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Happy 70th Birthday, David Sancious!

November 30, 2023

Davey back on E Street - Belmar, NJ; October 2023 - photo courtesy of The Bruce Springsteen Archives and Center for American Music

Happy birthday and many, many more to the great keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist David Sancious, the E Street Band's original pianist, stellar organist on tracks like "Kitty's Back," and masterful strings arranger for "New York City Serenade," to which of course he also contributed that classic improvised opening on the piano. And as we're reminded by the photo posted here, he even played a major role in the somewhat mythical (of course) origin of the E Street Band's very name, while living at 1105 E Street in Belmar, NJ. Just recently, at last month's 50th Anniversary Of The Release Of The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle symposium hosted by The Bruce Springsteen Archives & Center for American Music at Monmouth University, Springsteen said of Sancious, who turns 70 today,"Davey has never played anything bad. I don't know if he's capable of doing that, so it was always easy to give him free rein."

For our birthday salute, we had planned to share a particularly timely pro-shot video of Sancious' most recent onstage appearance with Springsteen from just about a year ago, in that great live Tonight Show performance of "Don't Play That Song," accompanied by The Roots. "Take it, Davey!," exulted Bruce shortly after conducting his mini-post-mortem of the just-finished annual Thanksgiving feasting. Unfortunately, the Tonight Show's YouTube channel recently pulled the "Don't Play That Song" clip, presumably because of a one-year posting limit.

In any case, we have here instead another pro-shot video of Sancious in action, embedded below. This one's just as good, if not better, because it shows off not just Sancious' multi-instrumentalist chops on guitar, but also his lead-vocal skills, covering the country-blues standard "Sitting On The Top Of The World" with The David Sancious & Jim Weider Blues Project at the 2010 Delaware River Bluesfest in Stockton, NJ.:

Happy 70th birthday, "Davey from E Street!" May you be sitting on top of the world, today and every day.


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