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Pensacola's Piano Man
PENSACOLA -- He's a talented enough pianist to play in any venue in the world... He's had plenty of offers.
He studied at one of the most prestigious music schools in the country... But Al Martin always came back home to the Gulf Coast.
For fifty years he's played and taught music right here.
Channel Three's Kathryn Daniel takes us to meet and hear "Pensacola's Piano Man" play some Christmas classics.
"When i hear bells, I think of Christmas, because i associate the sound of bells with Christmas."
For many -- it's not the holidays until Al Martin plays the first carol.
"Because we don't hear it all of the time that it brings back memories."
Professional singer Kathy Lyon met al at one of his shows.
"He invited me to sing a couple of songs, which is a real treat, he doesn't ask everyone to sit in and that was a real compliment."
Kathy says Al has the most natural flow of any musician she's ever worked with...That it's a privilege to sing with him.
She says Al is a true entertainer.
Not a so much a showman.
"It's about what the people are feeling and what they're hearing and he just knows how to connect."
Al plays all over for all kinds of audiences... Always has.
We wondered -- what's the most requested church carol?
"let's see, silent night.... music plays a bit..."
Favorite fun one?
For the kiddos -- and kiddos at heart...
Al says holiday songs are universal... Some folks need them even in summer.
"i've had requests for Christmas music in July."
Al says he grew up in a humble -- but very loving family.
One that shared year-round... He remembers that as he plays.
"Inspiring, inspiring to give, especially giving to strangers... Giving 'cause it feels good to give. That's what Christmas means to me."
"Said many times, Merry Christmas to you."
Kathryn Daniel, Channel Three News.
You can catch Al Martin playing Thursday through Saturday nights at the Quality Inn on Scenic Highway in Pensacola.
You can also hear more of his music at weartv dot com... Under "raw news."