Pain Relief Beyond Belief





From Blakey to Brown, Como to Costa, Eckstine to Eldridge, Galbraith to Garner, Harris to Hines, Horne to Hyman, Jamal to Jefferson, Kelly to Klook; Mancini to Marmarosa, May to Mitchell, Negri to Nestico, Parlan to Ponder, Reed to Ruther, Strayhorn to Sullivan, Turk to Turrentine, Wade to Williams… the forthcoming publication Treasury of Pittsburgh Jazz Connections by Dr. Nelson Harrison and Dr. Ralph Proctor, Jr. will document the legacy of one of the world’s greatest jazz capitals.


Do you want to know who Dizzy Gillespie  idolized? Did you ever wonder who inspired Kenny Clarke and Art Blakey? Who was the pianist that mentored Monk, Bud Powell, Tad Dameron, Elmo Hope, Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme? Who was Art Tatum’s idol and Nat Cole’s mentor? What musical quartet pioneered the concept adopted later by the Modern Jazz Quartet? Were you ever curious to know who taught saxophone to Stanley Turrentine or who taught piano to Ahmad Jamal? What community music school trained Robert McFerrin, Sr. for his history-making debut with the Metropolitan Opera? What virtually unknown pianist was a significant influence on young John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, McCoy Tyner, Bobby Timmons and Ray Bryant when he moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in the 1940s?  Would you be surprised to know that Erroll Garner attended classes at the Julliard School of Music in New York and was at the top of his class in writing and arranging proficiency?


Some answers  can be gleaned from the postings on the Pittsburgh Jazz Network.


For almost 100 years the Pittsburgh region has been a metacenter of jazz originality that is second to no other in the history of jazz.  One of the best kept secrets in jazz folklore, the Pittsburgh Jazz Legacy has heretofore remained mythical.  We have dubbed it “the greatest story never told” since it has not been represented in writing before now in such a way as to be accessible to anyone seeking to know more about it.  When it was happening, little did we know how priceless the memories would become when the times were gone.


Today jazz is still king in Pittsburgh, with events, performances and activities happening all the time. The Pittsburgh Jazz Network is dedicated to celebrating and showcasing the places, artists and fans that carry on the legacy of Pittsburgh's jazz heritage.






Duke Ellington is first African-American and the first musician to solo on U.S. circulating coin



       In Her Own Words
Food Culinary 16

Fred D. Pryor

October 8, 1932 ~ August 22, 2021 (age 88)



Fred Douglas Pryor was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by the union of the late Fred Pryor Sr. and Martha (Bannister) Pryor. To that union, four children were born, Jean, Fred, Jimmy and Ronnie. Fred was educated in the Pittsburgh Public school system.

He met and married Shirley Smith. Out of this union they had one daughter Sylvia and two sons Fred Jr. and Mark.

Fred started playing the drums at a very young age. He played with some Pittsburgh greats such as George Benson, Walt Harper and Harold Betters just to name a few. He loved jazz and formed his band the Fred Pryor Trio. He played at many places such as the Crawford Grill, Savoy, Balcony, The Pyramid, Crazy quilt, Encore and many more. He was a member of Pittsburgh Musician’s Union and the African American Jazz Preservation Society of Pittsburgh.

Fred worked at Genesee Beer for 30 years in sales and became a district manager. His territory was Pittsburgh, Rochester, NY and Cleveland, Ohio.

He was an avid Steelers fan. He was not going anywhere on a Sunday when the Steelers were on until the game was over. 

Fred leaves to cherish his memory wife Shirley, daughter Sylvia,son Fred, and Mark which departed this life Christmas Day 2020. Grandchildren Fred, Ebonie, Mark, Laurence, Ariana, Haley, Marcus, and Michael. One brother Jimmy (Donna),sister-in-law Ridgley Logan and son-in-law Duane Ewing, and a host of nieces, nephews, and friendsHe is predeceased by brother Ronniesister Jean Curry and sister-in-law Dolores Nisby.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fred D. Pryor, please visit our floral store.


August 28, 2021

12:00 PM
House of Law, Inc.
9406 Frankstown Road
Penn Hills, Pennsylvania 15235
Send Flowers to Fred's Memorial Gathering
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Gathering begins

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Replies to This Discussion

Fred Pryor, a Survivor of the Black Musicians Local 471, transitioned on Sunday, August 22, 2021. A Memorial service will be held at 12 noon this Saturday, August 28, 2021 at the House of Law, Inc. 9406 Frankstown Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15235. Mr. Pryor was a drummer and played with many of the great Pittsburgh musicians! Prayers of love, peace, and strength for his wife, Miss Shirley, daughter, Sylvia, son, Fred, family and friends!

My sincerest condolences to the Fred Pryor family and friends and fellow musicians. He left quite a musical legacy here in Pittsburgh as the pictures posted show. He will be missed.

RIP Mr. Pryor.


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