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Blind piano player wows crowds at Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum

Inside Pigeon Forge’s Titanic Attraction in the music room sits a grand piano, surrounded by photos and information about the musicians on board the Titanic when it sank.
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 6:48 PM CST
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PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Inside Pigeon Forge’s Titanic Attraction in the music room sits a grand piano, surrounded by photos and information about the musicians on board the Titanic when it sank.

The room serves as a memorial to the lives and talent lost in 1912.

Seated Thursday through Monday at the ivory keys is Josh Mcinnish.

“He’s the best of both worlds, he’s probably the top two or three I’ve ever met, I’d say number one,” said Bill Young who plays the violin alongside Josh.

Young was introduced to Josh when Mcinnish and his parents toured the attraction as guests.

Often before the COVID 19 pandemic, Young would open up the floor to guests to play the piano, and he did the day Josh toured.

”Just blew it away,” said Young remembering that day.

Young immediately hoped one day Josh would come to work in East Tennessee. Soon after, that day came.

“Since he’s been here it has just opened up a whole other musical dimension. I refer to him as a musical genius, he truly is,” said Young.

Josh now plays at the Titanic Museum five days a week, and when you step into the music room the array of music is endless.

”Sometimes I play the Fray, sometimes I play Billy Joel, Elton John, right now I’m playing ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ by Joplin,” said Mcinnish.

Josh is wowing coworkers and guests alike.

”It was almost like she was hypnotized watching him and watching the piano,” said Donna Hooven from Birmingham, Alabama who stopped by with her husband and young daughter.

Josh’s story does not just come to a close there.

“No, I wouldn’t have known until she told us, I would have had no clue,” said Kenyon Smith, who brought his family all the way from Culpepper County, Virginia to the attraction.

If you stood there and just listened to Josh play, you may never recognize that his unique talent was driven by more than just passion and skill.

”The condition I have is called Peters anomaly. It’s a condition where the corneas have not properly detached from the eye,” said Mcinnish.

That’s right, Josh Mcinnish is legally blind.

“At many points, I have seen it as a thorn, but you know what, now I see it as, I’ve looked back at everything that has happened in life, I can see it as an enhancement, that’s how it drives me,” said Mcinnish.

Mcinnish, from Dothan, Alabama graduated from Troy University, and now every time he sits down at the piano he knows it’s where he is meant to be.

“It signifies how the good Lord has used me. I am very thankful for that, I really want, it’s almost like successes for people who may have seen what I am doing and it may have inspired them to do it,” said Mcinnish.

While enjoying what he does, this isn’t the end of the road for Josh’s musical journey, he hopes to score music, write his own songs and start his own company in the future.

“Don’t say you can’t do it. If you have a disability or a challenge, if you have a challenge like visual, audible, mental, don’t ever think you can’t do anything in life, there are things you can do if you set your mind to it,” Mcinnish added.

Josh was awarded Sevier County Attraction Employee of the Year for 2020.

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