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George Wright


  • Born 20 August 1920, Orland, California
  • Died 10 May 1998, Los Angeles, California

George WrightReputed to be the greatest technician of the pipe organ, Wright was Hi-Fi's featured organist in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and easily the most-recorded pop organist of all time. Wright was a perfectionist, notorious for finding faults with organs, taking them apart to fix the supposed source of the problem, and then leaving without having put everything back together.

Wright was raised in Sacramento and got his start playing in his teens. In fact, one of his first projects was installing a theater organ in own school, Grant High School--where it still remains and plays. Wright quickly became renown among theater organists for his pyrotechnic virtuosity, devising novel effects and pulling off lightning fast stop changes.

Wright spent four years as organist at the Fox Theatre in San Francisco, then moved to New York City to work as organist and musical director at the Paramount on Times Square. He began recording at this time, first cutting 78s for Sid Nathan's King Records.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1950, and became the studio organist for the perdurable soap opera, "General Hospital." Wright remained with the show until it switched from live broadcasts to video tape in the 1960s. Though live theater variety shows had pretty much died by the late 1950s, Wright developed an avid, if cult-sized, following during this time and was able to fill big variety-era theaters long after their main audiences had shriveled.

Wright was the first act signed to Hi-Fi Records, and he went on to record 20 albums before switching to Dot in 1963. On his Hi-Fi albums, Wright is a perfect complement to the label's star, Arthur Lyman--except that Wright produces bird squawks, screeches, and other jungle noises with the organ alone. His Dot albums are somewhat less showy, though he continues to work with a considerable range of material, from old standards to Dave Brubeck's "It's a Raggy Waltz." In 1968, however, the warehouse where he kept his personal pipe organ burned and he stopped recording for over 10 years.

A lifelong bachelor, Wright bought a house in the Hollywood Hills less for its location than its capacity to accomodate his new organ. He worked on it constantly, swapping out pieces he collected in his travels around the U.S. In 1980, a friend founded Banda Records for the purpose of recording Wright, and many of his albums are currently available on from Banda. In 1995, he was presented with the first Life Achievement Award by the American Theatre Organ Society.

For more information on George Wright check out Mark Renwick's excellent site at http://home.att.net/~tibia


Recordings (Courtesy of Dave Roemersberger)

  • George Wright Plays His Favorite Organ Solos, King 265-3
  • George Wright At The Mighty New York Paramount Theater Organ, King 265-19
  • George Wright At The Hammond Organ, King 295-52
  • Organ Reveries, King 395-504
  • Giant Sounds Organ Magic By George Wright, King 395-304
  • Favorite Organ Solos, King 395-509
  • Hotsy Totsy Organ, King 395-509
  • Mitchell Boys Choir Sings (GW accompaniment), Hi-Fi Record R-301
  • Dick Stewart Sings (GW accompaniment), Hi-Fi Record R-401
  • George Wright Plays The Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, Hi-Fi Record R-701
  • George Wright Encores At The Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, Hi-Fi Record R-702
  • Merry Christmas, Hi-Fi Record R-706
  • More George Wright At The Mighty Wurlitzer, Hi-Fi Record R-707
  • George Wright's Showtime, Hi-Fi Record R-708
  • The George Wright Sound, Hi-Fi Record R-710
  • Encores Vol. 2, Hi-Fi Record R-711
  • George Wright Plays The Conn Electronic Organ, Hi-Fi Record R-712
  • The Genius Of George Wright, Hi-Fi Record R-713
  • Hymns That LIve, Hi-Fi Record R-714
  • George Wright Impressions Of My Fair Lady, Hi-Fi Record R-715
  • George Wright Goes South Pacific, Hi-Fi Record R-716
  • Flight To Tokyo, Hi-Fi Fecord R-717
  • The Roaring 20's, Hi-Fi Record R-718
  • Have Organ, Will Travel, Hi-Fi Record R-721
  • Jazz'N Razz Ma Tazz, Georgie's Varsity 5!, Hi-Fi Record R-805
  • as Guy Melendy Pop Pipe Organ In Hi-Fi, RCA Camden CAL-414
  • as Jocelyn McNeil Very Hi-Fi Organ, RCA Custom RAL-1010
  • Command Performance, Life Series Hi-Fi Record L-1006
  • A George Wright Original, Life Series Hi-Fi Record L-1008
  • Sweet And Low, Life Series Hi-Fi Record L-1011
  • Tibia And Vox, Life Series Hi-Fi Record L-1015
  • The Best Of George Wright, Life Series Hi-Fi Record SL-443
  • Let George Do It, Solo Records SM-267
  • Gulbransen Presents George Wright, #XCTV-82967 (Demo LP)
  • Christmas Time, Dot DLP-24179
  • The Wright Touch, Dot DLP-25447
  • A George Wright Pipe Organ Concert, Dot DLP-25503
  • Great Hawaiian Melodies, Dot DLP-25526
  • George Wright At The Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, Hamilton HLP-12120
  • George Wright Plays George Gershwin, Dot DLP-25612
  • A Tribute To Jesse Crawford, Dot DLP-25613
  • The San Francisco Hubcaps: Percussion Party,(GW accompaniment), Dot DLP-25637
  • George Wright Plays Richard Rodgers, Dot DLP-25656
  • George Wright Live, In Concert, Dot DLP-25712
  • The Sounds Of Love, Malar MAS-1003
  • Now's The Right Time, Dot DLP-25929
  • Reflections Of My Life, Dot DLP-25984
  • The Touch Of Your Hands, Pickwick 33 SPC-3102
  • The Surrey With The Fringe On Top, Pickwick 33 SPC-3130
  • Popular Organ Hits, Reader's Digest RD4-87 (4-Record Box Set)
  • It's All Wright, Doric DO-1213
  • The Artistry Of George Wright, MCA MCA-4166 (Double Set)
  • Organ Favorites, Famous Twinsets PAS-2-1025 (Double Set)
  • George Wright At The Movies, Essential Records ERS-01W
  • Wright On!, Lurite Records L-112
  • The Sound Of Conn With George Wright At The Conn Theatre Organs, Organized Sound, Inc. (7-17424-OSI Demo LP)
  • Allen 620 Digital Computer Organ, No Label AOC-620 (Demo LP)
  • The Sound Of Conn At Home With George Wright, No. 4530 Record (On Record) MA-1338) (Demo LP)
  • Christmas Organ Music, Regent MG-5001
  • George Wright At The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, Regent MG-6022
  • George Wright Plays The Chicago Theatre Organ, Century CRDD-1060
  • George Wright Plays The Chicago Theatre Organ Vol.2, Century CRDD-1061
  • Forty-Second Street And Other Goodies, Banda KM-6404
  • Paramount Organ Premier, Banda KM-1047B
  • Red Hot And Blue!, Banda KM-12315
  • Anything Goes, Banda BA-253201 (CD)
  • Radio Days Vol.1, Banda BA-42002 (CD)
  • Paramount Premier, Banda BA-99862 (CD)
  • Red Hot And Blue, Banda DIDX-438 (CD)
  • Salon, Banda BA-309860 (CD)
  • George Wright Live At The Rialto, Banda BA-109759 (2-CD Set)
  • Hot Pipes, Banda BA-12295 (CD)
  • Rhapsody In Blue, Banda BA-59657 (CD)
  • Girls! Girls! Girls!, Banda BA-109555 (CD)
  • Chicago Vol.1, Banda BA-61949 (CD)
  • Chicago II, Banda BA-42192 (CD)
  • Let George Do It, Banda BA-82820 (CD)
  • The Art Of George Wright Vol.1, Banda BA-109454 (CD)
  • Merry Christmas, Banda BA-AD01 (CD)
  • Nifty Fifty, Banda BA-8480 (CD)
  • Kaleidoscope, Banda DIDX-3322 (CD)
  • Wright On!, Banda BA-520042 (CD)
  • The Wright Touch & A George Wright Pipe Organ Concert, Banda BA-25503/447 (CD)
  • Tribute To Jesse Crawford, Banda BA-42001 (CD)
  • Flight To Tokyo & Encores II, Banda BA-59658 (CD)
  • George Wright At The San Francisco Fox Vol. 1, Banda BA-9211 (CD)
  • George Wright At The San Francisco Fox Vol. 2, Banda BA-109453 (CD)
  • South Pacific & My Fair Lady, Banda BA-109556 (CD)
  • My Fair Lady, Banda BSD-122 (CD)
  • South Pacific, Banda BSD-129 (CD)
  • The Mighty Wurlitzer & Encores, Banda BA-70170299 (CD)
  • The Genius Of George Wright & More George Wright, Banda BA-309861(CD)
  • Let George Do It...Again, Banda BAE-520041 (CD)
  • Sounds Of Love, Banda BA-070603 (CD)
  • George Wright Plays The Wurlitzer Plummer Organ, Beldale Records CD-430 (CD)


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