Jazz pianist Charles Segal. Picture: Guinness World Records

Jazz musician Charles Segal holds the record for being the most recorded pianist.

The Grammy Award-winning pianist and producer, became a record holder in March 2017, for recording the most songs on a piano. 

The Lithuanian-born South African, had recorded a total of 11 721 songs by 31 March 2017.

Based in the United States of America, the 88-year old jazz pianist has collaborated with a number of musicians such as Tony Bennett, Duke Ellington, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra. 

Segal's family fled to South Africa from east European country Lithuania, when the pianist was two years-old, in trying to escape from the Russian Bolsheviks and the impending threat of Nazism during the 1920s.

Segal was first introduced to piano when he and his family were on a ship that was travelling to South Africa. After being exposed once, the toddler was hooked, proceeded to play the piano every day until their ship docked in South Africa – earning the sobriquet “Pinta Musica” from his fellow passengers. 

Having already witnessed more than their fair share of tragedy, the Segal family might have expected to find solace in their new home. But the adversity was far from over. 

Charles and his brother found it difficult to adjust to their new environment, and were ridiculed by other children. 

Eventually, he earned diplomas in musical performance and began to teach piano. He had come to master the classical sheet music he had been given by an array of teachers, but found himself craving something more. Bursting with a need to create, the budding pianist began to compose his own melodies. Charles went on to play regularly, and the years 1953 to 1986 marked his peak – he made recordings, opened a music school, appeared on radio shows and was featured in the USA on Supreme Master Television. 

One of the most defining moments of Charles’s career came in 1973, when his song ‘My Children, My Wife’ (co-written with Arthur Roos) was voted Song of the Year by South African audiences. 

Presented with the respected SARI Award (equivalent to a Grammy Award) by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, renowned surgeon, who had performed the world's first heart transplant, he had now received one of music’s most honorable awards at the age of 44. 

The pianist has made it clear he has much more to accomplish in his lifetime, including more records.