For no particular reason, I got to thinking recently about Stan Worth, a singer-musician-composer who was a bit of a celebrity in Los Angeles in the sixties and seventies. This post will tell you everything I think I know about him and I'm hoping it will prompt others to offer additions and/or corrections.
I believe the guy I'm talking about was Stan Worth Jr. and that he followed in the footsteps of his father, Stan Worth Sr., who was a popular New York lounge performer in the forties and fifties. Senior reportedly did a twenty-year stint at the Hotel Pierre following a long tour of duty with Peter Duchin's orchestra. Junior worked the same club beat on the opposite coast, playing local nightspots. Here's an ad from 1967 for a place called the Ruddy Duck which was located out in the valley in one of those buildings that was a different restaurant or nightclub every few years for a decade or two. There's now an insurance company at that address.
It seems to me the Stan Worth Trio was always playing somewhere during my childhood. I never saw them or him live but Mr. Worth seems to have been that rare lounge act that ever did anything else. He gained a following and managed to get hired for an awful lot of TV jobs. Probably everyone reading this can recall and sing the theme song for Jay Ward's cartoon show, George of the Jungle. It was written and performed by Stan Worth and so were the themes for the other segments on that show, Super Chicken and Tom Slick. Here's Stan Worth with the George of the Jungle song. I think Bill Scott did George's jungle yells and everything else is Stan Worth and his crew…
He also did a lot of game show themes including Let's Make a Deal, Hollywood Squares and High Rollers. He had bit parts in a number of TV shows and movies, usually playing a lounge pianist, but I became most aware of him for two things. One was a series of very funny singing commercials he did for the White Front department stores. They're all gone now but there were once a bunch of them around Southern California selling things cheaper than anyone. The commercials were just Stan sitting at a piano and singing of the glories of White Front and I thought they were wonderful.
The other thing he did was this: During the late sixties and early seventies, there were numerous attempts in L.A. television to create talk shows in the style of Johnny Carson's, the idea being that the show might start on local TV but could then go national. None of them did but on every one that had a band, the band seemed to be the Stan Worth Trio with a few additional members.
Stan Worth died in a plane crash in 1980. That's everything I know about him. I'm hoping someone reading this will have something to add.