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Stanley Aubrey "Stan" Wrightsman (June 15, 1910 – December 17, 1975) was an American jazz pianist.

Stan Wrightsman
Birth nameStanley Aubrey Wrightsman
Born(1910-06-15)June 15, 1910
Gotebo, Oklahoma, U.S.
DiedDecember 17, 1975(1975-12-17) (aged 65)
Palm Springs, California, U.S.
InstrumentsPiano, celesta


Wrightsman, whose father was a musician, began playing professionally in a Gulfport, Mississippi hotel, and in territory bands in Oklahoma.[1] In 1930, he moved to New Orleans where he played with Ray Miller. From 1935–1936 he worked with Ben Pollack in Chicago. An illness (TB) interrupted his career, after which he worked in California with the orchestra of Seger Ellis in 1937. His first recordings were made soon thereafter, especially with Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Wrightsman played with various big bands and ensembles (mainly Traditional Jazz), including Artie Shaw, Wingy Manone, Eddie Miller, Rudy Vallee, Nappy Lamare, Johnny Mercer,[2] Harry James, Bob Crosby (1950–51), Matty Matlock, Pete Fountain, The Rampart Street Paraders, Ray Bauduc, Wild Bill Davison, and Bob Scobey. He also appeared on the soundtrack of Blues in the Night (1941), in which he stood in for Richard Whorf on piano,[3] Syncopation (1942),[4] the Jack Webb film Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), and the Red Nichols biopic The Five Pennies (1959). In the feature film The Crimson Canary, Wrightsman appeared as a pianist.

In the 1960s, Wrightsman reunited with Pete Fountain and continued his work with Hollywood film studios. At the end of the decade, he moved to Las Vegas, where he played as a sideman for Wayne Newton and Flip Wilson. In the field of jazz, he was involved in 174 recording dates from 1937 to 1971, including sessions with Louis Armstrong, Eartha Kitt,[5] George Van Eps,[6] and Peggy Lee—whom he accompanied on the celesta for the song "That Old Feeling" in 1944.[7]

In 1948, Beat Generation author Neal Cassady described Wrightsman as "a greatly underrated French player."[8]

Married Mittie (Fisher) Wrightsman, 1933 - divorced 1964 - 1 son Charles Stanley Wrightsman, born April 30, 1943 -


  1. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz (2nd ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. 2002. ISBN 978-1561592630.
  2. ^ Eskew, Glenn T. (2013). Johnny Mercer: Southern Songwriter for the World. University of Georgia Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0820333304.
  3. ^ Biesen, Sheri Chinen (2014). Music in the Shadows: Noir Musical Films. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-1421408385.
  4. ^ Clear, Rebecca D. (1993). Jazz on film and video in the Library of Congress. Library of Congress. p. 137. ASIN B0006P5AG8.
  5. ^ Lord, Tom (1997). The Jazz Discography. ISBN 978-1881993155.
  6. ^ "Reviews and Ratings of New Popular Albums". Billboard: 24. September 10, 1955. ISSN 0006-2510.
  7. ^ "Popular Record Reviews". Billboard: 65. August 5, 1944. ISSN 0006-2510.
  8. ^ Cassady, Neal (2005). "Letter to Bill Tomson on August 10, 1948". In Moore, Dave (ed.). Collected Letters, 1944–1967. Introduction by Carolyn Cassady. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0142002179.

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