Sam Morgan

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If he had not been in the right place at the right time, Sam Morgan would have gone completely undocumented and unknown by today's record collectors. Fortunately, in 1927 Morgan had the opportunity to…
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If he had not been in the right place at the right time, Sam Morgan would have gone completely undocumented and unknown by today's record collectors. Fortunately, in 1927 Morgan had the opportunity to record eight titles with his band (which included trombonist Jim Robinson) and thus became part of jazz history as the leader of one of the finest documented groups in New Orleans in the 1920s. Part of a very musical family -- his younger brothers Isaiah, Andrew and Al played trumpet, reeds and bass respectively -- Sam worked with brass bands in Plaquemines Parish and moved to New Orleans in 1915, where he was an important part of the scene. After leading the Magnolia Brass Band, Sam suffered a stroke in 1924. He recovered and a year later joined Isaiah's group, which he soon took over. The Sam Morgan Band was one of the best groups in New Orleans during the late 1920s (most notable for "Sing On," "Bogalusa Strut" and "Down by the Riverside"). Sam, who was primarily an ensemble player rather than a soloist, continued working and freelancing until 1935 when ill health forced him to retire.