Piano Girl Playbook: Notes on a Musical Life

Available everywhere in hardcover and ebook editions.

A pianist in lounges and lobbies around the world, Robin Meloy Goldsby tells her warm-hearted stories by linking people she has met with places she has played. Along the way, she connects the humanity of her audiences—princes and paupers, dreamers and doers, moguls, mobsters, wanna-bes, and has-beens—with the quiet soundtrack of her peripatetic, melodic life. Goldsby’s autobiographical stories and essays deliver insights into the art and craft of piano playing, the merits of live music, and how the right song at the right moment can add color and depth to a drab, one dimensional world. Music, it turns out, connects us in unpredictable ways.

From the Piano Girl Playbook Foreword (by Mike Edison): Goldsby is part lifeguard and part mystic, and like all great gurus, her heightened sense of the absurd and saint-like patience transcends that of most mortals. Playing the piano in the sleazy lounge in one of Donald Trump’s New York City Hotels, it’s amazing she didn’t throw it at someone. I’ve been to that bar, and it was everything that was wrong about New York City in the 1980s, but had to have been a step up from the airport lounge in Newark, NJ . . . or was it?

Praise for Piano Girl Playbook: Notes on a Musical Life

“In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart tells the pianist in his bar—Sam, a man—to ‘play it again.’ In a remake, Sam would be Samantha, and she’d be played by Robin Goldsby, the undisputed queen of the lounge and lobby, and, by day, an accomplished writer. Piano Girl Playbook: Notes on a Musical Life distills what she’s learned about music and people and life. It’s the exact opposite of easy listening.” Jesse Kornbluth, HeadButler.com

“Goldsby spins her stories like a fine bebop solo, with down-to-earth themes and joyous what’s coming next?improvisation.” Bill Mays, jazz pianist

“Robin’s ability to find the humor in all kinds of situations and her astute observations of life and the people who populate it make this a warm-hearted and compelling read.” Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com

“Robin artfully composes prose that lilts and sings across the page, creating ironic, poignant, uplifting stories that reverberate within, remind us of our shared humanity, and leave us laughing and crying — often both at the same time.” Melissa Volker, Literary and YA Fiction Author, Mother of Actual Dragons

“Piano Girl is one of the funniest and most poignantly revealing accounts of a musician’s life I have ever read . . . full of wry observation and self-effacing charm. I can’t wait for my copy of Piano Girl Playbook!” Don Airey, Steinway Artist and Keyboardist, Deep Purple

Order now!



Barnes and Noble

Backbeat Books


Manhattan Road Trip: Short Stories

High Resolution Front Cover_5992382 copy

Manhattan Road Trip: Short Stories

In Robin Meloy Goldsby’s musical tales of passion, wild success and gut-wrenching regret, a classical pianist battles middle age and Rachmaninoff; a bebop saxophonist struggles with a varmint sharing her New York City apartment; and a cellist performs Mozart for her mentally ill mother. Filled with the biting humor and razor-sharp honesty familiar to Goldsby’s Piano Girl fans, thirteen sparkling fictional stories illuminate the not-so-public lives of musicians. Fragile, feisty, courageous, but sometimes just plain world-weary, Goldsby’s unbreakable protagonists push aside little injustices, dodge the slings and arrows of their tone-deaf neighbors, and keep playing the music they love.


“Goldsby’s inside look at musicians and their daily travels, trials and travails gave me, as a fellow troubadour, more than one ‘A-ha!’ moment. She spins her short stories like a fine bebop solo, with down-to-earth themes and joyous ‘what’s-coming-next?’ improvisation.” BILL MAYS (composer and jazz pianist, New York City)

Manhattan Road Trip sings the songs of the unsung heroes of the music business; the working musicians who do their best to practice their art and craft and put food on the table, with dignity intact, in a world that really doesn’t understand them. Sometimes haunting, often poignant, always beautiful, these stories are told with the kind of love and wry humor that could only come from a fellow traveler.” GREG THYMIUS (Broadway musician, New York City)

“With brushstrokes of subway grates, sequins, stairways and Steinways, Goldsby paints textured portraits of what it means to be a musician, navigating a road of grit and glitz where life happens on the way.” EMILEE FLOOR (singer and pianist, New York City)

Robin is a wonderful storyteller whose writing will capture you from the first page. MARVIN STAMM (jazz trumpeter, New York City)

“Goldsby has her own voice when she writes, one that I truly look forward to spending time with each time she comes up with something new—and she keeps getting better!” LOREN SCHOENBERG (Artistic Director, The National Jazz Museum in Harlem)

Piano Girl fans will find Goldsby’s trademark wit in Manhattan Road Trip, but her writing takes a sophisticated leap. Goldsby ties together her symphony of character vignettes with a common theme—the power of music to shape, define, and transform lives.” CHRISTA GRIX (harpist, Detroit)


Bass Lion Publishing

  • ISBN-10: 1523374225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1523374229