- Scott Yanow
jazz organist and keyboardist, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Earland started out as a saxophonist, playing his father's alto sax. He would “borrow” the alto (without his father knowing it), taking it to school so he could receive free lessons. At South Philadelphia High School, he played baritone sax in a school band that included the guitarist Pat Martino, the tenor saxophonist Lew Tabackin, the pianist Bobby Timmons, and the future pop star Frankie Avalon on trumpet.
Earland attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he played with the school band. During 1958–1961, he played tenor saxophone with the organist Jimmy McGriff's band. After watching McGriff have a great time playing organ each night, Earland began teaching himself the organ during the band's breaks. When he left the group in 1961 he switched permanently to organ putting together his own trio with Martino and the drummer Bobby ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.