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Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes began, at the age of seven, classical music training from a piano teacher in Newton, Massachusetts. As it turned out, it provided a good foundation for later urges to play Boogie Woogie, Ragtime and Pop music that was already starting to creep into his classical music lessons. This interest in Ragtime led him to discover Zez Comfrey’s 1920’s Novelty Piano Pieces and Fats Waller’s Stride Piano style. Richard studied with Paul Smith in Los Angeles, who accompanied silent movies as part of his regular concert performances.

For the past ten years, Richard has compiled many silent movie scores taken from authentic ‘Mood Music’ that was played during the 1920’s. He researched the Worcester Public library for appropriate classical and popular music that was typically used by arrangers and pianists during that time. This ‘Mood Music’ enhanced the movie scenes by making it ‘come alive’ in the third dimension. Just recently, Richard has released a DVD of 3 Charlie Chaplin films with original musical scores that synchronize to the films.

Currently, he travels around Massachusetts doing hundreds of movie shows a year at corporate events, schools, community centers, libraries, historical societies, senior centers, women’s clubs and retirement communities. He particularly enjoys collecting stories about people’s experiences in the silent movie days. For instance, movies really did cost 5 cents on Monday nights and theatres gave away dishes on special nights … “and darn good ones too!” He finds that audiences of all ages laugh at the quick-paced slap stick style of acting that is reminiscent of the old Vaudeville days.