Shirley Scott

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Shirley Scott
Shirley Scott.jpg
Background information
Born(1934-03-14)March 14, 1934
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedMarch 10, 2002(2002-03-10) (aged 67)
  • Musician
  • educator
  • Organ
  • piano
Years active1955–1995

Shirley Scott (March 14, 1934 – March 10, 2002) was an American jazz organist. Her music was noted for its mixture of bebop, blues and gospel elements. She was known by the nickname "Queen of the Organ".[1][2]

Life and career[edit]

Scott was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father operated a jazz club in the basement of the family home and her brother played Saxophone.[3] At the age of eight, Scott began piano lessons.[4] After enrolling at Philadelphia High School for Girls, where she was awarded a scholarship, Scott switched to trumpet and played in the all-city schools band.[3]

She studied for bachelor and master's degrees at Cheyney University. Later in life Scott would return to the university as a teacher.[5]

As a performer in the 1950s, she played the Hammond B-3 organ. Her recordings with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis included the hit "In the Kitchen". Influenced by gospel and blues, she played soul jazz in the 1960s with Stanley Turrentine, who became her husband during the same decade; the couple divorced in 1971.[6]

Although organ trios declined in popularity during the 1970s, they resurged in the 1980s and she recorded again. In the 1990s, she recorded as pianist in a trio and performed at venues in Philadelphia.[7]

Scott won an $8 million settlement in 2000 against American Home Products, the manufacturers of the diet drug fen-phen. She died of heart failure in 2002.[7][8]


As leader[edit]

LP/CD compilations[edit]

  • 1969: The Best of Shirley Scott With Stanley Turrentine (Prestige PR 7707)
  • 1970: The Best of Shirley Scott With Stanley Turrentine/For Beautiful People (Prestige PR 7773)
  • 1993: Workin' (Prestige) (compilation of Workin' + Stompin' )
  • 1994: Soul Shoutin' (Prestige) (compilation of The Soul Is Willing + Soul Shoutin' )
  • 1998: Legends of Acid Jazz: Shirley Scott (Prestige) (compilation of Hip Soul + Hip Twist)
  • 1998: Stanley Turrentine & Shirley Scott: Priceless Jazz (GRP) (includes 3 tracks from Scott's Queen of the Organ and 5 tracks from Turrentine's Let It Go, both originally on Impulse!)
  • 1999: Soul Sister (Prestige) (compilation of Soul Sister + Travelin' Light)
  • 2001: Like Cozy (Prestige) (compilation of The Shirley Scott Trio + Like Cozy)
  • 2001: Shirley Scott: Talkin' Verve (Verve) (includes tracks from 9 albums: Impulse! AS-9051/AS-9067/AS-9073/AS-9093/AS-9115/AS-9119/AS-9133/AS-9141 and Cadet CA-50009)
  • 2003: Shirley Scott Memorial Album (1958–1964) (Prestige)
  • 2004: Trio Classics, Vol. 1 (Prestige) (compilation of Great Scott! + Shirley's Sounds)

As sidewoman[edit]

With Stanley Turrentine

With Mildred Anderson

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

With Jimmy Forrest

  • 1978: Heart of the Forrest (Palo Alto)

With Dexter Gordon

With Al Grey

  • 1977: Al Grey Jazz All Stars: Travelers Lounge Live (Travelers)
  • 1979: Al Grey/Jimmy Forrest Quintet: Live at Rick's (Aviva)

With Joe Newman

With Jimmy Rushing

With Al Smith


  1. ^ "Shirley Scott, 67, Performer Known as the Queen of the Organ". The New York Times. 2002-03-16. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  2. ^ Jarenwattananon, Patrick (2015-10-29). "The Queen Of The Organ Was A Donor To Philadelphia". NPR. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  3. ^ a b Vacher, Peter (2002-05-13). "Obituary: Shirley Scott". The Guardian. Retrieved 2021-11-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Shirley Scott". The Independent. 2002-03-15. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  5. ^ Thurber, Jon (2002-03-14). "Shirley Scott, 67; Jazz Musician Was Queen of Hammond Organ". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2021-11-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Stanley Turrentine". The Daily Telegraph. September 25, 2000. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Shirley Scott". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  8. ^ 'Organ queen' Shirley Scott dies". March 13, 2002. New Pittsburgh Courier.
  9. ^ "Shirley Scott | Album Discography | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 24 August 2018.

External links[edit]