Jazz Legend Oscar Peterson Dies at 82

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Oscar Peterson, the man who Duke Ellington called the "Maharajah of the Keyboard," died of kidney failure at his home on Sunday. We remember the legendary jazz pianist with his 1986 recording of "If You Only Knew."


You will hear several remembrances before this day is over of jazz great Oscar Peterson, the man who Duke Ellington called the Maharajah of the Keyboard. He's dead at the age of 82. We thought of fitting that just to talk about him but to listen to his fingers coxing notes from the ivory box.

Here's Oscar Peterson playing "If You Only Knew" from a recording in 1986.

(Soundbite of song, "If You Only Knew")

CONAN: Oscar Peterson "If You Only Knew." More on the life and artistry of the jazz great later today on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, NPR News in Washington.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from