© Dawn Kish
Honky-Tonk Piano PlayerJerry Liebman
Walk into Whiskey Row’s historic Palace Saloon on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and you might be treated to the ragtime stylings of Jerry Liebman, the resident honky-tonk piano player. Liebman was just 12 years old when he got his first taste of the genre on the radio. “My mind snapped,” he says. “I decided I had to learn how to play the upright piano.” Fortunately, Liebman had an edge. Not even a teenager, he was already a proficient accordion player, so, in order to master the piano, he just had to develop his left hand — his right could already play a keyboard. Today, Liebman transports his audience to another time when he plays his 1924 Gulbransen upright piano. Although he won’t admit to having a favorite song, he’s partial to music that dates from the 1890s through the 1920s. Liebman knows several thousand songs, but if you happen to request something he’s unfamiliar with (the most common request is The Entertainer, by Scott Joplin), come back the next day. He’ll know how to play it by then.
— Kathy Ritchie
The Palace Saloon is located at 120 S. Montezuma Street in Prescott. For more information, call 928-541-1996 or visit www.historicpalace.com.