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Dick Hyman

  • Born 8 March 1927, New York City

Keyboard Kaleidoscope coverThe ultimate musical chameleon. Dick Hyman's fame for being able to perform in virtually any musical style on any keyboard instrument has come to overshadow his accomplishments as a musician and arranger in his own right. Hyman studied at Columbia University and played with Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, Benny Goodman, and other jazz greats, but he says his best musical education came from working as a studio musician on radio and television in the 1950s, when he had to shift from one style to another as shows came and went throughout the day, and exceptional sight-reading and impromptu composition were essential survival skills. No one has kept track of many different recordings Hyman made under how many different names--ragtime piano as "Knuckles O'Toole," polka, light classical, "Living Trio" Three Suns clones are only a few.

He also recorded under his own name, beginning in the mid-1950s for MGM. His cover of "Moritat," on harpsichord with his trio, sold over a million copies in 1956 and was the most successful recording of the tune until Bobby Darin did it as "Mack the Knife." He was the musical director of "The Arthur Godfrey Show" from 1958 to 1961. He was an early staple of Enoch Light's Command label, for which he recorded light classical, swinging harpsichord, funky organ, and "now sound" combo albums. He also demonstrated his continuing interest in new keyboard instruments, releasing two of the earliest Moog albums. Hyman has stayed in demand as much as any musician around, working for TV, scoring film soundtracks for Woody Allen, and, more recently, as a jazz pianist and organist.

Recordings (a tiny sampling)

  • The Dick Hyman Trio Swings, MGM E3280
  • The "Unforgettable" Sound of the Dick Hyman Trio, MGM E3329
  • Beside a Shady Nook, MGM E3379
  • Red Sails in the Sunset, MGM E3483
  • Hi-Fi Suite, MGM E3494
  • 60 Great All Time Songs, Vol. 1, MGM E3535
  • 60 Great All Time Songs, Vol. 2, MGM E3536
  • 60 Great All Time Songs, Vol. 3, MGM E3537
  • 60 Great All Time Songs, Vol. 4, MGM E3586
  • 60 Great All Time Songs, Vol. 5, MGM E3587
  • 60 Great All Time Songs, Vol. 6, MGM E3588
  • Rockin' Sax and Rollin' Organ, MGM E3553
  • Dick Hyman & Harpsichord in Hi Fi, MGM E3606
  • 60 Great Songs That Say "I Love You," MGM E3724
  • 60 Great Songs from 60 Broadway Musicals, MGM3725
  • Whoop-Up!, MGM E3747
  • Strictly Organic, MGM E 3808
  • Moon Gas, MGM E 4119
  • A Zillion Strings, Everest ELP 1074
  • Provocative Piano, Vol. 1, Command RS 811 SD
  • Provocative Piano, Vol. 2, Command RS 824 SD
  • The Dick Hyman Trio, Command RS 832SD
  • Electrodynamics, Command RS 856 SD
  • Fabulous, Command RS 862 SD
  • Keyboard Kaleidoscope, Command RS 875 SD
  • The Man From O.R.G.A.N., Command RS 891 SD
  • Happening, Command RS 899 SD
  • Brasilian Impressions, Command RS 911 SD
  • Mirrors--Reflections of Today, Command RS 924 SD
  • Sweet Sweet Soul, Command RS 933 SD
  • The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman, Command RS 936 SD
  • Pieces for Moog, Command RS 938 SD
  • Concerto Electro, Command RS 951 SD
  • Organ Antics of Dick Hyman, Command RSSD 980-2
  • Cleopatra, Impulse
  • The Sensuos Piano of "D," Project 3 5054SD
  • Solo Piano Fantomfingers, Project 3 5057SD
  • I'll Never Be the Same, Sunset SUS-5140
  • Theme and Variations on "A Child is Born," Chiaroscuro
  • Genius at Play, Monmouth Evergreen MES/7065
  • Sullivan, Shakespeare, and Hyman, Monmouth Evergreen MES/7038

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