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August worked as a pianist and xylophonist with Paul Whiteman and Ferde Grofe, then as a solo club pianist in the mid-1940s. His biggest hit was his version of "Misirlou," recorded for Mercury in 1947, but he had success with "Malaguena," "Oye Negra," and others that blended classical piano stylings with a Latin beat. He later recorded with Jerry Murad and the Harmonicats and Richard Hayman.
Mercury used August to record numerous collections of covers of popular piano instrumentals, usually with as much care as you might expect from a title such as "A Collection of 27 opular Classical Melodies." The titles to look for are pretty much the ones that look most appealing to the naked eye: Exotic Piano Rhythms, Latin Rhythms, and Cha-Cha (although you might up-cha-cha-chuck by the end of it). However, don't be misled by Music for the Quiet Hour--it may be the best single August album to be found.
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