That same year, James was hit by a speeding ambulance and dragged for nearly 30 feet. His leg was broken in eight places, and as a result, he would forever walk with a limp. But, even worse, he was given morphine for the pain. This was an early introduction to drugs, which would play a hard role throughout his life. Years later, James would tell his friends that he became hooked on morphine during the recovery process, setting into motion decades of drug dependency. By 12, he had mastered the piano.
He was a very intelligent student, especially in math, Spanish and music classes. And, while still in school, he put together his first band, Booker Boy and the Rhythmaires, which also included Art Neville. James began to hang out at the studio while his sister was on the air. Soon the station managers discovered that he could play the piano and James became a regular performer himself on a Jazz and Blues show which aired on Saturdays.
He was quite impressive, often performing complicated numbers by composers such as Bach and Rachmaninoff. Eventually, the entire Booker Boy and the Rhythmaires became the featured artists on the show. Impressed by the broadcasts, Dave Bartholomew signed the young keyboard ace to Imperial Records in Bartholomew decided to use Booker in the studio to record the piano tracks for Fats Domino, so when Fats returned home, all the hit-maker needed to do was to lay down the vocal parts.
He decided to try his luck with James and scheduled a session for Booker and Art Neville. They were to be billed as Arthur and Booker, but Neville was unable to make the date and was replaced by Arthur Booker no relation to James. Over the next few years, James went on the road, playing with many of the popular bands of the day. It was a win-win situation for both of them, and sometimes he even performed local gigs when Smith accidentally double-booked himself.
Show details. Ships from and sold by Amazon. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Previous page. Classified [LP]. James Booker. Audio CD. King of the New Orleans Keyboard. New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!
Next page. Customers who bought this item also bought. Just Coolin' [LP]. Paul Chambers. Check out our turntable store for a great selection of turntables, needles, accessories, and more.
Amazon Business: Make the most of your Amazon Business account with exclusive tools and savings. Register a free business account. The Piano Prince of New Orleans. James Booker. January 1, MP3 Music, January 1, "Please retry".
Vinyl, December 16, "Please retry". Terms and Conditions. Does not apply to gift orders. Listen Now. Your Amazon Music account is currently associated with a different marketplace. Fix in Music Library Close.
Sample this album. Title by Artist. John and Harry Connick, Jr. James Booker - remember that name. You can find musicians who are really good at classical and you can find musicians who are really good at street music, but it's a special breed that can master both. But he grew up to originate a style of piano play that few can emulate. And I did not know James Booker at all. I had never even heard the name.
So, when it eventually started to dawn on me that that is a real guy and that he really did play this amazing music that's coming out of the jukebox, that sort of floored me.
He died almost 30 years ago - before Keber was born. And he loved people. But then if I ask them, you know, what was his family like? They don't know anything. How did he learn how to play piano? He could talk about anything in the world except himself. It might help that she comes from a family of academic researchers - and coal miners. Keber's not afraid of tumbling head first down a rabbit hole.
The problem is it's also very poetic. And so deciphering what he's actually saying in it has been very tricky. There's one line: When I was a young boy at the age of 9, I met a sweet Russian woman and I made her mine. Now, what does that mean? And they gave him morphine for the pain. And he always pointed to that to being the beginning of his addiction. The best I can tell, he spent all of his '60s and most of the '70s on heroin.
Luckily, I actually found an interview where he says precisely that. Retrieved July 6, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. ISBN OCLC Herald News. Woodland Park, NJ. Life section, E2. The San Francisco Chronicle. Dubai: Carlton Books.
ISBN X. The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 13, A SnagFilms Co. Retrieved October 20, Lost Live Dead. The Oxford American. Archived from the original on November 13, All About Jazz. Archived from the original on September 1, Offbeat Magazine. New Orleans, LA: nola. Retrieved October 5, The James Booker Collection: piano solo. Milwaukee, WI: H. Leonard Corp.