Scott, Shirley, R&B/jazz organist, pianist; b. Philadelphia, Pa., March 14, 1934. Called the “Queen of the Hammond Organ,” Scott has led her group, usually comprised of organ, saxophone and drums, since the late 1950s. She is also a pianist of great technical skill. In 1955, she worked with Bill Carney and John Coltrane. She came to prominence playing in Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis’s trio (1955). Scott began recording on her own in 1958. Beginning in 1961, she started a long series of recordings with Stanley Turrentine, whom she later married. Many of these sessions are under Turrentine’s name. After they broke up in the early 1970s, she recorded less frequently, but Scott continues to work with her band; in 1982, she recorded with Dexter Gordon. She led the band on Bill Cosby’s ill-fated revival of the game show You Bet Your Life in 1992. Scott spent a period in the hospital following abuse of diet pills from 1997–98, but then returned to performing.
Great Scott! (1958); Shirley Scott Plays Horace Silver (1961); Blue Seven (1961); For Members Only (1963); Great Live Sessions (1964); Girl Talk (1967); One for Me (1974); Oasis (1989); Blues Everywhere (1991); Skylark (1995).
—Music Master Jazz and Blues Catalogue/Lewis Porter