Born on this day, 28th of July 1943, Richard William Wright is the legendary keyboardist of what most people consider the pinnacle group in prog rock: Pink Floyd. His birthplace was Hatch End, Middlesex, an area in the northwest of London. His father was a head biochemist at Unigate Dairies and Wright got his education from the Haberdashers' Aske's School, a public school for boys, in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
At the age of 12, he started learning to play the guitar, trumpet, and piano by himself while he was recovering from a broken leg. His mother was encouraging him to play the piano and he started taking private lessons in musical theory and composition at the Eric Gilder School of Music. At an early age, he was influenced by jazz, particularly the traditional jazz revival in Britain. This influence is evident in his works with Pink Floyd, and also is an important element of the band’s sound. It is also known that he was playing the trombone and saxophone.
In 1962, he enrolled at the Regent Street Polytechnic. While studying architecture at the Regent, he met the future Pink Floyd bandmates, Roger Waters and Nick Mason. They all joined a band formed by one of their classmates, Sigma 6. In the beginning, Wright’s position in the band was ambiguous because he hadn’t yet settled on one definitive instrument: if the pub could lend one, he would play the piano; otherwise, he would play the rhythm guitar or the trombone. Ultimately, he settled on keyboards, mainly organ, and after some member changes, he started his epic musical career with the newly formed Pink Floyd.
Today, we remember him for his inexpressible contribution to progressive rock genre and music as a whole and wish him a happy birthday.