The Life of Billy Joel

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The Life of Billy Joel Billy Joel was born on May 9, 1949 in Bronx, New York. He moved at the age of four to a small town on Long Island. This is where at the ripe age of four he discovered the art of music. Originally a classical music fan, Billy Joel honed his skills with classical piano training. This undoubtedly has had a major influence on his life and certainly his music. Growing up Joel was a big fan of such greats as Ray Charles, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Otis Reading. He was greatly persuaded into a career of music when he saw the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show. Amusingly Joel's first band was inspired by the uncanny opportunity to meet girls. The band was called The Echoes, but this was not the best of times for Joel because his parents were involved in a messy divorce, which included serious financial shortcomings. Joel even began working professional music gigs at night to help support his mother. Joel's schoolwork suffered a little and he began missing school way too often. He was subsequently not allowed to graduate with his high school class due to the number of absences. After high school Joel immediately joined a very popular band called The Hassels for which he recorded two albums with. Within two years Joel was on to a new band which he named Attila, and featured heavy metal drummer Jon Small who he played with during his time with The Hassels. Despite the previous release of two albums Joel still needed to bring in more money so he worked many music related jobs and gigs. He even wrote a rock and roll criticism piece in a weekly column for a magazine. By 1972 Billy Joel was finally on to the big stage when he released his first solo album named, Cold Spring Harbor. He named the album after a small village near his hometown on Long Island's North Shore. This album began to get air time when a Philadelphia based radio station, 93.3 WMMR began playing a live version of a new song called, Captain Jack. Despite its popularity on the east coast, Joel went west in search of some notoriety. He performed in piano bars regularly under the name Billy Martin. This experience is the basis for his hit song, Piano Man. As the popularity of Captain Jack spread west Joel was offered a contract with Columbia Records where he quickly produced top 20 hit, Piano Man.

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