William Martin Joel, 9 May 1949, the Bronx, New York City, New York, USA. Joel, a classically-trained pianist who grew up in Long Island, joined his first group, the Echoes, in 1964. Three years later he left them in favour of the Hassels, a popular Long Island act signed to United Artists Records. Joel appeared on both of their albums, The Hassels and Hour Of The Wolf, before breaking away with drummer Jon Small to form Attila. The duo completed a self-titled album before moving in separate directions. A demo of Joels original compositions led to the release of his 1971 debut, Cold Spring Harbor, but its progress was marred by insufficient promotion. However, when Captain Jack, a new song recorded for a radio broadcast, became an underground hit, Columbia Records traced Joel to California and signed him to a long-term contract. The title track to Piano Man, became a US Top 30 single in 1973 and sowed the seeds of a highly successful...
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