help identify the artist of this instrumental song
August 22, 2010 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Who is the artist responsible for an instrumental song called "Ballerina", released in the mid-to-late 1980s? (mp3 of the main melody included)

I'm trying to identify and locate an instrumental song called "Ballerina". Some time during the 1980s, I was on vacation with my family in Massachusetts. My dad controlled the car radio, and we listened to adult contemporary, new age, smooth jazz, folk rock, and associated styles. The radio announcer described it as a new release. I heard it a few times on the radio during the vacation, but I don't think I have heard it since.

I have no recollection of what station we were listening to when this song was playing. I narrowed down the date range based on the vehicle we were in, and who was with me on the trip.

The song stuck with me for some reason, probably because it was an instrumental with a unique sound compared to everything else that was on the radio. Its extremely common name makes it difficult to identify. I have scoured the iTunes store and AllMusic a few times without finding it. I feel like I don't have enough info to create a Pandora station to try to find this song.

Here are the properties of the song I'm trying to find:

• title is almost certainly "Ballerina" or "The Ballerina"
• instrumental
• upbeat, cheerful
• likely released between 1984 and 1988
• around 3 to 5 minutes long
• lead melody is played on an electric piano, harpsichord, or similar-sounding instrument
• the main melody sounds almost exactly like this (created by me in GarageBand):
posted by germdisco to Media & Arts (10 answers total)
Best answer: Music Box Dancer
posted by bondcliff at 12:14 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

You may recognize Music Box Dancer as the song played over Ice Cream trucks' loudspeakers.
posted by stachemaster at 12:19 PM on August 22, 2010

Response by poster: Interesting. Apparently I've had the title wrong for all these years. This appears to be a song with many remakes; I'm still interested in finding the one I originally heard on the radio.
posted by germdisco at 12:24 PM on August 22, 2010

Maybe the one you remember is Richard Clayderman's version?
posted by Opposite George at 12:53 PM on August 22, 2010

The 80s hit was by Frank Mills.
posted by rhizome at 1:56 PM on August 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

Well, if it was the Frank Mills version, that goes back to 1979, according to this wikipedia entry:

although it does list at least four other musicians who did covers. Given the time frame you mentioned, perhaps it wasn't the original that you heard?
posted by 5Q7 at 4:47 PM on August 22, 2010

I remember a rumor around that time, that that single had been accidentally released with some other label on it--that of a song from some rock and roll or heavy metal band--and got played totally accidentally, but people liked it and it became a hit. This is probably not true.
posted by bink at 5:25 PM on August 22, 2010

I always get Frank Mills mixed up with Hagood Hardy, the other easy-listening avatar of early-1970's Canadian mellow radio.
posted by ovvl at 6:33 PM on August 22, 2010

Response by poster: The original doesn't sound like the version with which I'm familiar. But now that I know the right title, I will listen to more samples.
posted by germdisco at 6:56 PM on August 22, 2010

Frank Mills' was '79, but I can guarantee you that I heard it at least once every day my mom drove me to junior high school and early high school between 80-84.
posted by rhizome at 11:22 PM on August 22, 2010

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