Apart from a Columbia set of LPs documenting his work to date in 1969, recordings of his music were thin on the ground until the specialist German avant-garde record company Wergo undertook the task of issuing the complete player-piano studies from 1977 onwards (and reissuing them on CD in the 1990s). On Peel's appearance on the Radio 3 programme Private Passions in 1996, presenter Michael Berkeley played him Study No. 21 from the fifty he wrote, which so astonished John that he vowed to play Nancarrow's music on Radio 1, a promise it took him four years to fulfill. Several of the studies found their way onto the show until JP seems to have lost interest. Another fan was Frank Zappa, who said, "The stuff is fantastic... You've got to hear it. It'll kill you."
Festive Fifty Entries
Other Shows Played
- 04 January 2000: 'Study For Player Piano No. 3E (5xCD-Studies For Player Piano)' (Wergo)
- 19 January 2000: 'Study For Player Piano No. 3A (5xCD-Studies For Player Piano)' (Wergo) (JP: 'I think you'd like to hear my version of that played on the harmonium.')
- 02 February 2000: Study for Player Piano No 3D (CD: Studies for Player Piano) (Wergo)