Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
Mary Lou Williams
Mary Lou Williams featured on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood with bassist Milton Snuggs in 1973.
Mary Lou Williams grew up in Pittsburgh and taught herself to play the piano as a child. At the age of six she performed publicly for the first time and began playing professionally while still in her teens, citing Lovie Austin as her greatest influence.
While Minton’s in Harlem received credit for being birthplace of bebop, the truth is the piano in William’s parlor was equally important.
Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, Dizzy Gillespie, and others studied harmony and music theory with her.
She also wrote and arranged for Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.
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