BERNIE LEIGHTON was born in West Haven, Conn., in 1921. Shortly
thereafter his parents moved to New Haven. He liked music from
the very start. His parents noticed he would stop crying when
they played the phonograph. He began picking out melodies as soon
as he could sit at the piano. Bernie started the piano at 6 and
continued throughout the next ten years. During this period he
studied with some of the best known teachers in New England. He
practiced the classics two hours daily, but also found time to
experiment with dance music. Bernie was prominent in New Haven
music circles throughout his high school days. He graduated from
high school at 18 and immediately went to New York. There he met
Frank Fowles, a well known dance pianist, who gave him encouragement.
He auditioned for Leo Reisman who offered him a ten year contract.
This he refused, not wanting to be tied up for such a long period.
Bernie started working club dates and spent a short time with
Red Stanley and Bud Freeman before joining Eucie Madriguerra.
He left to replace Frank Fowles in the Milt Harris Trio but returned
after eight weeks. Later he worked for Benny Goodman and Raymond
Scott. Now in U.S. Army.
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