Saturday, 30 September 2017

Frankie Lymon born 30 September 1942

Franklin Joseph "Frankie" Lymon (September 30, 1942 – February 27, 1968) was an African-American rock and roll/Rhythm and blues singer, best known as the boy soprano lead singer of a New York City-based early rock and roll group called The Teenagers.
Frankie Lymon was born in New York City on December 30, 1942. When he was 12 years old, Lymon was working in a grocery store when he met the Premiers, a group of singers from the neighbourhood. Having sung gospel music in his father’s group, Lymon made the youthful transition to secular music, joining the Premiers (Herman Santiago, Jimmy Merchant, Joe Negroni and Sherman Garnes) who renamed themselves the Teenagers.
 In the spring of 1955, the group got together and rehearsed the song “Why Do Birds Sing So Gay?” Soon after, an audition was arranged, the song was transformed into “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” and by February 1956, the song had reached Number One. Lymon, who had just started junior high, suddenly became a star and an idol.
The group went on to star in Alan Freed’s package shows and movies and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand. The Teenagers toured America and went to London, where they appeared at the Palladium. By the end of 1956, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, with Lymon singing the high parts in his clear, pure boy soprano, were one of the most popular groups in the world.
The group continued to release several memorable songs over the next few months including, 'Baby, Baby,' 'I Want You To Be My Girl,' 'I'm Not A Juvenile Delinquent,' 'Goody Goody,' 'Please be Mine,' 'Paper Castles,' and 'ABC's Of Love,' among many others. After being together for about 18 months, and numerous successes, Lymon's manager wanted him to try a solo career. Lymon took his manager's advice and after only playing half way through there London Palladium Tour in London, England, Lymon left the group behind and headed out on his own.
Both Lymon's solo career and the 'Teenagers' career without Lymon were unsuccessful and both parties fell apart. Though only together for a short period of time, the group did help pave the way for such personalities as, 'The Jackson 5,' and Michael Jackson on his solo career. He also gave Motown founder Berry Gordy the idea to model his entire Motown production approach on him. Several artists have also used Lymon's type of music and sound including Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, and Len Barry.
Known for his 'hard way' of living Lymon's later life was plagued by several bad marriages, alcohol abuse, drug use, and his lust of fast cars. He was polygamist and allegedly never filed divorce on any of his wives and remained married to three women up to his death.
On February 27, 1968, at the young age of 26, Lymon died of an accidental heroin overdose. Following an outpouring of grief, Lymon was interred in the Saint Raymonds Cemetery in The Bronx, New York.
In 1992, a court battle ensude over the rights of the group's recording of 'Why Do Fools Fall In Love.' Originally it was noted Frankie Lymon was the author of the song, but in December 1992, the United States Federal Court ruled that Herman Santiago and Jimmy Merchant co-authored the song. In 1996, four years after the first ruling the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on the basis of the statute of limitations and authorship, gave the song rights back to Frankie Lymon and music producer Morris Levy.
In 1993 the group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and in 2000 the group were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
Frankie was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 1, 1994. Also that year a film based loosely on Lymon's life was released, simply entitled, "Why Do Fools Fall In Love."
As for other members of the Teenagers; Sherman Garnes died of a heart attack in 1978, and Joe Negroni died of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1978. (Info compiled from numerous sources incl.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Johnny "Country" Mathis born 28 September 1930

Johnny "Country" Mathis (September 28, 1930 – September 27, 2011) was an American country music singer and songwriter. He is credited with penning more than 500 tunes over the course of his long career.
John Mathis was born on September 28, 1930, in Maud, Texas. In 1949, he began singing professionally when he was signed to the Star Talent Label with partner Jimmy Lee Fautheree, as the country duo Jimmy and Johnny. Together they scored a Top 10 hit with "If You Don't Somebody Else Will" (1953).
In 1955, Jimmy and Johnny were teamed with Elvis Presley and the Louisiana Hayride stars for tours which increased their popularity. They also appeared on the Big D Jamboree. In 1951 they were signed to Capitol Records; they also recorded for Feature Records and Chess Records. Johnny was later replaced by Jimmy's brother, Lynn Fautheree; but the name of the duo did not change, as the producers feared a career slump.
By the mid-'50s, Mathis went solo, recording a string of records for Dallas' renowned D Records, (including a rockabilly single, "Bee-Boppin' Daddy," under the name Les Cole & the Echoes), Decca, United Artists, and Little Darlin.
Mathis also appeared in the Grand Ole Opry, The Wilburn Brothers Show, Nashville Now, and other country music shows. In the following years he wrote such hits as "Something In Your World", "Every Time I Look At You", "You Can Tell The World", "I Owe It To My Heart", and "I'm Gonna Thank Jesus".
In the early 1960s he signed with United Artists as a solo act, billing himself as Country Johnny Mathis to avoid being confused with pop singer Johnny Mathis, and had his biggest hit single with "Please Talk to My Heart" in 1963.
He is credited with penning more than 500 tunes over the course of his long career. Numerous artists have recorded his songs, including George Jones, Charley Pride, Johnny Paycheck, Tammy Wynette, Wanda Jackson and rocker Elvis Costello. Johnny also fell into the story of many Nashville songwriters of those days as he would often sell his share of rights to songs he had written, most still bare his name. His song accolades further include gold records, Country radio hits and BMI airplay performance awards.
From the 1970s to 1990s, he spent most of his time evangelizing across the country, writing and singing Gospel music.
Mathis suffered a massive stroke in February 1999, and was no longer able to perform. The stroke left him in poor health until his death from pneumonia, in Cornersville, Tennessee on September 27, 2011, on the eve of his 81st birthday. (Compiled mainly from All Music & Wikipedia)

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Vincent Youmans born 27 September 1896

Vincent Millie Youmans (September 27, 1898 – April 5, 1946) was an American Broadway composer and producer of the '20s and '30s. He wrote popular songs and became famous for his Broadway musical hits. Among his Broadway hit songs are "Who's Who With You," "Country Cousin" and "Oh Me, Oh My, Oh You."
Vincent Youmans' career began when he was four-years-old. He was born in New York to a hat chain owner and a housewife. His parents encouraged his musical genius when they gave him piano lessons at age four. His education took him to Trinity College, Heathcote Hall, and finally to Yale University where he studied engineering. With no interest in engineering, he dropped out of Yale. He then entered the U.S. Navy preparing musical shows for the troops. One of his songs was used by John Philip Sousa and renamed "Hallelujah" in 1927.
After his stint in the Navy, Youmans concentrated heavily on his musical career. His first Broadway hit "Who's Who With You" was performed in the 1918 show From Broadway to Piccadilly. In 1920
his song, "Country Cousin," was published and earned him a job at Harms Music as a pianist and song-plugger. Youmans then worked with Victor Herbert, assisting him in rehearsing singers for his musicals. The experience he gained in his first two jobs made him one of many successful composers of his time.
In 1923 Youmans collaborated with Herbert Stothart for the musical The Wildflower. Another show for the duo, Mary Jane McKane, was unsuccessful in 1923 but garnered much musical success for Youmans under its 1925 title No, No Nanette. It featured the songs "Tea for Two" and "I Want to Be Happy." During the late '20s Youmans did several Broadway musicals including Oh, Please, Hit the Deck, Rainbow and Great Day.
Success came for Youmans with Flying Down to Rio. The cast included such film legends as Gene Raymond, Delores Del Rio, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. With hits such as "Carioca," "Music Makes Me," "Flying Down to Rio" and "Orchids in the Moonlight," it is no wonder Youmans, along with Edward Eliscu and Gus Kahn, earned a 1935 Oscar nomination for Best Music in the film.
Unfortunately, in 1933 Youmans contracted tuberculosis and entered a sanatorium in Colorado. After a few years he was able to leave and parted to Louisiana where he began to compose again. In 1943 he opened The Vincent Youmans Ballet Revue in Boston. The show was full of ballet, puppets, music and costumes. Not a rousing success, the show ended without playing New York City as Youmans planned.
In 1945 Youmans was forced to return to the Colorado sanatorium because of his failing health. At the age of 48 he died in Denver, Colorado. "Through the Years" was played at his funeral. A popular musical figure on the Broadway circuit, Vincent Youmans was also a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.
(Compiled mainly from Biography by Kim Summers @ All Music)

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Lynn Anderson born 26 September 1947

Lynn Rene Anderson (September 26, 1947 – July 30, 2015) was an American country music singer known for a string of hits throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, most notably her 1970 worldwide megahit "(I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden." Anderson's crossover appeal and regular exposure on national television helped her to become one of the most popular and successful country singers of the 1970s.
She was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, but grew up in California, where her family moved when she was four. Her father, Casey, was a car salesman, and her mother, Liz, enjoyed some success as a country songwriter in the 1960s. Liz Anderson composed Just Between the Two of Us, a hit for Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens in 1964, and Haggard’s 1966 solo hit, All My Friends are Gonna Be Strangers.
The Haggard connection proved crucial to launching Lynn’s own music career. On a trip to Nashville with her mother, she sang informally with Haggard. Slim Williamson, owner of the small Chart Records, heard this performance and promptly offered Anderson a recording deal. Between 1966 and 1969 she had several minor country hits on Chart, notably I’ve Been Everywhere, Rocky Top and Too Much of You. At this time she was appearing regularly on national television in the Lawrence Welk show and occasionally touring with the Welk orchestra.
Anderson was best known for the worldwide crossover hit that she had in 1971 with Rose Garden. The song’s lyrics, written by Joe South and sung with unsentimental authority , dispensed hard-won wisdom about matters of the heart: “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden/ Along with the sunshine, there’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.” Lynn Anderson attributed its wider success, however, to her fellow Americans looking for something positive to take from the debacle of the Vietnam War.
“It was released just at the right time,” she said later. “People were trying to recover from the Vietnam years. The message in the song – that if you just take hold of life and go ahead, you can make something out of nothing – people just took to that.”
The song reached No 3 on the US Billboard pop chart and climbed to the same spot in the UK. This led to a memorable appearance by Lynn Anderson – all back-combed hair and yellow maribou feathers – on Top of the Pops. The single was No 1 in Germany and the LP of the same name from which it was taken remained for a quarter of a century the biggest-selling by a female country artist, until the advent of Shania Twain.
Although she went on to perform it for five US presidents, the song made her most proud, she said, when she appeared at a concert in Texas hosted by Bob Hope for soldiers returning from Vietnam. An operations base in neighbouring Thailand was known as “Rose Garden” and as she sang the opening notes of her signature tune, 5,000 Marines in dress uniform rose as one to salute her.
In the 70s she received numerous awards, including a Grammy in 1970 for Best Country Vocal Performance, and topped the country charts with such songs as You’re My Man, How Can I Unlove you, Keep Me in Mind, What a Man, My Man Is and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
Following the success of Rose Garden, she became, in 1974, the first female country singer to sell out Madison Square Garden. Yet by the end of the decade, her popularity was in decline and her last country hit of note came in 1983.
She was especially popular with British country music audiences, appearing several times at the annual international festival held at the Empire Pool, Wembley, now Wembley Arena. Anderson also starred as a country singer in Wreck on the Highway, a BBC Scotland television play in 1990.
Her parallel career as an equestrian began when she won the California Horse Show Queen title in 1966. She competed in show horse and cutting (separating a single animal from a cattle herd) events for many years and raised horses at her ranch in Taos, New Mexico.
Her marriage to Sutton ended in divorce, as did her second marriage, to the Texas oilman Harold Stream III. Her partner in recent years was the songwriter Mentor Williams, whose best- known song, Drift Away, she recorded in a new gospel version for her final album, Bridges, which was released in June 2015.
Anderson died on July 30, 2015 at the Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee from a heart attack at the age of 67. She had been briefly hospitalized due to pneumonia after vacationing in Italy. (Compiled from Wikipedia, The Guardian & The Telegraph)

Here's Lynn at the  Durango Music Spot, Nashville Music City Center, Nashville, Tennessee - Friday 7. June 2013.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Tarheel Slim born 24 September 1923

Allen Rathel Bunn (September 24, 1923 – August 21, 1977),who was sometimes credited as Alden Bunn and who performed as Tarheel Slim, was an American singer, guitarist and songwriter whose work spanned gospel, blues, doowop, R&B, pop, and rockabilly. After singing in various gospel groups he became a member of The Larks before recording with his wife Anna Lee "Little Ann" Sandford, and then as a solo performer.
Bunn was born in Bailey, North Carolina. He seems to have used both "Alden" and "Allen" as his forename at different times; researchers Bob Eagle and Eric LeBlanc state that his birth records read "Allen". Initially he worked in local tobacco fields, but by the early 1940s he had started singing with various gospel groups, including the Gospel Four and the Selah Jubilee Singers, where he joined the latter group's founder, Thermon Ruth. Bunn was the group's baritone and second lead singer, and provided guitar accompaniment.
In 1949, Ruth and Bunn decided to form a secular singing group as a spin-off from the Selah Jubilee Singers. Initially called the Jubilators, the group recorded for four different record labels in New York under four different names on one day in 1950. Eventually settling on the name The Larks, the group's recording of "Eyesight to the Blind" on the Apollo label, with lead vocals and guitar by Bunn, reached number 5 on the Billboard R&B chart in July 1951; and the follow-up, "Little Side Car", also sung by Bunn, reached number 10 on the R&B chart later the same year. The Larks then toured with Percy Mayfield and Mahalia Jackson. Bunn lived in New York from 1950 for the rest of his life.
Early in 1952, Allen Bunn (so credited) left for a solo career, first recording blues for Apollo, accompanied by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and then moving to Bobby Robinson's Red Robin label in 1953, when he was credited as "Alden Bunn" or "Allen Baum". Around 1955, he married Anna Lee Sandford (1935–2004), and they began singing together, recording as The Lovers for the Lamp label, a subsidiary of Aladdin Records. Their first record together, "Darling It's Wonderful", written by Bunn and arranged by Ray Ellis, reached number 15 on the R&B chart and number 48 on the Billboard pop chart, in 1957.Bunn also managed, and recorded with, a group known variously as the Wheels (on the Premium label) and the Federals (on the De Luxe label).
Bunn returned to solo recording, using the name Tarheel Slim, in New York in 1958, for producer Bobby Robinson's Fury label. His
first recordings for Fury, "Wildcat Tamer" / "Number 9 Train", have been described by AllMusic critic Bill Dahl as "a pair of rockabilly rave-ups", and by another reviewer as "pinnacles of New York rock'n'roll". Both sides of the record featured guitarist Jimmy Spruill as well as Bunn. However, the record was not a success at the time, and Bunn's later recordings for Robinson's Fire and Fury labels, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, were all co-credited to the duo of Tarheel Slim and Little Ann.
Their first record for Fire, "It's Too Late" – described as "a doom laden dirge with Slim's tremolo laden guitar work and Ann breaking down into a sobbing fit at the end" – reached number 20 on the R&B chart in 1959; the record was also issued on the Checker label. Later records by Tarheel Slim and Little Ann covered a variety of styles, including rockabilly, but none were commercial successes. The duo recorded briefly for Atco Records in 1963, but then disappeared from view.
In the early 1970s, Tarheel Slim was "rediscovered" by researcher Peter Lowry, and emerged to play solo, with acoustic guitar in the style of Brownie McGhee, at festivals and for college audiences. He recorded an album, No Time At All, released on Trix Records in 1975, with pianist Big Chief Ellis on some tracks. He also played with John Cephas on Ellis' own 1977 album.
Tarheel Slim was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1977, and died from pneumonia brought on by chemotherapy, at the age of 53. (Compiled from Wikipedia)

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Ray Charles born 23 September 1930

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004), known professionally as Ray Charles, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called "Brother Ray." He was often referred to as "The Genius." Charles was blind from the age of seven.
Ray Charles Robinson was born on September 23, 1930, in Albany, Georgia. His father, a mechanic, and his mother, a sharecropper, moved the family to Greenville, Florida when he was an infant. One of the most traumatic events of his childhood was witnessing the drowning death of his younger brother.
Soon after his brother's death, Charles gradually began to lose his sight. He was blind by the age of 7, and his mother sent him to a state-sponsored school, the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida—where he learned to read, write and arrange music in Braille. He also learned to play piano, organ, sax, clarinet and trumpet. The breadth of his musical interests ranged widely, from gospel to country, to blues.
Charles's mother died when he was 15, and for a year he toured on the "Chitlin' Circuit" in the South. While on the road, he picked up a love for heroin.
At the of age 16, Charles moved to Seattle. There, he met a young Quincy Jones, a friend and collaborator he would keep for the rest of his life. Charles performed with the McSon Trio in 1940s. His early playing style closely resembled the work of his two major influences—Charles Brown and Nat King Cole. Charles later developed his distinctive sound.
In 1949, he released his first single, "Confession Blues," with the Maxin Trio. The song did well on the R&B charts. More success on the R&B charts followed with "Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand" and "Kissa Me Baby." By 1953, Charles landed a deal with Atlantic Records. He celebrated his first R&B hit single with the label, "Mess Around."
A year later, Charles's now classic song, "I Got a Woman," reached No. 1 on the R&B charts. The song reflected an advance in his musical style. He was no longer a Nat King Cole imitator. His fusion of gospel and R&B helped to create a new musical genre known as soul. By the late 1950s, Charles began entertaining the world of jazz, cutting records with members of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Fellow musicians began to call Charles "The Genius," an appropriate title for the ramblin' musician, who never worked in just one style, but blended and beautified all that he touched (he also earned the nickname "Father of Soul"). Charles's biggest success was perhaps his ability to cross over into pop music too, reaching No. 6 on the pop chart and No. 1 on the R&B chart with his hit "What'd I Say."

The year 1960 brought Charles his first Grammy Award for "Georgia on My Mind," followed by another Grammy for the single "Hit the Road, Jack." For his day, he maintained a rare level of creative control over his own music. Charles broke down the boundaries of music genres in 1962 with Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. On this album, he gave his own soulful interpretations of many country classics. While thriving creatively, Charles struggled in his personal life. He continued to battle with heroin addiction. In 1965, Charles was arrested for possession.
Charles avoided jail after his arrest for possession by finally kicking the habit at a clinic in Los Angeles. His releases in the 1960s and '70s were hit-or-miss, but he remained one of music's most respected stars. Charles won a Grammy Award for his rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City." Three years later, he released his autobiography Brother Ray.
In 1980, Charles appeared in the comedy The Blues Brothers with John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. The music icon received a special honour a few years later as one of the first people inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Charles returned to the spotlight in the early 1990s with several high-profile appearances. He also recorded commercials for Pepsi-Cola, singing "You Got the Right One, Baby!" as his catchphrase, and performed "We Are the World" for the organization USA for Africa alongside the likes of Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen and Smokey Robinson.

In 2003, Charles had to cancel his tour for the first time in 53 years. He underwent hip replacement surgery. While that operation was successful, Charles soon learned he was suffering from liver disease. He died on June 10, 2004, at his home in Beverly Hills, California. During his lifetime, Charles recorded more than 60 albums and performed more than 10,000 concerts.
(Compiled mainly from

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Chico Hamilton born 20 September 1921

Foreststorn "Chico" Hamilton, (September 20, 1921 – November 25, 2013) was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.
He came to prominence as sideman with the likes of Lester Young, Gerry Mulligan, Count Basie and Lena Horne. Hamilton then struck out as a bandleader, first with a quintet featuring the cello as a lead instrument, an unusual choice for a jazz band in the 1950s, and subsequently leading a number of groups over the years that performed cool jazz, post bop and jazz fusion.
Chico Hamilton is almost as well known for his band leadership and ability to discover talented newcomers as for his subtle, creative drumming. As a teenager growing up in Los Angeles, Hamilton started playing regularly for the first time with a band that included classmates Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon, and Illinois Jacquet. He made his recording debut with Slim Gaillard, and studied drumming with jazz great Jo Jones during his military service from 1942-46.
After working briefly with Jimmy Mundy, Count Basie, and Lester Young, Hamilton joined Lena Horne's band in 1948, staying with her on and off for six years, including a tour of Europe. During this time, he also became an original member of the legendary Gerry Mulligan Quartet, which included Mulligan, Chet Baker, and Bob Whitlock. Successfully recording with them for three years (1952-55) on the Pacific Jazz label, Hamilton got his first shot as bandleader.
Hamilton's impact on jazz includes the introduction of two unique and distinct sounds: first in 1955 with his Original Quintet which combined the sounds of his drums, the bass of Carson Smith, the guitar of Jim Hall, the cello of Fred Katz, and the flute of Buddy Collette; and the second in 1962 with his own drums, the bass of Albert Stinson, the guitar of Gabor Szabo, the tenor sax of Charles Lloyd, and the trombone of George Bohanon.

Here’s “Beyond The Blue Horizon” from above EP

 One of the important West Coast bands, the Hamilton group made their film debut in the movie The Sweet Smell of Success, as well as highlighting Jazz on a Summer's Day, the film about the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. His second great band started in 1962 with Albert Stinson on bass, Gabor Szabo on guitar, Charles Lloyd on tenor sax and flute, and George Bohanon on trombone, bringing a fresh, new sound to jazz once again. Over the years, Hamilton's bands have had various personnel, but the quality of the musicianship has remained high. Some of the players who Hamilton nurtured in his bands include Jim Hall, Eric Dolphy, Ron Carter, Arthur Blythe, Larry Coryell, and John Abercrombie.
During the 1960s, Hamilton formed a company to score feature films and commercials for television and radio. In 1987, Hamilton was on the originating faculty at Parsons New School of Jazz in New York. During the same year, he formed a new quartet called Euphoria, and began touring in Europe. The quartet met with great popularity, and in 1992, their album Arroyo placed in the Jazz Album of the Year category in the Down Beat Reader's Poll. In 1995, a documentary of Hamilton's extraordinary life and career, Dancing to a Different Drummer, directed by Julian Benedikt, was presented twice on the French-German Arts Network, ARTE.
In June 1999, Hamilton received a Beacons of Jazz award from the Mannes College of Music at the New School University in New York City, Never one to rest on his laurels, Hamilton released four new albums in 2006 in celebration of his 85th birthday. In 2007, he was a member of the NEA's National Council on the Arts. He released "Twelve Tones of Love" on Joyous Shout! in 2009. In March 2011, he had a long recording session, resulting in 28 new tracks with his Euphoria group. Following a health setback in 2010, he and the group began weekly rehearsals at Hamilton's Penthouse A; which brought together the material which would comprise Revelation, an 11-track CD, released in 2011.
Hamilton died aged 92 of natural causes at his home in New York.on November 25, 2013 in Manhattan.
(Compiled mainly from the National Endowment for the Arts & Wikipedia).

Monday, 18 September 2017

Pia Beck born 18 September 1925

Pia Beck ( September 18, 1925 - November 26, 2009 ) was a Dutch jazz pianist and singer.
Pia was born Pieternella Beck in The Hague, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands. As a young child she was a natural talent on the piano. While members of her family all dabbled on various instruments, Beck had no formal training and has been said to possess a remarkable ear.
She began her career shortly after the end of WWII when she left home at the age of 18 to play the piano and sing in the Miller Sextet, performing in Belgium, Germany, Sweden and Dutch-India.
In 1949 she started her own combo. Her first composition, Pia's Boogie, became a hit. She regularly toured Europe and had her own stage in the seaside resort of Scheveningen near The Hague. Unable to read music she could still play boogie woogie, jazz, rock'n roll or blues.
In 1952 she made her first visit to the United States, where she performed annually until 1964. Due to so much flying she was nicknamed “The Flying Duchess.” New Orleans and Atlanta conferred honorary citizenships on her. Pia reached the height of her popularity in Europe in the 1950's and 1960's, particularly through her interpretations and unique phrasing of standards like 'Dancing on the Ceiling' and George Shearing's 'Lullaby of Birdland'. On several of her recordings from that period, she was accompanied by noted American jazz musicians, such as Milt Hinton and Barry Galbraith. Her friend Oscar Peterson, named her the best jazz pianist in the world .
In April 1965, she emigrated with her partner to the Costa del Sol , where she first started a piano bar.  After this bankruptcy took place, she explained the writing of travel guides and the brokerage .  In 1975 she made her comeback as an artist in the Circustheater in Scheveningen.  On September 18, 2003 (her 78th birthday), she performed a concert in the Castellum
Novum restaurant in Hilversum after which she retired. In her later years began concentrating on composing music and writing articles about jazz.
Pia Beck was one of the first artists open to her homosexuality. With her life partner Marga Samsonowski and three sons of Samsonowski from her marriage to disk jockey Pete Feldman , she lived in the Malaga district of Churriana in Torremolinos in southern Spain from 1965. Pia Beck died from a heart attack November 26, 2009 in Churriana, Spain. She was 84 years old.
In 2017 a previously unnamed bridge in Amsterdam was renamed Pia Beckbrug .
(Information vary scarce but managed to compile small bio from various sources mainly Wikipedia)