Dick Wellstood Biography

Richard MacQueen Wellstood, 25 November 1927, Greenwich, Connecticut, USA, d. 24 July 1987, Palo Alto, California, USA. After learning to play piano in his home town, Wellstood came to New York City in 1946 and was soon working with able musicians such as newcomer Bob Wilber and veteran Sidney Bechet. In the early 50s he visited Europe with Jimmy Archey’s band, but divided his time between music and law studies. After qualifying as a lawyer he returned to full-time music, working mostly solo, but also in small groups with artists such as Roy Eldridge, Henry ‘Red’ Allen, Coleman Hawkins and Gene Krupa. In the 70s his solo career expanded, but he also played in the World’s Greatest Jazz Band. Throughout his career Wellstood recorded extensively, displaying a remarkable command of his instrument and a wide taste in jazz, although his clear preference was for the older traditions. He was an accomplished exponent of stride piano. In the 80s he continued to work as a single but also played in a trio, the Blue Three, with Kenny Davern and Bobby Rosengarden, and briefly practised law.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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