Wendell Philips Culley (January 8, 1906 in Worcester, Massachusetts – May 8, 1983 in Los Angeles, CA) was an American jazz trumpeter and occasional multi instrumentalist.
Growing up in Worcester, Culley played regularly at the AME Zion Church, in the Commerce High School band, and occasionally with Mamie Moffitt and Her Five Jazz Hounds. He also played in Boots Ward's Nite Hawks, and in working groups with his brother Ray, a drummer and singer. His older sister is actress, Zara Cully, best known for her role as Olivia 'Mother Jefferson' Jefferson on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons.
In 1931, he moved to New York City, where he found early work playing with Horace Henderson and Cab Calloway. He then spent 11 years in the employ of Noble Sissle, recording with him extensively. Following this, he played French horn with Harry James and His Orchestra on a 1942 recording, then tenor saxophone on a 1943-1951 Dinah Washington recording, Lionel Hampton (1944–49) and then worked again briefly with Sissle before playing in the Count Basie Orchestra from 1951 to 1959. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he doubled on trombone with a Billy Eckstine recording.
After working with Basie, Culley retired from music and pursued a career in insurance.
= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.
Recordings (Results 1-25 of 66 records)
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Columbia||[W]149795||10-in.||1/22/1930||Cotton pickers' shuffle||Georgia Cotton Pickers [George Tynes]||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Decca||60888||10-in.||3/11/1936||That's what love did co me||Noble Sissle Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||60889||10-in.||3/11/1936||You can't live in Harlem||Noble Sissle Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||60890||10-in.||3/11/1936||I wonder who made rhythm||Noble Sissle Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||60891||10-in.||3/11/1936||'Tain't a fit night out for man or beast||Noble Sissle Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||60892||10-in.||3/11/1936||I take to you||Noble Sissle Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||60893||10-in.||3/11/1936||Rhythm of the Broadway moon||Noble Sissle Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72871||10-in.||5/21/1945||Doublin' with Dublin||Lionel Hampton Sextet||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72872||10-in.||5/21/1945||Ribs and hot sauce||Lionel Hampton Sextet||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72873||10-in.||5/21/1945||Blow top blues||Lionel Hampton Sextet||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72874||10-in.||5/21/1945||Two fingers boogie||Lionel Hampton Sextet||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72875||10-in.||5/21/1945||Someday||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72876||10-in.||5/21/1945||Beulah's boogie||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72881||10-in.||5/21/1945||Playboy||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||72882||10-in.||5/21/1945||Punch and Judy||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73287||1/21/1946||Pinetop's boogie woogie-1||Bing Crosby||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73288||1/21/1946||On the sunny side of the street-2||Bing Crosby||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73324||1/29/1946||Rockin' in rhythm, part 1||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73325||1/29/1946||Rockin' in rhythm, part 2||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73326||1/29/1946||Gay notes||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73327||1/29/1946||Tempo's birthday||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73332||1/31/1946||Cobb's idea||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73333||1/31/1946||Air mail special, part 1||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||73334||1/31/1946||Air Mail special, part 2||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
|Decca||74730||1/28/1949||Hamp's boogie woogie No.2||Lionel Hampton Orchestra||instrumentalist, trumpet|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Culley, Wendell," accessed September 24, 2023, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107317.
Culley, Wendell. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107317.
"Culley, Wendell." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2023. Web. 24 September 2023.
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