Born: April 3, 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: May 24, 2008 in Voorhees, New Jersey
Jimmy talks about catching an audience.
One of the cornerstones of the Philadelphia organ sound, Jimmy McGriff died at a nursing home at the age of 72. The cause was heart failure related to multiple sclerosis.
While he was often referred to as a jazz musician, McGriff preferred to be known as a blues organist -- something that he felt set him apart from his former teacher, Jimmy Smith.
The son of two pianists, McGriff learned piano, saxophone and bass, but switched to the organ on the advice of his father, who felt his son had a natural feel for gospel music.