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Biography

Carmen Cavallaro (May 6, 1913 – October 12, 1989) was an American pianist born in New York. He established himself as one of the most accomplished and admired popular music pianists of his generation.

Cavallaro developed a piano style of glittering and rippling arpeggios to augment his melody, which was often arranged in thick and lush triple and quadruple octave chords. He was originally trained in classical piano, which is evident from his superlative technique. In fact, he recorded more than a few classical works, although popular music was most prominent in his repertoire. His musical interests and arrangements included dance music, particularly Latin rhythms, tangos and strict tempo dancing styles, as well as some pop and jazz arrangements of classical melodies. In this, he is often cited as being influenced by pianist Eddy Duchin. Ironically, Cavallaro actually played the piano parts for the popular soundtrack for The Eddy Duchin Story and exhibited a greater mastery over the keyboard than any other popular music pianists of the day, including Duchin.

Liberace was greatly influenced by both Cavallaro and Duchin. All three shared a propensity for arranging classical piano themes in a pop idiom.

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