The Long Lunch

Happy Birthday to the Piano Man

Singer, songwriter and musician Billy Joel is 70 on the 9th of May.

billyjoelpic

Billy learnt piano as a youngster and he took up boxing as a teenager to defend himself.

After seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in '63, he was inspired to take up music as a profession.

Billy played in a few local bands and did some studio recordings that led to a record deal and his first album Cold Spring Harbor.

Billy supported the album by touring America and opening for various bands on the touring circuit.

The album failed and Billy started performing as Bill Martin in a piano bar to pay the bills.

This experience inspired his song Piano Man and the album of the same name cracked the Top 40.

His next two albums were disappointing but everything changed in 1977 with the album The Stranger.

The album contained future Joel classics Movin' Out, Just The Way You Are, She's Always A Woman and Only The Good Die Young.

Billy's next album 52nd Street became his first of many Number One hits.

In the 80's he dominated the charts with songs like Uptown Girl, It's Still Rock 'n' Roll To Me, Allentown, Tell Her About It and We Didn't Start The Fire.

Billy was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 but only released one album in the 90's The River of Dreams.

Billy continues to tour spasmodically but has only released one album in the past 25 years, the classic music release Fantasies & Delusions in 2001.