Meet the pianist who is setting some of the internet’s most hilarious viral videos to music

By George Preston |

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Charles Cornell

We know that music makes our lives better, but sometimes, it can make funny things even funnier!

Check out this classic Orson Welles clip, from an old Paul Masson commercial, in which the ramblings of the somewhat soused star were set to music. I didn’t think the original outtakes could be improved on, but somehow, jazz pianist Charles Cornell managed it.


 
 

After watching the Orson Welles video on Cornell’s Facebook page, I continued on to musical adaptations of a harmonized Terry Crews in a deodorant commercial or a famous scene from Toy Story. I started to wonder how he makes these videos. As if on cue, he posted a “process” video, demonstrating how he does it, using a Cardi B clip.



Charles Cornell didn’t invent this idea. In an email to WFMT, he says, “Believe it or not, the first example I have been able to find of this was none other than John Coltrane. There is a recording of him playing along with a Martin Luther King Jr. speech. Now, years later, I started making goofy videos where I turn tweets into songs. After doing a few of those, I thought it would be fun to give that concept which I had seen years prior a try. And now here we are!”

Cornell says he has been holed up in his apartment making more videos, which he hopes will help build a new audience for jazz and lead to more engagements for him and his band. Until that happens, he’s enjoying the ride of being an internet sensation.