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Billy Mayerl - Marigold

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Uploaded on Oct 6, 2009

Mayerl was born into a musical family on London's Tottenham Court Road, near the West End theatre district. He began piano lessons at an early age and by the age of 7 he was studying at the Trinity College of Music. In his teens, he supplemented these lessons by accompanying silent movies (even, according to one source, selling ice cream during intermissions) and playing at dances.

Attracted to American popular music, Mayerl joined a Southampton hotel band in 1921. He recorded approximately 37 piano rolls for the "Echo" label in London of various popular tunes of the early 20s. Subsequently he joined the Savoy Havana Band in London, which led to him becoming a celebrity. In the late 20s he recorded in London one single title (Eskimo Shivers) on the "Duo-Art" player piano system for the Aeolian Company.

Best known for his syncopated novelty piano solos, he wrote over 300 piano pieces, many of which were named after flowers and trees, including his best known composition, Marigold (1927).
He also composed works for piano and orchestra, often in suites with evocative names such as the 'Aquarium Suite' (1937), comprising "Willow Moss", "Moorish Idol", "Fantail", and "Whirligig".

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