Wurlitzer 120 Electronic Piano 1957
If you’ve seen the movie ‘Ray’ with Jamie Fox, then you should already recognise this piece. To be honest, when I first saw it I thought it was a reproduction or CGI — but no, it really is a pristine 1957 Wurlitzer 120.
The production company hired it from a New Jersey restoration workshop called Vintage Vibe (famous for their philosophy of ‘peace and happiness’). They had bought it from the original owner’s son.
Much like a Hollywood celebrity, the piano had remained in a closet for the previous forty years and was still in mint condition — no scratches whatsoever, no oxidation, complete with all paperwork, a rare side-box tremolo switch, and the original tube amp with Jensen P12N speaker.
The later 200A is undoubtedly the most popular of the Wurlitzer models, but this special little 120 has a unique charm. And it’s a very different tone compared to the more famous Rhodes — more bark, less chime. But it’s apples and oranges, really.