Billy Joel’s single “Piano Man” has been selected as one of 25 sound recordings this year to be preserved by the Library of Congress National Recording Registry. After receiving the news, Billy wrote this message:
I am very honored to have my song, ‘Piano Man’ included in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress.
While the recording of the album featured the now familiar song, ‘Piano Man,’ some may not know that it was not initially a retail success.
It was, however, considered a ‘turntable hit,’ due to widespread airplay of various ‘album tracks’ by progressive FM radio stations around the country.
Both the single and the album ‘Piano Man’ eventually went on to achieve ‘platinum’ status, thanks to that kind of free-form radio airplay.
I personally owe a great deal of thanks to those independent disk jockeys who did not have to adhere to the restrictions of ‘program consultants’ and ‘hit formats’ as commercial radio does today. They took the risk of broadcasting new and unproven music, based mostly on listener requests and their own enthusiasm for the recording artists of that time.
– Billy Joel