Jerry Gibson from OregonThe writer of the song was my Grandfather Newton S. Sitzlar. Alfred Karnes was the first to record it. Whether Alfred claimed to have written it, I don't know. (I have read online statements that have said that, but I have no evidence or read anything he said that he wrote it. Maybe because he recorded it, someone thought he wrote it, and they, [not Alfred], said he wrote it). Anyway I just wanted to clear up who the real writer of the song was.
"Piano Man" was inspired by Billy Joel's time playing at a piano bar in Los Angeles. The "real estate novelist" was a guy who always talked about writing a book, but spent all his spare time in the bar.