William Bradford Wines, 67, played cocktail piano

May 05, 2004

William Bradford Wines, who played cocktail piano in Baltimore restaurants for more than 40 years, died of liver and kidney failure Saturday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Northeast Baltimore resident was 67.

Mr. Wines, who was known as Brad, was born in Oak Park, Ill., raised in Towson and graduated from Towson High School.

His interest in music began as a youngster.

"He was self-taught and as a 5-year-old could play by ear. He'd sit down, listen to a tune and play it," said his wife of 31 years, the former Kay Seipp.

He began formal music studies at the Peabody Conservatory, and while attending school, he regularly played at the old Peabody Bookshop and Beer Stube on Charles Street.

For years until retiring in 1996, Mr. Wines had performed at some of the finest venues in the area, including the Prime Rib, Eager House, Martick's Restaurant Francais, Hunt Valley Inn, Golden Arm Restaurant and Chartwell Country Club. His theme song was "The Piano Man."

In retirement, Mr. Wines tuned and restored pianos until late last year, when his health began to fail.

Mr. Wines enjoyed spending summers at a cottage in Coryell Island, Mich. He liked scuba diving, kayaking, and water and snow skiing. He also collected butterflies, which he donated to nature centers.

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. May 17 at Living Water Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8912 Philadelphia Road, Rossville.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Wines is survived by two sons, Chip Wines and Douglas Wines, both of Baltimore; a daughter, Valerie Wines of Frederick; a brother, James Wines of State College, Pa.; and two grandchildren. His marriage to the former Sue Ellen Jones ended in divorce.

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