Van "Piano Man" Walls

Van "Piano Man" Walls

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Van "Piano Man" Walls

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Background =
Birth_name = Harry Eugene Vann
Alias =
Born = birth date|1918|8|24|df=y
Died = death date and age|1999|2|24|1918|8|24|df=y
Origin = Middlesboro, Kentucky
Instrument = Piano
Genre = Blues, Rhythm and Blues
Occupation =
Years_active = 1930s - 1990s
Label = Atlantic Records
Apollo Records
Derby Records
Columbia Records
MGM Records.
Associated_acts = Big Joe Turner
Ruth Brown
The Clovers
LaVern Baker
The Drifters
Joe Morris
Current_members =
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

Van "Piano Man" Walls (born Harry Eugene Vann 24 August 1918, died 24 February 1999) was an American rhythm and blues piano player.

Early life

Walls was born in Middlesboro, Kentucky and grew up in Charleston, West Virginia. His mother was a piano teacher. His stepfather was named Walls, so he took the name Vann Walls. He left home as a teenager and toured the South with carnivals, circuses, and variety caravans. He returned to Charleston in his mid twenties and played as a solo pianist in local clubs and on WCHS (AM) radio.

In the early forties he played in Cal Greer's band, the formed his own band based in Columbus, Ohio.

From house band to headliner

In 1948 saxophonist Frank "Floorshow" Culley convinced Walls to join the new Atlantic Records label in New York as Atlantic's house band pianist starting in 1949. Notable songs featuring his work include:

*"Chains Of Love" (Big Joe Turner)
*"5-10-15 Hours" (Ruth Brown)
*"One Mint Julep" (The Clovers)
*"Tomorrow Night" (LaVern Baker)
*"Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere" (Laurie Tate)

In 1950, Atlantic released "Tee Nah Nah" (#904) under his name, featuring a vocal by Spider Sam. The b-side was "Ain't Gonna Scold You." Walls also recorded "Easter Parade" and "Air Mail Boogie" for Derby Records (#733), featuring Freddie Mitchell. "Chocolate Candy Blues" on Columbia Records #30220 also was released in 1950. From that time on Vann Walls was credited on all of Atlantic's early recordings by Joe Turner.

In 1954 he joined The Nite Riders, where he remained for almost ten years, mainly in Montreal. They primarily recorded on the Apollo Records label, though in 1957 they recorded a one-off for MGM Records.

During the early sixties they recorded for the Cherry, Chime, Smash, and Courtesy labels. After the Nite Riders broke up in the early sixties, Vann Walls remained in Montreal and formed his own group called Captain Vann & The Pirates.

Later career

Walls played a number of blues and jazz festivals in the United States and Canada in the 1980s and 1990s. Pareles, Jon (May 25, 1990). [ Review/Blues; Making the Piano Jump and Wail.] "New York Times"] In 1997 he was recognized by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation with a Pioneer Award. Walls continued to record until his death in January 1999.

Other information

Canadian musician Michael Jerome Brown wrote and dedicated a song titled Cancer Ward Blues for Harry Vann Walls on his 2001 album Drive On (album).


External links

* [ Short Takes on R & B Pioneers] by JC Marion
* [ Vann Walls tribute site on MySpace]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Piano Man — may refer to: * Piano Man (album), a 1973 rock album by Billy Joel ** Piano Man (song), a 1973 hit song from the album **A nickname for Billy Joel *Pianoman, an alias of dance music producer James Sammon *Shock G a Digital Underground leader who… …   Wikipedia

  • Juno Awards of 1998 — The Juno Awards of 1998 were presented in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The primary ceremonies at GM Place before an audience of 10 000 on 22 March 1998.Actor Jason Priestly of the television series Beverly Hills 90210 hosted these… …   Wikipedia

  • Middlesboro, Kentucky —   City   Aerial view of Middlesboro Motto: Fac et Spera translation: Do and Hope …   Wikipedia

  • Rhythm and Blues Foundation — The Rhythm and Blues Foundation is an independent American nonprofit organization dedicated to the historical and cultural preservation of rhythm and blues music. The idea for the Foundation came in 1987 during discussions about royalties with… …   Wikipedia

  • Rhythm and Blues Foundation — Die Rhythm and Blues Foundation (Rhythm and Blues Stiftung) ist eine unabhängige Non Profit Organisation in den USA, die sich dem historischen und kulturellen Erhalt des Musikgenres Rhythm and Blues (R B, R n B) widmet. Die Idee zu dieser… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rhythm and Blues Foundation — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda La fundación “Rhythm and Blues” es una organización independiente sin ánimo de lucro de los Estados Unidos que se dedica a la conservación histórica y cultural de la música rhythm and blues. La idea de esta fundación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Derby Records — Derby Records, black on pink label Derby Records, white on burgundy label …   Wikipedia

  • Mickey Bones — is an American drummer and singer songwriter. He has played with the Tarbox Ramblers, Bo Diddley, Morphine, The Breeders, Queen Ida, Michael Hurley, Catie Curtis, Bob Franke …   Wikipedia

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical.       The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains …   Universalium

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.