Disneyland & Dodgers pianist and organist Beamsley dies at 79
Don Beamsley, 79; big-band pianist and organist for Dodgers
Los Angeles Times
October 26, 2007
Sign the Guest Book at:
Don Beamsley, 79, a big-band pianist who also played the organ at Dodger Stadium from 1966 to '71, died Oct. 11 at Long Beach Community Hospital, said his wife, Jackie. He had Parkinson's disease.
Born in Long Beach on Oct. 26, 1927, Beamsley learned to play the piano and cello as a child. As a teenager, he played the piano at USO shows aboard Navy ships that docked in Long Beach and the cello with the Long Beach Philharmonic Orchestra.
His first job out of high school was playing the piano and cello with the Warner Bros. Studio orchestra. He continued to play piano for TV and movie soundtracks and with touring big bands for the rest of his career.
In 1955, Beamsley went to work at the recently opened Disneyland as manager of the Wurlitzer Music Hall exhibit on Main Street, his wife said. He also played piano at the Golden Horseshoe Revue in Frontierland, she said.
He auditioned for the organist's job at Dodger Stadium and joined the team in August 1966, in time for the Dodgers' World Series appearance against the Baltimore Orioles. He played there until 1971, quitting to go back on the road with a traveling big band, and was replaced by Helen Dell.
Beamsley played professionally until about four years ago.
Re: Disneyland & Dodgers pianist and organist Beamsley dies at 79