Dicky Wells

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Dicky Wells
Dickie Wells.jpg
Dicky Wells
Photo:William P. Gottlieb.
Background information
Birth nameWilliam Wells
Also known asDickie Wells
BornJune 10, 1907[1]
Centerville, Tennessee
DiedNovember 12, 1985(1985-11-12) (aged 78)
New York, New York
Associated actsCount Basie, Bill Coleman

William Wells (June 10, 1907 – November 12, 1985), known as Dicky Wells (sometimes Dickie Wells), was an American jazz trombonist.[2][3]


Dickie Wells is believed to have been born on June 10, 1907 in Centerville, Tennessee. His brother was trombonist Henry Wells. He moved to New York City in 1926, and became a member of the Lloyd Scott band.

He played with Count Basie between 1938–1945 and 1947–1950. He also played with Cecil Scott, Spike Hughes, Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, Teddy Hill, Jimmy Rushing, Buck Clayton and Ray Charles.

In his later years, Wells suffered a severe beating that affected his memory, but he recovered and continued to perform. He played frequently at the West End jazz club at 116th and Broadway, most often with a band called The Countsmen, led by alto saxophonist Earle Warren, his colleague from Count Basie days. A trademark was Wells's "pepper pot" mute which he made himself.


He died on November 12, 1985, in New York City. Shortly after his death, Wells's family donated his trombone to Rutgers University.


With Count Basie

With Buck Clayton

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Jay McShann

With Rex Stewart

With Buddy Tate


  1. ^ U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014
  2. ^ Entry in Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. ^ "Dicky Wells biography". biography.com. Retrieved October 29, 2013.

External links[edit]