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Irving Fields: 100 years old, and still a working musician

Irving Fields' piano playing has been music to millions of people's ears for decades.

And the sounds become even sweeter when people realize that the 5-foot-6-inch man behind the big piano turns 100 years old on Tuesday.

He appears to be the oldest working musician in the United States, and Fields told CNBC he has no plans to slow down.

"Retire? No, don't do that," Fields advised. "Get a hobby if you want to do something. Keep the mind working. Do something you love."

Irving Fields, America’s oldest working American musician, turns 100.
Dina Gusovsky | CNBC
Irving Fields, America’s oldest working American musician, turns 100.

Fields plays four nights a week at Nino's Tuscany in New York City and three days at the Park Lane Hotel, also in New York.

In 1959, Fields' most successful album, "Bagels and Bongos," sold about 2 million copies. His songs have been featured in films like "The Third Man" as well as Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry" and television programs including "The Muppet Show."

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Besides playing the piano, he still writes, arranges and publishes music. As someone who has been in the music industry since he was 8 years old, he has seen it all—from records to CDs to digital streaming services. His music is now available on iTunes.

But Fields is disappointed about the employment opportunities—or lack of them—for some of his colleagues.

"Why don't you have a commissioner of entertainment, and we'll get musicians jobs," Fields said. "There are very few jobs for musicians. Put them in hotels, put them in restaurants, give them jobs and people will love the music if they play the right music."