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Lincoln Mayorga


Lincoln Mayorga

Lincoln Mayorga
Birth name Lincoln Mayorga
Also known as Brooke Pemberton
Al "Spider" Dugan
Born (1937-03-28) March 28, 1937 (age 77)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Pop music
Film score
Classical music
Occupations Pianist, arranger, composer
Years active 1957-present
Associated acts The Four Preps
The Piltdown Men
The Link Eddy Combo
Ketty Lester
Phil Ochs

Lincoln Mayorga (born 28 March 1937) is an American pianist, arranger, conductor and composer who has worked in rock and roll, pop, jazz and classical music.

Life and career

Pop music in the 1950s and '60s

Mayorga was born in Los Angeles, California, attended Hollywood High School, and trained as a classical pianist. He began working as arranger and accompanist to his high-school friends in The Four Preps, contributing one of the two piano parts on their 1958 hit "Big Man" and being known as "the fifth Prep".[1] The group's producer, Lou Busch, helped Mayorga get a ragtime album issued in 1958, which was released under the pseudonym "Brooke Pemberton".[2]

With Ed Cobb of the Four Preps, Mayorga also branched out into instrumental rock and roll, forming The Piltdown Men, a studio group whose "Brontosaurus Stomp" made the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960 and whose other records had greater success in the UK charts.[1][3] At the same time, he and Cobb formed The Link Eddy Combo (the name taken from their names Lincoln and Ed), with musicians Al Garcia, Fred Mendoza, Vince Bumatay and Art Rodriguez. Their instrumental, "Big Mr. C", was the first single released on Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in 1961,[4] and reached # 28 on the US R&B charts.

Mayorga and Cobb also arranged and produced the first recordings by singer Ketty Lester, including the 1962 international hit "Love Letters" which featured Mayorga's sparse piano arrangement, copied note-for-note 25 years later by Alison Moyet on her 1987 UK hit version.[1] He was also credited with arranging The Standells' 1966 hit single, "Dirty Water", written by Cobb.[5]

Sessions and film work in the 1960s and 70s

As Ketty Lester's success dwindled, Mayorga increasingly worked as a session musician in Los Angeles. He worked particularly closely with singer Phil Ochs on his albums Pleasures of the Harbor, Rehearsals for Retirement, Tape from California and others, and toured with Ochs' "gold lamé suit" tour, culminating in a legendary pair of concerts at Carnegie Hall. In 1966, he became the staff pianist for Walt Disney Studios, and contributed to the soundtracks of such movies as Chinatown, Pete's Dragon, The Rose, and Ragtime.[6] He also worked on TV series including Bonanza, Dallas, Little House on the Prairie and Highway To Heaven.

As a session musician and arranger, he worked with Frank Zappa (on the album Lumpy Gravy), Gloria Jones, Sam Cooke, Dory Previn, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Mel Torme, Andy Williams and many others.[1] In addition, he recorded a series of ragtime albums under the name Al "Spider" Dugan.[3]

Classical and ragtime concerts and recordings since the 1970s

In the 1970s he helped establish the Singer/songwriter Amanda McBroom teamed up with Mayorga to record two well-received albums on Sheffield, Growing Up in Hollywood Town and West of Oz.

Mayorga relocated to Columbia County in upstate New York in the mid-1980s,[1] and has increasingly worked as a concert pianist. He has also continued to perform in concert in recent years with Bruce Belland, lead singer of The Four Preps,[9] and has released a series of classical and heritage albums on the TownHall label.[10]

The Moscow Philharmonic invited him to perform George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue and "I Got Rhythm" Variations, on their first concert devoted to American music.[6][11] He has toured extensively in North America and Europe, and has collaborated with such musicians as Itzhak Perlman, Richard Stoltzman, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, and others. Mayorga has written a piano concerto, Angels' Flight, a tribute to the city of Los Angeles and the music of the cinema, which he has performed with the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.[6][11]


As sideman

With Gábor Szabó and Bob Thiele

  • Light My Fire (Impulse!, 1967)


External links

  • Official website
  • Sheffield Lab, co-founder
  • TownHall Records, founder

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