Al Morgan

About Al Morgan

The Al Morgan whose recording of "Jealous Heart" in 1949 was the envy of many a singing pianist is not the same Al Morgan who players of this ilk liked to hire as an accompanist. That Al Morgan was a bassist, naturally, with a discography large enough to tower over the eight letters of this common name were they carved in giant blocks of marble and stacked atop each other. On the other spindle, a nostalgia collection on the Jasmine label released in 2002, entitled Jealous Heart & Other Original Favourites, represents the entire existing body of work in music history actually released under the name of Al Morgan as bandleader or star of the show, all collected on one disc. Prior to the Jasmine release, these performances would have to have been located in the depths of the used record pile. Morgan was also prolific in his own right, stamping out new discs with the determined speed of a month at the They Me Giants Dial-A-Song plant. There are collector purists who prefer the real sound of these old records to the CD remasterings, a mindset Morgan himself predicted when he recorded a version of "Get Out Those Old Records," a ditty written by Guy Lombardo's brother, Carmen Lombardo. Morgan hailed from Chicago and certainly hit his commercial peak with the previously mentioned song about an envious vital organ. "Jealous Heart" began as a release for the Universal label, but sold in quantities enough to motivate the bigger London firm to acquire rights. Morgan's recording wound up staying in the hit parade charts for more than half a year. His further platters for London included "Half a Heart Is All You Left Me," perhaps indicating that the vital organ had now been partially consumed by envy itself, as well as the glorious "The Place Where I Worship Is the Wide Open Spaces." ~ Eugene Chadbourne

November 14, 1915
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