Johnny Hodges has spent a lifetime playing piano in theme parks and pizza parlors, churches and cathouses, nightclubs and bars, accompanying silent movies, and in movies and TV shows. Johnny began his musical career on a high note when, at the age of 10, he performed Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas” on piano on KNBC radio in Los Angeles – his first professional gig. Fascinated by Jo Ann Castle’s pianistics on the Lawrence Welk show, he began arranging tunes in the ragtime style and soaked up everything from the piano playing at Shakey’s pizza parlors to the Dixieland of Disneyland’s Firehouse Five plus Two. In the mid-’60s, while in college in Fullerton, he landed a piano-playing job at a nearby pizza parlor. While in the service in Heidelberg, Germany, he regularly played at famed nightclubs Storyville and Cave 54. Back at home, he bought a camper and lived the life of an itinerant ragtime pianist, bringing great vintage American piano music to every corner of the U.S. Johnny was a fixture at Disneyland’s Coke Corner from 1981 to 2006. A constant advocate of music education, Johnny continues to teach and entertain music today.
About Johnny Hodges
Johnny played ragtime piano at Disneyland for over 25 years.
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