Erie Native and “World’s Fastest Piano Player” returns home

Local News

     Tommy Johnson was born in Erie and has always loved music.  By age 4 he was playing Tchaikovsky by ear.  His first performance was at the Warner Theater at age 7 when he won a touring talent competition.  The rest is history.  He began playing all around the region.  He says by age 21 he “outgrew” Erie and began touring the county.  He’s since toured all over the world.  But one phone call changed everything. 

     He was living in Florida, playing regional gigs when he says he “got a call from a woman named Natalie.”  She asked a few preliminary questions such as, “Are you from Erie?” and if her mother’s name rang any bells.  He said yes to both, but even then he had no idea what she was about to tell him.  She explained that she had been on Ancestry.com and discovered that he was a 100% match as her father.  She quickly assured him that she didn’t want to be a bother and even said he didn’t have to keep in touch now that he knows.  Instead, Johnson packed up his life and moved back to Erie.  His “new” daughter has 4 daughters of her own as well as some grandkids, Johnson’s great-grandkids.  He’s getting to know them and loving every minute. 

     All four of his granddaughters happen to be very musically talented, something that had them wondering where that gift had come from, until now.  Johnson says he felt a connection with his Erie family upon meeting them.  He also has 2 other daughters and a son.  They too were excited to learn of Natalie and her family becoming a part of their family.  Johnson says he hopes to start playing music with his granddaughters as they become better acquainted.  

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