Motivation Articles

He Did What He Had No Business Doing

The Story of Art Tatum


Art went on to star in the nightclub circuit that cruised through New York City, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles and national radio. He created his own original and creative style that made great musical heads shake in awe and bow in homage.

Art took great pains to master his craft. He got so good at what he did that, over a two-day session, he cut 69 singles tracks – and only three needed more than one take.

Legends of Art’s skill seem almost plausible. One claimed that classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz was moved to tears upon hearing him play. It was also said that Art could identify the dominant note in a flushing toilet.

Limits – mostly false ones – can defeat us before we even start. Do you feel handicapped in some way? Does your knowledge that "there are two people playing" convince you that it’s not possible to do the same? Could your goals benefit from a little less knowledge and little more naïve faith?

Art learned that the "real world" is exactly where dreams belong. All the proof he needed came on a night when he visited a club where Fats Waller was playing. That’s when Fats – his hero, his idol, his main inspiration – told the crowd, "I just play the piano. But God is in the house tonight."

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About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

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