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REMEMBERING ERNIE HAYS

Biography of Ernie Hays

When Ernie Hays began studying the piano at the age of 7, his teacher was astonished by his talent. Through the early years she made sure that Ernie received a great classical foundation that would prepare him for a long and illustrious career in music. Ernie began performing for church services at a very young age. He worked as pianist for a gospel quartet when he was thirteen years of age. Although a native of St. Louis, he finished high school in Houston, Missouri and majored in music at Drury College and Southwestern Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. Throughout his college years and his four years of active military service in the United States Navy, his keyboard prowess entertained thousands of people. After military service, while an Electrical Engineering major, he appeared, with his own band, on network Television with Red Foley, Snooky Lanson, Carmell Quinn and later, with Regis Philbin.

Ernie Returned to St. Louis in 1963 and worked for McDonnell Aircraft as a calibration and standards technician in the Gemini Space Program. After receiving his engineering degree from Washington University, he worked for the Bell System as a telecommunications engineer, engineering supervisor and finally, management training and development supervisor while doing his graduate work toward a MBA degree. Throughout his engineering career, Ernie still managed to entertain at clubs, for private parties, and still finds time to teach piano and organ to many students. Ernie is also a Commercial Pilot and a Certified Hypnotherapist.

Ernie's sports music career began in 1971 as Organist for the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Team, a position he still holds. It expanded that same year to include the St. Louis Cardinals Football Team, the St. Louis Blues Hockey Team and the St. Louis Stars Soccer Team. In the mid 1970's, while still working for the Bell System, Ernie played for five professional teams and two college teams. He is recognized nationwide as one of the premier sports organists in the country. He has played for college baseball in the Louisiana Superdorne, college hockey in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in 1983, Ernie performed in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D. C. He has performed with Carol Channing, Lou Rawls, Deborah Winger, Hoyt Axton, Jerry Vale, Barbara Mandrell, Donnie and Marie Osmond, Glen Campbell, Johnny Mathis and many others too numerous to mention. Ernie has trained many other sports organists, consulted on new sports facility sound systems and selected new organs for spo1ts teams in Canada and the USA.

In 1985, Ernie performed as guest soloist, on piano and organ, with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in the Pops Series at Queeny Park, in St. Louis County. The Orchestra asked him back in 1989 and 1990 to perform a Christmas Sing-Along Concert at Powell Hall in St. Louis. All events were sellouts.

With the closing of the 2010 baseball season, Ernie completed his 40th year in St. Louis sports music.