Pounding those 88s: Keyboards and Rock 'n' Roll - Smithsonian Associates

Monday, August 10 @ 6PM 

Paul Monday, pianist and Peacock recording artist, at the piano, 1950s (Smithsonian National Museum of African American History And Culture)

When you think about rock ’n’ roll, the first instrument that probably comes to mind is the guitar. But keyboards such as acoustic and electric pianos, organs, and synthesizers have been a huge part of the story, too. From Little Richard to the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, many of the greatest songs in rock are filled with keyboard openings, riffs, and solos that help make them so memorable and acclaimed.

In a lively session featuring film and audio clips, informed commentary, and live keyboard demonstrations, author and former classic-band keyboardist

how some of most-lauded early rock ’n’ roll artists—Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino—made pianos an integral part of their musical personas; how organs made their way into evolving rock with the British Invasion of the 1960s; and how synthesizers such as Mellotrons and Moogs added electronic punch to some of the most enduring songs of the 70s.