Winifred Atwell

Pharmacist from United Kingdom

Una Winifred Atwell (27 February or April 1910 or 1914 – 28 February 1983) was a Trinidad-born British pianist who enjoyed great popularity in Britain and other countries (including Australia) from the 1950s with a series of boogie woogie and ragtime hits. She was the first black person to have a number one hit in the UK Singles Chart, and still the only female instrumentalist to do so. Atwell was born in Tunapuna in Trinidad and Tobago. She and her parents lived in Jubilee Street. Her family owned a pharmacy, and she trained as a pharmacist, and was expected to join the family business. Winifred, however, had played the piano from a young age, and achieved considerable popularity locally. She used to play for American servicemen at the air force base (which is now the main airport). It was whilst playing at the Servicemen's Club at Piarco that someone bet her she could not play something in the boogie-woogie style that was popular back home in the United States. She went away and wrote "Piarco Boogie" which was later renamed "Five Finger Boogie". She left Trinidad in the early 1940s and travelled to the United States to study with Alexander Borovsky and, in 1946, moved to London,  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Winfred Atwell
Date of birth
Place of birth
United Kingdom
Pharmacist, Jazz Pianist


Institution From To
Royal Academy of Music


Date of death
Place of death

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