Floyd Cramer

Floyd Cramer

American pianist
Date of Birth: 27.10.1933
Country: USA

Biography of Floyd Cramer

Floyd Cramer, an American pianist, was born in 1933 in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA. He spent his childhood in Huttig, Arkansas. Despite not receiving any formal musical education, Floyd taught himself to play the piano and was already a professional musician by the time he finished school. He landed a job at a radio station and later moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

Floyd Cramer

In 1953, Cramer made his first studio recording, releasing his debut single 'Dancin' Diane'. He gained popularity and had the opportunity to work with renowned musicians such as Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, Eddy Arnold, Roy Orbison, and Don Gibson. Notably, it was Floyd's piano playing that can be heard in Elvis' hit song 'Heartbreak Hotel'.

Floyd Cramer

Although it took some time for him to achieve fame, Floyd Cramer became a household name in 1960 with the release of his hit single 'Last Date'. The song reached the second spot on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart, sold over a million copies, and earned Cramer a gold record. Known for his unique playing style called 'slip note,' Floyd's melodies stood out from those of ordinary pianists. This distinctive style gained rapid popularity, especially in romantic ballads, making him a highly sought-after accompanist.

Floyd Cramer

In the mid-1960s, Cramer collaborated extensively with legendary guitarist Chet Atkins and renowned saxophonist Boots Randolph. He also performed and recorded with the 'Million Dollar Band'. Throughout his career, Floyd combined his work as a session pianist with recording his own albums. He released approximately 50 albums, featuring legendary tracks like 'Lovin' Season', 'Last Date', and 'The Young and the Restless'. Chet Atkins served as the producer for most of Cramer's projects.

In 1979, Floyd Cramer won a Grammy Award in the category of 'Best Country Instrumental' for his song 'My Blue Eyes'. In the 1980s, he composed the musical theme for the popular TV series 'Dallas'. Despite being best known as a country musician, Floyd Cramer was a versatile pianist who enjoyed playing classical, gospel, jazz, and blues. He believed that music should be about emotions and moods rather than being limited by genres and styles.

It is said that Floyd was not only incredibly talented but also a wonderful person to work with. Playing alongside him was easy and comfortable as he effortlessly adjusted to the performers and intuitively found the optimal sound. Sadly, Floyd Cramer passed away at the age of 64 from cancer in late 1998.

In 2003, Floyd was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2008, his name was added to the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame. The East Tennessee State University established the Floyd Cramer Competitive Scholarship in his honor.

© BIOGRAPHS