsay. Although Astaire recorded extensively as a vocalist (and dancer)
from 1923-1942, there are no examples (that I can find) of his playing on
any of these records. Most of which I have.
Although Fred is seen playing piano in some of his films, I suspect that the
actual playing was by Johnny Green, a dance band leader who was associated
with many of Astaire's records and was musical director for his radio series
in the mid 1930s.
The LP albums made in 1952, 1958, 1959 and 1960 feature famous jazz people,
but nothing by Fred on piano.
Kind regards,


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