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Teddy Redell

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Teddy Riedel’s unique style of piano playing has been a fixture of American music for half a century. Born Teddy DeLano Riedel in 1937, Teddy’s early years were spent on the family farm near Quitman, Arkansas. Teddy learned to play piano from his grade school teacher Annie Witt, who focused his lessons around boogie woogie and ragtime popular during the 1920s and 30s. By his teens, Teddy had developed his own style and was writing his own songs.

Teddy’s break came at the age of 15 when he was asked to perform on KWCB radio in Searcy, Arkansas, on a program profiling young musicians from area schools. The station was soon flooded with requests for replays of his performance, Steel Guitar Rag. Lloyd Sutherland asked Teddy to join his band for their weekly radio program on KWCB, and Teddy began playing live shows with Sutherland and his band around central Arkansas.

In the winter of 1955, popular recording star Wayne Raney brought Teddy to Missouri to appear on his television program on KRCG in Jefferson City. In May 1955, Teddy followed Wayne to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he appeared Saturday nights on “The World’s Original Jamboree” on WWVA radio. During the week, Teddy toured with Wayne and his band in Pennsylvania and upstate New York. In the fall of 1955, Teddy followed Wayne to WSLB in Baltimore, Maryland, and then briefly to XERF in Del Rio, Texas.

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