Bellson & Carson introduce the future Mrs. B to the world!
After performing with the Tonight Show orchestra, best buds Louie Bellson & Johnny Carson chat, revealing Bellson's engagement (Click photo to play clip of chat)
Who is "Mrs. B"?
The Indomitable Mrs. Bellson
Mrs. Bellson, nee Francine Wright, was an Earlham/Harvard/M.I.T. educated physicist/engineer working in Silicon Valley (Calif.) when she met Louie Bellson on a Jazz Cruise in '91. They married in '92.
They traveled the world, he performing and recording, and she selling and creating memorabilia for the gigs. She eventually became his manager, publicist and photographer. She developed the document "Gig Guidelines" which Louie hailed as a godsend and was modeled after by other artists.
She produced Bellson's last two CDs, "The Sacred Music of Louie Bellson & the Jazz Ballet" and "Louie & Clark Expedition 2" on his Percussion Power label. (Go to our CD Store page.)
Louie Bellson collaborated with pal trumpeter Clark Terry on their last joint project: the album "Louie & Clark Expedition 2" (named and produced by Mrs. B). The three are pictured here at the 2007 NYC recording session.
Subsequent to Bellson's Feb, 2009 passing, Mrs. B became archivist and manager of both the Louie Bellson and Pearl Bailey estates including handling royalties, permissions, etc.
Further, she has since returned to her Silicon Valley roots where she is active in engineering society, technical and faith activities. She has tutored in physics and developed a math curriculum for her Church's Youth Writing & Math Skills Workshop.
The Physicist & the Percussionist
NOTE: Mrs. B was an Earlham / Harvard / M.I.T. educated physicist / engineer when she and Bellson married (1992).
Mr. & Mrs. Bellson developed a joint talk entitled, “The Physicist & the Percussionist" which they performed at school events nationwide. An inspirational career presentation exploring the relationship between music and science, it was always enthusiastically received by both students and parents alike.
Keeping Up w/ Mrs. B!
[Feb 2021] Mrs. B authorizes publication of Bellson Poetry Book
"The Poetic Thoughts & Verses of Louie Bellson"
Produced by Hudson Music ~ Licensed by Mrs. B
Louie Bellson had a little-known passion for writing poetry. (“Who knew?”)
Hudson Music is proud to publish the prose and poetry of Louie Bellson, a man universally loved as a gentle and kind soul—as well as a towering figure in the world of drumming. Available at HudsonMusic.com.
[Jan 2021] Mrs. B contributes Bellson charts to international repertoire
Featuring Outstanding Composers from Europe, Asia, South America & the United States.
iJazzMusic is part of JEA (Jazz Education Abroad).
A not-for-profit organization, JEA’s mission is to increase the awareness of American Jazz music through cultural music education to youth worldwide.
*A.A. & J.C. They're so modest! -- go to our CONTACT Page to learn about them.
[Feb 2020] Mrs. B Speaks at Evergreen Valley College
" Achievement Against the Odds"
Biographical career Speech to Black History Program at Evergreen Valley College, San Jose, where she’d once taught as an adjunct professor of math. Mrs. B related how a solid background in the sciences had well-prepared her to work on diverse technical products including photolithography at Fairchild, micro-channel plates at Varian; laser printer, bubble memory and DASD components at IBM.
[May 2019] Mrs. B gets "Key to City" at Bellson Music Concert
Sterling Municipal Band Spring Concert of Bellson Music
featuring Guest artist Josh Duffee ~ Wed May 1, 2019 Sterling, Illinois
At the concert, Mayor Lee presents Duffee and Mrs. B with "Keys to the City" of Sterling, Illinois.
Recently, Mrs. B donated one of the Louie Bellson drumsets to Mr. Josh Duffee, a noted Illinois musician and historian.
[Sept 2018] Mrs. B @ Silicon Valley's Computer History Museum
From STEM to STEAM: How an Engineer Wrote a Play
Screening of the science film Humanity Needs Dreamers: A Visit with Marie Curie. 9-7-18
Marie Curie (left) and Susan Marie Frontczak as Marie Curie (right)
The film was followed by a lively panel discussion – “From Stem to Steam” exploring the intersection of STEM and the performing arts—and why STEAM is vital in shaping global opportunities in the 21st century.
As panelist, Mrs. B, drew parallels between her life and Mme. Curie’s; as well as relating her (Mrs. B’s) Stem/Steam life transition from scientist to artist manager. Panelists included:
Dale DeBakcsy, writer/artist for Women in Science, the Cartoon History of Humanism and Frederick the Great. www.womenyoushouldknow.net
Susan Marie Frontczak, the film’s solo performer, engineer & playwright. www.storysmith.org
Francine Bellson, physicist/engineer & wife/manager of jazz drummer Louie Bellson, the "Physicist & the Percussionist". www.louiebellson.com
Jen Myronuk, the film’s producer & director, founder of Stem-On-Stage. www.stemonstage.org
[Oct 2017] Mrs. B speaks at M.I.T. (her alma-mater!)
At the screening of a new film “Humanity Needs Dreamers – A Visit with Marie Curie” Mrs. B details the many parallels between Madame Curie’s & her own beginnings of becoming a scientist while overcoming limitations, political, social constraints, etc.
Mrs. B addresses the Society of Women Engineers
SWE Local, San Jose, CA (2-24-2017)
Mrs. B remembers Challenger Mission Specialist Dr. Ronald McNair
Black History Month presentation at Emmanuel Baptist Church, San Jose, Calif. (2-7-16)
Presentation on 30th Anniv. of Challenger Space Shuttle Tragedy
Speech given by Francine Bellson at the Jan 14, 2016 meeting of the IEEE Silicon Valley Technical History Committee, San Jose, Calif.
Mrs. B Unveils Memorials
Bellson Oil Portrait
Watch 4 min. video clip of Mrs. B at the unveiling of the stunning portrait of Louie Bellson by artist Michael Del Priore. Chicago Drum Show coordinator Rob Cook presides (May 18, 2013)
WQAD-TV News story on May 20, 2010. Unveiling of the Louie Bellson Monument in his boyhood home and final resting place of Moline, Illinois (Quad-Cities).
Watch Newsclip >>
Mrs. B produced Bellson's last two CDs.
- For CDs produced on Percussion Power, Bellson's independent label - Go to our CD Store page.
- (Click any image)
Drum Wife #1
Mrs. B coined the term "Drum Wife" (and "Drum Mom") and created products bearing the name and clever byline (which can be viewed on the SHOP page).
In collaboration with Bellson Librarian Albert Alva and Bellson Band Director Terry Loose, Mrs. B coordinated and made available for sale Charts of Louie Bellson Big Band Arrangements. (see Charts page)
The Louie Bellson Legacy Channel on YouTube
(click image to access)
Mrs. B developed the YouTube Channel in 2015. For info, Click YouTube page
From time to time, Mrs. B posts links to miscellaneous articles/video clips readers will find interesting and inspirational.
Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue"
Bet you've never heard Gershwin explained like this! Bellson, who knew Gershwin well, would heartily approve.
The Legacy Continues
At age 3, while watching a parade, little Louie Bellson pointed his finger at the drum section marching by, telling his father, "That's what I want to play!"
In my minds eye, I can picture that the next few months in the Bellson home must have been something like this:
(lil' Andre', age 4 in 2014)
We thank Andre's mom for sending this. P.S. D'ja notice the shirt?
Comments on this ("Mrs. B") page
Here are excerpts of remarks rec'd.
- "I never knew that you were Harvard/MIT educated. Well, no wonder Louie was so darn smart!" --B.M.
- "You're a physicist!??? How completely interesting!" --H.S.
- "Love that animation about Ron McNair and the library." --K.P.
- "Thank you for all of your hard work and for sharing so much of Lou's work with all of us." --A.W.
Add your comments on the GuestBook page or below.