Gerald "Wig" Wiggins


Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Musician, Keyboardist, Songwriter

Gerald “Wig” Wiggins was a world renowned composer, arranger and jazz keyboardist. As an early pioneer in playing jazz on the Hammond B-3 organ, Wig had a strong interest in new and inventive sounds. His creatively can be heard in hundreds of recordings and motion pictures beginning in the 1930s. His most personally fulfilling roles were as a backup to vocalists –and Wig worked with ‘em all. He toured and recorded with Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Lena Horne, Kay Starr, Nat King Cole, Lou Rawls, Jimmy Witherspoon and Eartha Kitt. After he worked with Marilyn Monroe she signed a photograph to Wig exclaiming “I won’t make a sound without you.” In 1961 he was quoted in Down Beat magazine singing the praises of the Steinway grand piano and although he was an unofficial endorser of the instrument he remained closely associated with the piano throughout the rest of his long career.