Rozelle Ivory Gayle (February 24, 1919 – December 6, 1986) was an American jazz pianist, comic entertainer and actor.


Born in Chicago, he studied at the American Conservatory of Music before working as a pianist with Roy Eldridge's band, recording with them in 1943.[1][2] A follower of Art Tatum, he moved to southern California in 1948, and started performing as a solo act in clubs. In 1953, he had a residency in Santa Ana, California. A review in Jet magazine described his "boogie-to-Bach repertoire" and claimed he was being hailed as "the new Fats Waller".[2] He recorded several tracks for the Combo label in the mid-1950s, including some using the name Paul Preston.[1]

In 1958, he recorded the album Like, Be My Guest – An Evening With Rozelle Gayle for Mercury Records. The album combined jazz with hipster comedy.[3] He also recorded with Benny Carter in 1964.[1] He released a second album, Sex Cracks on the Dooto label in 1967; the album was promoted as "America's maddest album yet", containing "super sidesplitting sex-humor galore!"[4] Gayle also acted in many movies, including The Devil's Daughter (1973), Coast to Coast, The Man with Bogart's Face (both 1980), and Honkytonk Man (1982).[5]

He died of cancer in Los Angeles in 1986, aged 67.[6]


Year Title Role Notes
1949 The Joint is Jumpin' Himself
1973 The Devil's Daughter Fedora TV movie
1973 Blood, Black and White
1975 The Jeffersons Bill Simpson Episode: "Mr. Piano Man"
1975 Let's Do It Again Exhibition Boxing Match Announcer Uncredited
1976 Starsky & Hutch Toby Episode: "Losing Streak"
1976 Sanford and Son Sgt. Perkins / Dan 2 episodes
1976-1978 Barnaby Jones Rambo / Alf Wortman 2 episodes
1980 The Man with Bogart's Face Mastodon
1980 Coast to Coast Orderly
1982 Honkytonk Man Club Manager



7. Demetria Fulton previewed Rozelle Gayle in Barnaby Jones; episode titled, "The Lonely Victims"(01/08/1976).