24/7+7 The complete preludes of Chopin Gershwin and Still
24/7+7 is the only recording of the complete preludes of George Gershwin (7)including four recently discovered in 1995, as well as the 5 Preludes of WIlliam Grant Still who with George Gershwin was a favorite composer used by Paul Whiteman for his Jazz/Classical concerts in the 1930's.
Also featured are the 26 Chopin preludes which were the inspiration for both Gershwin and Still.
ROY EATON BIO
NO STUMBLING BLOCKS…STEPPING STONES!!!
I am in my fourth lifetime. All 4 began with apparent stumbling blocks. Handicap #1? I was born “Negro”. Major handicap in USA 1930. But thanks to the vision of a powerful Jamaican mother, I was told to overcome prejudice I needed to do 200% to get credit for 100%. So that became my lifetime mantra. Handicap#2: I lost half of the first joint of my right fourth finger in an accident when I was 3. Yet I had the audacity to aspire to become a classical concert pianist. Mom encouraged me but cautioned me to develop other skills. After winning my first piano competition, I played in Carnegie Hall in 1937. Lily Pons presented my Gold Medal. Music & Art High School was a peak experience in my first lifetime. The nurturing atmosphere, my friendly unprejudiced classmates, the shared aspiration for uncharted achievement, and an unequivocal belief that anything was possible…It was truly a special world whose impact on my life continues.
I never thought when I entered CCNY because it was free, that I would spend my Junior Year like some rich kid at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. But thanks to Mom’s “200% principle”, being 3rd in my sophomore class of 3000, I was interviewed for and won the Naumburg Scholarship from CCNY to do just that in 1948. Did I bust out in Europe! First time away from home. First girl friend. First sex. First concert tour. Master classes with Edwin Fischer (along with Alfred Brendel). June 1950 was quite a month. I simultaneously graduated from CCNY, B.S.S. magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Manhattan School of Music B.M.; won the first Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Award (Van Cliburn won it in 1952): and received a fellowship for graduate study in Musicology from Yale University. After successful debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1951 and at New York’s Town Hall in 1952, Uncle Sam brought the career to a screeching halt in 1953 for two years during the Korean conflict. I left the Army in 1955 as ‘Roy Who?’ STUMBLING BLOCK? Of course not!
I applied for and was hired as composer/copywriter by Young & Rubicam advertising. I was the first Black in a general market creative position in advertising. Mom’s “200%” principle worked again. Creating landmark jingles and campaigns for Beefaroni, Kent Cigarettes, Gulf Oil, the “Brighter Day” soap opera theme etc. catapulted me to the forefront of this unexpected arena.
THEN I WAS DECLARED DEAD IN JULY 1957 after an auto accident that killed my first wife Margaret and the driver of the car we were in. My second lifetime began when I emerged from a 6 day coma with the clear mandate that God spared my life to take a message to the world. I am still exploring this possibility. This was the “career” lifetime. I became V.P. Music Director of Benton & Bowles advertising, married and divorced Minnette, and had 3 wonderful sons, David, Daniel and Christopher. To alleviate intense walking pain from the accident, I learned Transcendental Meditation in 1968. Negative catalyst yields Positive result again.
Totally unexpectedly, my third lifetime was launched when I was “downsized” by B&B in 1980. Facing no income with 3 Ivy League tuitions, mortgage and alimony payments, I set up my own production company within one week, and simultaneously began the restoration of my initial dream. I returned to concert performance with a unique recital at Alice Tully Hall in 1986 called “The Meditative Chopin”. Performances in Europe, South America, Asia, Russia, and 4 albums followed. My Scott Joplin CD on Sony Classical has been a notable international best seller.
Aging is the current challenge. But thanks to 38 years of practicing Transcendental Meditation, I’m still going strong. My fourth and current lifetime began in 1996 with my marriage to an ideal partner, Barbara. Replacement hip and knee surgery relieved my pain. Another tangible symbol of my regeneration: the birth of our twin sons Ravi and Ari in 2002. Keep tuned for future developments of my exhilarating journey on my website www.Royeaton.net.