About Bill Uglow

Once upon a time, when I was 7 years old and living in
Harrisburg, PA, my mom came to me and said, “Bill, do you want to take piano lessons?”  Without hesitation I said, “Yes!”
(I had no idea what I was saying. I’m a 7 year old kid. )
I didn’t know the answer would change my life. Thousands of hours of piano practice were ahead of me. In those days, most guys played football, not the piano. My mom went on to say, “There is only one thing, Bill. If I buy a piano, you can’t quit. Can you quit school?” I said, “No.” She replied, “It’s the same thing. You can’t quit piano.”
I didn’t realize that my mom was born in an age when the piano was the home entertainment center. Most homes had a piano or wanted one in her day. When the radio started to come into American homes in the 1930’s, mom was a little girl about age 7 as well. You can track the radio’s impact on piano sales. In the 1930’s, piano sales began a long decline. So my timing wasn’t very good. I was beginning to learn piano when it was on the decline. My mom was a sweet gentle flower of a lady. She was a compliant wife of an Air Force warrior. She wasn’t calling many of the home making shots, but she had two big triggers. One was my getting an education. The other was…. the piano. I once wanted to take a term off college. She started to cry uncontrollably. I said, “OK, OK mom, please stop. I won’t take a term off school. I promise.” Comparably, I wanted to quit piano one hundred times. She would always say, are you quitting school too? I replied that no I wasn’t going to quit either. And so it was. I started my piano journey. Piano lessons every week, over time from a dozen different teachers, depending on what Air Force base we were stationed at. I once wanted to join the football team in school. Mom went to see the coach. I exclaimed, “You went to see the coach…what did you say?” She said, “I told him I was worried about your fingers… getting injured.” I knew then that football was never going to happen in my lifetime. Doors open. Door close. You don’t control all the doors. Over the years, I won district and statewide contests playing pieces like Franz Liszt’s Liebestraume. I performed for my high school graduation. I joined a rock band playing keyboards. The pre-Beatles music our rock band was playing was Everly Brothers, Bobby Darin, The Byrd’s, The Young Rascals, Dion, Bobby Vee…you get the idea. It was a great journey. Fortunately, I was smart enough to direct my working life into business. One in a million make big money as a pianist. The piano took its place in my life as a hobby of love. A higher purpose …It was really a gift to my mother. It made her so happy, right up until the end of her life.