The Piano Princess is the stage name of former Liberace protégé Linda Gentille (Liberace’s only female protégé, by the way). The Piano Princess held down the fort at the Atrium Lounge at Harrah’s Hotel Casino in Atlantic City for many years (often performing with her husband, Jim Yester of the Association). She would accent her dramatic performances by throwing back her head and tossing about her long, flowing locks in a way that would make any headbanger proud! Her set most likely included a rendition of “New York, New York”, since it was required at the time for every lounge band at Harrah's to play the song at least once per set.
Linda Gentille, the Piano Princess
Though a Piano Princess concert was enthralling, my song was more inspired by Lou Snyder, the pianist in residence at Nye's Polonaise Room in Minneapolis, MN, recently declared the “Best Bar In America” by Esquire Magazine. Click here to read the article. I can’t say I agree more—with the genuinely retro Jetson’s style piano bar, champagne-sparkle booths and banquettes, and a genuine mix of bikers, belters and bohos, it truly is what I imagine heaven to be like. Lou knows a million songs, she’s been playing there for 40 years and she is my total inspiration for my keyboard karaoke nights at the Lucky Cat.
I sang "Sweet Caroline"
My personal second-most favorite piano bar, Sorry Charlie’s in Seattle, is sadly, no more. Hipsters have taken it over and re-christened it the Mirabeau. However, Howard Bulson,the piano man at Sorry Charlie’s is still there, now performing Happy Hours and Sunday evenings. Whether you're in New York, Seattle, Minneapolis, or anywhere, do yourself a favor and support your local piano bar!
Do you have a favorite piano bar? Or a good piano bar story? Let me know in the comments section!