Russ Morgan

Russ Morgan

Russell Morgan (April 29, 1904 – August 7, 1969) was an American big band leader and arranger during the 1930s and 1940s. He was one of the composers of "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You" with Larry Stock and James Cavanaugh. Morgan was the first to record the song.

In 1922, Morgan moved to New York. Three years later, at the age of twenty-one, he wrote arrangements for John Philip Sousa and Victor Herbert. He then joined Paul Specht's orchestra and toured throughout Europe with the orchestra. Colleagues of Morgan in Specht's orchestra included Arthur Schutt, Don Lindley, Chauncey Morehouse, Orville Knapp, Paul Whiteman, Charlie Spivak, and Artie Shaw.

Morgan's first records were made for OKeh in mid 1930 for Parlophone and Odeon, usually under the name "Russell Brown and his Orchestra". During the early 1930s, Morgan joined the group of anonymous studio groups recording pop tunes for the dime store labels, which included Banner, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect, Romeo, Conqueror, and Vocalion.

For a short time in 1934, Morgan arranged for Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra. In 1935, he played trombone with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band when they recorded four sides for Vocalion. On September 12, 1935, Morgan, playing piano and Joe Venuti on violin recorded two sides for Brunswick: "Red Velvet" and "Black Satin".

Morgan's biggest success came when he was offered the position of musical director for Detroit radio station WXYZ. His show, Music in the Morgan Manner, became one of the most popular radio shows. At one time during his radio run he was directing nine commercial programs. While in Detroit, he did arranging for the Detroit 102 piece Symphony Orchestra.

In the early 1930s, Morgan was in an automobile accident that almost ended his career. After several months in the hospital he started again in New York City as arranger for the George White Scandals, the Cotton Club Revue, and the Capitol Theatre. When not arranging for the Broadway shows, Morgan worked as a pianist or trombonist with orchestras led by Phil Spitalny, Eddie Gilligan, Ted Fio Rito, and Freddy Martin.

He joined the Freddy Martin Orchestra in 1934 as a pianist but worked chiefly as trombonist and arranger with the band.

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Listen to Russ Morgan on Swing City Radio.  We are a Big Band Radio Station playing a wide selection of Big Band and Swing music.

Swing City Radio plays Russ Morgan - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
So Tired
Does Your Heart Beat for Me
Linger Awhile
Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
So Long
Lambeth Walk
Johnson Rag
The Dipsy Doodle
I Double Dare You
Goodnight, Wherever You Are
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