made a number of fine recordings over his long musical career, but he will probably be better remembered for his musical contributions to television. After initially studying accordion in childhood, he took up the piano, studying with a teacher who had also taught Oscar Levant
discovered he had perfect pitch and earned two college degrees in music education, though teaching was only a backup plan to his real goal of performing. He spent 15 years as music director for KDK-TV in Pittsburgh and recorded LPs for Savoy Coral and Dot in the 1950s. He achieved his greatest fame as the music director for the long-running public TV series Mister Rogers Neighborhood, where he insisted on playing jazz, reasoning that children will gravitate to good music. He was correct, as he remained with the program for the final three decades of his life. He did several sessions for Chiaroscuro in the 1990s, with Dream
being released around the time of his death from leukemia in 1996.