27 October 1933, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, d. 31 December 1997, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The style and sound of Cramers piano-playing was possibly one of the biggest influences on post-50s country music. His delicate rock n roll sound was achieved by accentuating the discord in rolling from the main note to a sharp or flat, known as slip note. This is perfectly highlighted in his first major hit, Last Date, in 1960. He was already a vastly experienced Nashville session player, playing on countless records during the 50s. He can be heard on many Jim Reeves and Elvis Presley records (one of his first sessions was Heartbreak Hotel), often with his long-time friend Chet Atkins, and also recorded with Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison and Ketty Lester. During the early 60s he regularly entered the US charts. Two notable hits were the superb On The Rebound, which still sounds fresh and lively more than 30 years later, and his sombre reading of Bob Wills New San Antonio Rose. After dozens of albums Cramer was still making commercially successful recordings into the 80s, having a further hit in 1980 with the theme from the television soap opera Dallas. With Atkins, Cramer remained Nashvilles most prolific musician until his death from cancer in 1997. He was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2003.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.