Ask Earl Poole Ball to describe himself and he’ll answer simply; “I’m a rockabilly piano player and singer” Well yes, and Chuck Berry played a little guitar!
By rights, Ball should be in just about every Americana Music Hall of Fame there is --- and several they haven’t dreamed up yet. In addition to being Johnny Cash’s longtime piano player, the man dubbed “Mr. Honky-Tonk Piano” backed everyone from the Byrds to the Buckaroos.
As a producer, songwriter, and arranger, he’s left an indelible mark on the Billboard country charts, along the way playing an important role in the evolution of alt-country.
His old business card lists three names under his own: Gram Parsons, Johnny Cash, and Wynn Stewart. “All of my references are dead,” he notes with a wistful smile.