Lloyd Wells

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For pro football's first black full-time scout, see Lloyd C. A. Wells.

Lloyd Wells is an American guitarist, composer and arranger.

Music career[edit]

He grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, the same home town of jazz guitarist, Mundell Lowe. He did his first professional work playing for square dances while still attending high school. He attended the University of Southern Mississippi, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education.

With encouragement from Lowe, Wells spent the years 1964–73 in New York as a working guitarist. In 1973, after moving to Nashville, Wells toured Russia with Tennessee Ernie Ford and a troupe from the Opryland USA show park, and, as a result, became the Music Director of Opryland USA, a position he held for twenty-three years. Wells was responsible for over five thousand vocal and instrumental arrangements and orchestrations in addition to penning original compositions for the major shows in the park.

TV work[edit]

Wells has written arrangements for Brenda Lee (two TNN specials). He was arranger and conductor of one hundred and twenty television shows on TNN (Opryland On Stage) and one hundred and twenty shows with Porter Wagoner (Porter Wagoner at Opryland); arranged, orchestrated, and conducted the NBC Orchestra for the network special "50 Golden Years With Tennessee Ernie Ford." He has worked for the CBS Morning Show the Today Show and the CMA Awards.

Movies and stage[edit]

His Broadway credits of eighteen shows include Cabaret, Company and Zorba, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tony Awards, The Merv Griffin Show, Sesame Street, The Electric Company, The Johnny Carson Show and The Skitch Henderson Show. Wells' favorite stage production, for which he wrote the dialogue, original music, arrangements and orchestrations, was "Easter...in Song and Story", an Easter pageant performed in the Grand Ole Opry House during the Spring seasons of 1993–94.

Movie tracks include "The Life of Norman Rockwell" (1971 Academy Award winning documentary), "The Subject Was Roses", and "Something For Everyone." He has held film scoring seminars at the George Lindsey Film Festival at the University of North Alabama.

Other work[edit]

Well has arranged/orchestrated shows for the Community Concert series (including the only Gershwin estate sanctioned revue to tour the United States during the Gershwin Centennial celebration); the "Ryman Auditorium", "The Opryland Hotel", the "Fiesta, Texas" theme park (San Antonio, Texas), and the 1980 World's Fair (Knoxville, Tennessee).

He has conducted the Nashville Symphony on several occasions (including the Grand Opening of the Tennessee Center for the Performing Arts and the dedication of the Bicentennial Mall).

Singer credits Peggy Lee, Rosemary Clooney, Guy Mitchell and Jane Russell. Big Band credits include Glenn Miller (with Buddy DeFranco), Les and Larry Elgart and the Paul Winter Jazz Sextet.

Awards and honors[edit]

Wells has performed at the White House on two occasions. He is an inductee of the "Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame" and a member of the "Alumni Hall of Fame" of the University of Southern Mississippi.

Discography[edit]

  • This One's for Charlie wth Mundell Lowe (Azica)
  • I Wish You Love
  • Invitation (Bluport)
  • Poor Butterfly w/Mundell Lowe/Jim Ferguson (Two Helpins o' Collards Records)

Sources[edit]

  • "Mundell Lowe" by Ed Benson. Just Jazz Guitar, November, 2007, page 149.