Shirley Scott, born on March 14, 1934, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was an acclaimed American jazz organist, blending elements of bebop, blues, and gospel music. She was affectionately known as the “Queen of the Organ.” Scott’s early exposure to jazz came from her father, who operated a jazz club in their home’s basement, and her brother who played the saxophone. She began piano lessons at eight and later switched to the trumpet during high school.
Her career in the 1950s included playing the Hammond B-3 organ and collaborating with Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, producing hits like “In the Kitchen.” In the 1960s, she played soul jazz, notably with saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, whom she married during that decade (they divorced in 1971). Though organ trios waned in popularity in the 1970s, they resurged in the 1980s, leading to Scott’s return to recording. In the 1990s, she performed as a pianist and continued to play at venues in Philadelphia.
Shirley Scott also pursued academic studies, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Cheyney University, where she later returned as a teacher. She won an $8 million settlement against American Home Products in 2000 for the diet drug fen-phen. Scott passed away from heart failure on March 10, 2002【85†source】【86†source】【87†source】.