Bulger's Beat: Soulful pianist highlights biggest hits - WSMV Channel 4

Bulger's Beat: Soulful pianist highlights biggest hits

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Musical success isn't just about the star standing in front of the stage. You can't forget about the side musicians who really help make the songs come to life.

One of those very talented musicians, Bobby Wood, and his piano show up on some of the most popular songs you've been singing over the last 40 years.

Wood's piano chords are probably most familiar on Sweet Caroline, and he's still surprised to hear it belted during sports stadium sing-alongs.

"When it got to the chorus, Sweet Caroline, the whole crowd went, 'Bom-Bom-Bom.' We were all amazed, and our guys are all drawing social security, thinking 'you're not supposed to know that song,'" Wood said.

Chances are there's a lot you didn't think you knew about Wood, including many tunes with Elvis and a whopping 122 hit songs in one four-year-span.

His recipe for music success was always soul.

"I don't care what genre of music you're in, there ought to be some soul in it," Wood said.

That soul originates with a cotton-pickin' kid from rural Mississippi.

"Music was our love, cotton was our trade," he said.

Now, it's all told in his new book Walking Among Giants, where practicing piano at the age of 9 eventually led to the stage.

He's 71 now and modestly credits his success for knowing when not to play on a song.

"Some of these piano players play more in three seconds than I've played all my life," Wood said.

These days, Wood spends his time in his Music Row office with a couple of different keyboards at his fingertips.

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