George Wright (organist)

George Wright (Organist)

George Wright (organist)

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Description:
George Wright (August 28, 1920 in Orland, California – May 10, 1998 in Glendale, California) was an American musician, possibly the most famous virtuoso of the theatre organ of the modern era.

Wright was best known for his virtuoso performances on the huge Wurlitzer theater pipe organs at the famed Fox Theater on Market Street in San Francisco and the ornate Paramount Theaters in both New York and Oakland. He was in constant demand during the 1940s, '50s and early '60s, playing at concerts and recitals around the world.

Biography

George Wright learned to play the piano at an early age from his mother who was a private music teacher. He grew up in Stockton and Sacramento, where he graduated from Grant Union High School. One of his first projects was installing a theater organ there, where it still remains and plays.

In 1938 he had his first playing job at a Chinese night club in Oakland called the Shanghai Terrace Bowl which boasted a 2-manual, 6-rank Wurlitzer; the show was broadcast nightly by an Oakland radio station. In 1941, he joined San Francisco radio station KFRC and performed at the Fox Theater on Saturday nights. In 1944, he relocated 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 78 RPM records for Syd Nathan's King Records. In New York he played on Jack Berch's NBC show and later guested with Paul Whiteman and Percy Faith, as well as on the network shows of Bing Crosby...
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