Want to play the piano? No lessons? Can't read music? It's no problem for James Parsley. If he can hear it, he can play it. And if that piano needs tuning, repaired, moved, he can do that also.
At age 7, Parsley heard a family friend play, and he knew then that the piano would always be in his future. "When the guy played the piano, I knew as soon as I heard the first song, that was me, that was my life, and I have been in pianos ever since," he said.
Parsley played and tried to make a living on the road, then turned his attention to the business of tuning, repairing, restoring, moving and setting up pianos for functions. He tuned his first piano in February 1979. As a player, Parsley has opened for Faith Hill, John Conlee and Tammy Wynette.
He provided a piano for Jerry Lee Lewis for a Florida Theatre concert in July 2002. After the performance, Lewis signed the piano for Parsley.
"He thought each one of his fingers had a brain. ... He plays like I do, by ear, don't think he reads music. ... I grew up listening to Floyd Cramer and that is how I pattern myself a lot . .. not so much Jerry Lee Lewis, but I do some of the boogies he does, certainly learned a lot from watching him, but I don't act like him."
Today, Parsley continues to do what he loves - working on, tuning, restoring and certainly not least, playing the piano. He has made several CDs and wants to record another one, a piano gospel CD.
He credits his success and gift from God. "I just thank the Lord for my life and where I'm at and my business, and the ability to play music."