1913 - 1989
Dudley Brooks (December 22, 1913 – July 17, 1989) was an American jazz pianist, arranger, and composer.
While under contract to Paramount Studios, Brooks spent considerable time working as a session piano player at the Radio Recorders studio in Los Angeles. For many years, Radio Recorders was one of the best known recording studios in the country and hosted performers such as Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, and Elvis Presley. Presley was also under contract to Paramount Studios where he was filming movies to include Girls! Girls! Girls! and Blue Hawaii. Paramount, to ensure Presley's recordings and movies stayed on schedule, regularly provided studio musicians to Radio Recorders. As a result, Brooks developed a professional relationship with Presley that spanned decades.
Brooks, one of several African Americans who worked with Presley, downplayed allegations that Presley was a racist.
During his career, Brooks also composed a number of songs often in collaboration with other songwriters. Among his works is the well-known Christmas song "(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man with the Bag". Made popular by Kay Starr in 1950, the song has been covered by many artists to include the Brian Setzer Orchestra and Vonda Shepard.
Brooks died in his hometown of Los Angeles in 1989.