Dick Wellstood

Richard MacQueen Wellstood (November 25, 1927 – July 24, 1987) was an American jazz pianist.

Dick Wellstood
Birth nameRichard MacQueen Wellstood
Born(1927-11-25)November 25, 1927
Greenwich, Connecticut, U.S.
DiedJuly 24, 1987(1987-07-24) (aged 59)
Palo Alto, California
Years active1940s–1980s


Wellstood's mother was a graduate of the Juilliard School who played church organ.[1] Wellstood took piano lessons as a boy, though he taught himself stride and boogie-woogie.[1] Beginning in 1946, he played boogie-woogie, swing, stride piano, and dixieland[1] with bands led by Bob Wilber.[2] A year later he began two years of accompanying Sidney Bechet.[1][2][3] In 1952 he toured Europe with Jimmy Archey, then worked with Roy Eldridge.[2] Through the 1950s he worked with a band led by Conrad Janis.[1] He also worked with Red Allen, Buster Bailey, Wild Bill Davison, Vic Dickenson, Coleman Hawkins, and Ben Webster.[1] He went to school and received a law degree, though thirty years would pass before he spent a brief time practicing law.[1]

In the 1960s he worked with Bob Dylan and Odetta.[1] With Carl Warwick he performed on military bases in Greenland. He toured South America with Gene Krupa, then spent two years with Kenny Davern.[1] During the 1970s he played with Captain John Handy and Punch Miller, then with Yank Lawson and Bob Haggart.[1] For the rest of his career he turned his attention from big bands to small groups and solo piano, performing often at the Newport Jazz Festival and touring with Davern and Bob Rosengarden.[1] In the 1980s he joined the Classic Jazz Quartet with Marty Grosz, Joe Muranyi, and Dick Sudhalter, worked again in a duo with Davern and in a piano duo with Dick Hyman.[1]

In 1987 he died of a heart attack in Palo Alto, California at the age of 59.[4]


As leaderEdit

  • Uptown and Lowdown (Prestige Swingville, 1961)
  • From Dixie to Swing (Music Minus One, 1971)
  • From Ragtime On (Chiaroscuro, 1971)
  • Jazz at the New School (Chiaroscuro, 1972)
  • Plays Ragtime Music of The Sting (Pickwick, 1974)
  • Rapport with Billy Butterfield (77 Records, 1975)
  • Live at the Cookery (Chiaroscuro, 1975)
  • The Music of Scott Joplin (Pickwick, 1977)
  • Some Hefty Cats! (Hefty Jazz 1977)
  • I Wish I Were Twins with Dick Hyman (Swingtime, 1983)
  • The Bob Wilber Dick Wellstood Duet (Parkwood, 1984)
  • Live at Cafe des Copains (Unisson, 1986)
  • Live Hot Jazz with Kenny Davern (Statiras, 1986)
  • Ragtime Piano Favorites (1988)
  • This Is the One...Dig! (Solo Art, 1977)
  • Take Me to the Land of Jazz with Marty Grosz (Aviva, 1978)
  • In the Jazz Tradition (Fat Cat's Jazz, 1980)
  • The Classic Jazz Quartet (Jazzology, 1985)
  • Never in a Million Years with Kenny Davern (Challenge, 1995)
  • Alone (Solo Art, 1997)
  • Live at the Sticky Wicket (Arbors, 1997)
  • Live at Hanratty's (Chiaroscuro, 2000)
  • A Night in Dublin (Arbors, 2000)
  • Stridemonster! The Duo Pianos of Dick Hyman and Dick Wellstood (Sackville, 2005)

As sidemanEdit

With Sidney Bechet

  • Creole Reeds (Riverside, 1956)
  • The Grand Master of the Soprano Saxophone and Clarinet (Columbia, 1956)

With Marty Grosz

  • I Hope Gabriel Likes My Music (Aviva, 1982)
  • Marty Grosz and The Keepers of the Flame (Stomp Off, 1987)

With Odetta

With Bob Wilber

  • Bob Wilber and His Jazz Band Volume 1 (Circle, 1949)
  • Spreadin' Joy (Classic Jazz, 1976)
  • Evolution of the Blues (Music Minus One, 1976)

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Kernfeld, Barry (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 3 (2 ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries. p. 909. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  2. ^ a b c Feather, Leonard; Gitler, Ira (2007). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press. p. 684. ISBN 0-19-507418-1.
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Dick Wellstood". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. ^ Wilson, John S. (12 July 1987). "Jazz: Dick Wellstood At Carlyle Bar's Piano". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  • Scivales, Riccardo, ed. Dick Wellstood Jazz Piano Solos: Seven Historic Solos. San Diego, California: Neil A. Kjos Music, 1994
  • Scivales, Riccardo, ed. Dick Wellstood: The Art of Jazz and Blues Piano. Vol. 1. London: Soliloquy Music, 2001