Join the club, Ed Balls. This is Richard Nixon playing the piano

Join the club, Ed Balls. This is Richard Nixon playing the piano


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2013

The deputy leader of the UK Labour Party is making a big noise about learning to play the piano. He has reached Grade 3 and is giving his first performance, just fancy.

Well, having let it be known that I’m discussing music-playing politicians on Tonight’s Front Row, Chris Russell in California has come up with this gem of a 1961 television show, featuring the defeated presidential candidate. On this occasion, the devil did not have the best tunes.

richard nixon piano


  • Alberto Martinez says:

    what a surprise !!!

  • John S. Gray says:

    I never realized that a late 50’s Steinway B211 had such a sharp decay parameter. Tastes certainly have changed…..

  • Michael says:

    So did Helmut Schmidt,he even made onto the Yellow label.

    Watch from 4min24 sec .

  • Ron says:

    Let’s not forget the King of Thailand in this discussion! The King of Swing!

  • Arnold says:

    Looks US Congress has its fair share of bands. “The Second Ammendments”, for example, made up of Congressmen.

  • It’s pretty standard Tin Pan Alley stuff, altered dominants and the like. Nothing offensive, to be sure, unless you take offense from a slightly-chromaticized common-practice harmonic scheme.

    (I really wanted 18 1/2 violinists. Would have been eerily prescient.)


  • robcat2075 says:

    From that generation where every middle class child took piano lessons, just because.

    There’s also the more well-known incident when he stopped by the Grand Ol Opry to play a few tunes.

  • JohnB says:


    Ed Balls is Shadow Chancellor not Deputy Leader. It should also be added that he achieved Grade 8 Standard for the violin.

  • Paul Sullivan says:

    Don’t forget Harry Truman.

    Some of his favorite composers were Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin, Strauss, Gershwin and Debussy.

  • ed says:

    Hey, what about Paderewski, who was Prime Minister of Poland in 1919 and represented Poland at the Versailles Conference?