Jane Morgan

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For the actress, see Jane Morgan (actress).
Jane Morgan
Jane Morgan headshot.jpg
Born Florence Catherine Currier
(1924-05-03) May 3, 1924 (age 90)
Newton, Massachusetts, U.S.
Occupation Singer, actress
Years active 1943–1973
Spouse(s) Larry Stith (1959-19??; divorced)
Jerry Weintraub (1965-present; 4 adopted children)

Jane Morgan (born May 3, 1924[1]) is an American popular music singer. Morgan initially found success in France and the UK before achieving recognition in the U.S. She won six gold records.

Early life[edit]

Morgan was born Florence Catherine Currier in Newton, Massachusetts on May 3, 1924, one of five siblings born to musicians Olga and Bertram Currier. When she was four years old, the Currier family moved to Daytona Beach, Florida. At five she began vocal lessons while continuing piano lessons. During the summers, she took on child roles and appeared in theater productions at the Kennebunkport Playhouse in Kennebunkport, Maine, which her brother had founded.[2] In 1941, she was listed as the Treasurer of the Kennebunkport Playhouse. While attending grade school, Morgan actively engaged in singing and competing against other students throughout Florida and the Southeast. After graduating from Seabreeze High School, she and her multiple musical talents were promptly accepted into New York's prestigious Juilliard School of Music. Intending to become an opera singer, she studied opera by day and performed whenever possible. [3]

Early career[edit]

Morgan sang popular songs in nightclubs and small restaurants, and at bar mitzvahs and other private parties, to help pay her tuition expenses at Juilliard.[4] Eventually she was hired as a singer at the Roseland Ballroom in Manhattan with the house second band for $25 a week, six nights a week. While she was still at Juilliard (1944), orchestra leader Art Mooney heard her perform and hired her. Mooney changed her name to Jane Morgan by taking the first name of one of his vocalists, Janie Ford, and the last name of another, Marian Morgan.[5]

In 1948, French impresario Bernard Hilda selected her to accompany him to Paris.[4] Hilda was a prominent French society bandleader who needed a young singer to perform at a nightclub that he planned to open near the Eiffel Tower. Morgan began to appear regularly at the Club des Champs-Elysées, performing (two shows per night) American songs to mostly French audiences. Her mother had taught her French and Italian, so she quickly became proficient in French, and performed her act in flawless French, singing the classic songs of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, French songs, and standards of the century. Morgan became a sensation in Paris; [6] accompanied by Hilda and his gypsy violin, she quickly became known throughout France. French café society frequented Hilda's upscale club, which was likened to the Copacabana in New York. Many French songwriters, including Charles Trenet, frequented the club, and they wrote several songs that became hit recordings for Morgan. Morgan and Hilda soon opened a new weekly hour-long television show and she began recording in 1949 on the French Polydor label as well as Parlophone, Philips, and others.[6]

In 1952 Morgan went to Montreal, Canada and opened at the Ritz Hotel as a soloist with a bilingual act using French and English. She returned to New York with regular performances in upscale nightclubs and her own radio show on NBC, backed by the 50-piece NBC Symphony Orchestra. She also performed at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. She returned to Europe in 1954 to appear in a London West End review with comedian Vic Oliver, and later at the Savoy Theatre and London Palladium.[4][7]

American success[edit]

Morgan wanted to advance her career in the United States, but booking agents and managers in show business felt she was too specialized and wouldn't make it outside the nightclub circuit. She left her agent and began singing at Lou Walters' Latin Quarter in New York. Walters kept Morgan at the Latin Quarter for a year, when she was noticed by Dave Kapp, who had recently founded a new recording label, Kapp Records. Kapp signed Morgan to a recording contract, and near that same period he signed pianist Roger Williams.[6]

To counter her reputation as a French singer, Kapp had Morgan record "Baseball, Baseball", and her first album release was entitled "The American Girl from Paris". She recorded several additional albums and soon was paired with Williams, who had gained national acceptance with his recording of Autumn Leaves. They recorded Two Different Worlds, which gave Morgan her first significant airplay on US radio. In 1957 Kapp brought The Troubadors, a virtually unknown group of five musicians, to his studio. They had appeared in Love in the Afternoon. Kapp asked Morgan to join The Troubadors and sing "Fascination". Although written in 1904 by F. D. Marchetti as "Valse Tzigane", the song was modified in Paris at the Folies Bergère as a "strip" number. With English lyrics added by Dick Manning in 1932, it had been played throughout the 1957 movie (the French lyric had been created in 1942). Her recording was released in late 1957 and remained on the charts for 29 weeks.[citation needed]

In 1958 Kapp released The Day the Rains Came (a French song by Gilbert Becaud called "Le jour où la pluie viendra") with Morgan singing in English on one side and in French on the other. It reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in early 1959.[8] This led to her first television special, Spectacular: the Jane Morgan Hour in early 1959, the same year she married her first husband, Larry Stith. She was featured on the November 10, 1959 jazz special, Timex-All-Star Jazz III.[citation needed]

Middle years[edit]

Morgan wanted to perform in musicals on the stage and Broadway. She appeared in Can-Can, Kiss Me, Kate, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Bells Are Ringing, Anniversary Waltz, Affairs of State and others. She also appeared in nightclubs around the U.S., complemented with television appearances and bookings in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. In 1959, Morgan was one of six contestants in A Song for Europe to determine the UK's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 1959. She sang "If Only I Could Live My Life Again", but the song was not selected.

Morgan's agent died in 1959, and her new manager, Jerry Weintraub, was able to obtain bookings for her in many noted US venues. (Morgan divorced Larry Stith and would later marry Weintraub in 1965; she and Weintraub later adopted four children.) In 1960, she recorded the English-language version of an Italian song, Romantica. The recording was an airplay hit on BBC Radio. She continued recording for Kapp until 1962, her last album being What Now My Love, released later that year.[citation needed]

Later years[edit]

Morgan ended her association with Kapp Records after eight years. Weintraub negotiated a deal for three albums for Colpix including Jane Morgan Serenades the Victors. Morgan's second Colpix LP, The Last Time I Saw Paris garnered excellent reviews and a hit single, "C'est Si Bon". After fulfilling her contract with Colpix, Morgan recorded numerous singles and four albums for Epic. During this period she had consistent hit singles on the adult contemporary charts and continued to appear on top TV programs of the day. Morgan appeared at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Canada in 1964; was the lead singer with Bea Lillie and Carol Lawrence in the Broadway musical production of the Ziegfeld Follies, and succeeded Angela Lansbury in Mame in 1966. "Being on Broadway was one of the most exciting things in my life because I had always dreamed of it", she said.[9]

In 1966, Morgan recorded the song that she had performed at the Academy Awards, I Will Wait for You, written for her by Michel Legrand. From 1967-68, Morgan was under contract at ABC Records, recording a dozen singles and issuing one LP which produced several hit singles and led to her second TV special, The Jane Morgan Special. Syndicated in March 1968, Morgan sang a tribute to Edith Piaf. Her two final albums were for RCA Records. Her final LP, Jane Morgan in Nashville, yielded two moderate hits on the country and western charts including her answer to Johnny Cash's song, A Boy Named Sue, titled A Girl Named Johnny Cash (written by comic Martin Mull.) She performed the song on Cash's eponymous television series in early 1971. Producer Ronnie Light worried that his age (25 at the time) might make Morgan uneasy.[10] Of the experience, Morgan said she "thrown a bit" by the fact that Nashville normally dispensed with formal arrangements and was known for "head arrangements". The only other time she had recorded without formal arrangements was on her hit single, "Fascination"; nevertheless she was reportedly dubbed "The Countryest Girl in Nashville" by the crew.[10] She retired from performing in 1973, but has appeared occasionally over the years at special events and benefits. She has in recent years worked as a production assistant to her husband on films including the remake of Ocean's Eleven.[9]

On December 10, 2009, Morgan performed at the UNICEF Ball honoring her husband, Jerry Weintraub, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, singing "Ten Cents a Dance" and "Big Spender".[11] Known as Jane Weintraub, she divides her time between Malibu, California, Palm Springs, California and Kennebunkport, Maine. She has owned Blueberry Hill Farm in Kennebunkport, Maine since 1958.[9]

Notable associates[edit]

Morgan performed for French President Charles de Gaulle, and for five U.S. Presidents: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George W. Bush. She toured with Jack Benny and John Raitt, and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. Two of her RCA singles hit the Billboard country charts in 1970.[12]

Television appearances[edit]

Morgan made her U.S. television debut on Celebrity Time in 1951. Her early television credits include The Victor Borge Show, The Colgate Comedy Hour, Cavalcade of Stars, The Jack Benny Show, The Jonathan Winters Show and The Hollywood Palace, as well as more than fifty appearances/performances on The Ed Sullivan Show.[13]

Morgan appeared in such television specials as Highways of Melody 1961; Bell Telephone Hour: "A Trip to Christmas (1961); Bell Telephone Hour: Christmas Program (1965); Bell Telephone Hour: Masterpieces and Music (1966); Coliseum (1967); Kraft Music Hall: Broadway's Best (1969) and Operation: Entertainment (1969). She starred in three of her own television specials: The Jane Morgan Hour (1959); Voice of Firestone: An Evening in Paris (1959), and The Jane Morgan Show (1968), as well as making several dramatic television appearances, including The Web: Rehearsal for Death (1952); Peter Gunn: Down the Drain (1961); and It Takes a Thief: The Suzie Simone Caper (1970).[13]

On May 6, 2011 Morgan received the 2,439th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Label and Number US Pop[14] US AC[14] UK Singles Chart[8] Billboard (US)
1949 "C'est Tout" / "J'aurais Bien Donne Dix Ans De Ma Vie" (with Bernard Hilda Orchestra in London)
Polydor
-
-
-
-
1950 "Qué es este ruiseñor?" / "Hey! Ba-ba re bop" (with Bernard Hilda Orchestra in London)
Columbia R 14566 C 655
-
-
-
-
1953 "April in Portugal" / "If I Were a Bell" (with Philip Green Orchestra in London)
Parlophone 3699
-
-
-
-
1953 "Say You're Mine Again" / "Send My Baby Back To Me" (with Philip Green Orchestra in London)
Parlophone 3713
-
-
-
-
1953 "Eyes of Blue" / "The Kissing Tree" (with Philip Green Orchestra in London)
Parlophone 3720
-
-
-
-
1953 "Forgive Me" / "The Donkey Song" (with Philip Green Orchestra in London)
Parlophone 3762
-
-
-
-
1954 "Baseball, Baseball" / "Fairweather Friends"
Kapp 104
-
-
-
-
1954 "Why" / "The Heart You Break"
Kapp 107
-
-
-
-
1955 "I Try To Forget You" / "Why Don't They Leave Us Alone"
Kapp 111
-
-
-
-
1955 "Flyin' High" / "Give Me Your World"
Kapp 115
-
-
-
-
1955 "In Paree" / "Take Me Away"
Kapp 121
-
-
-
-
1956 "Let's Go Steady" / "Take Care" (With the Jones Boys)
Kapp 140
-
-
-
-
1956 "La Ronde" / "Midnight Blues"
Kapp 148
-
-
-
-
1956 "Two Different Worlds" / "Nights In Verona" (with Roger Williams)
Kapp 161
#41
-
-
-
1957 "Come Home" / "From The First Hello To Our Last Goodbye"
Kapp 172
-
-
-
-
1957 "It's Not For Me To Say" / "Around The World In Eighty Days"
Kapp 185
-
-
-
-
1957 "Fascination" / "Whistling Instrumental" (with The Troubadors)
Kapp 191
#7
-
-
-
1957 "It's Been A Long Long Time" / "I'm New At The Game Of Romance" (Canadian hit)
Kapp 200
-
-
-
-
1958 "Only One Love" / "I've Got Bells In My Heart"
Kapp 214
-
-
-
-
1958 "Enchanted Island" / "Once More My Love Once More"
Kapp 221
-
-
-
-
1958 "The Day The Rains Came" / "Le Jour Ou La Pluie Viendra" (Sung in French)
Kapp 235
#21
-
No. 1
-
1958 "You'll Never Walk Alone" / "I May Never Pass This Way Again"
Kapp 236
-
-
-
-
1958 "To Love And Be Loved" / "If Only I Could Live My Life Again"
Kapp 253
-
-
No. 27
-
1959 "Love Is Like Champagne" / "To Each His Own"
Kapp 264
-
-
-
-
1959 "With Open Arms" / "I Can't Begin To Tell You"
Kapp 284
#39/113
-
-
-
1959 "I'm In Love" / "Was It Day, Was It Night"
Kapp 304
-
-
-
-
1959 "Happy Anniversary" / "C'est La Vie C'est L'Amour"
Kapp 305
#57
-
-
-
1960 "My Love Doesn't Love Me At All" / "The Bells Of St. Mary's"
Kapp 317
-
-
-
-
1960 "The Bells Of St. Mary's" / "Ballad Of Lady Jane"
Kapp 317
-
-
-
-
1960 "I Am A Heart" / "Romantica"
Kapp 332
-
-
No. 39
-
1960 "Lord And Master" / "Where's The Boy (I Never Met)"
Kapp 351
-
-
-
-
1960 "Somebody" / "The Angry Sea"
Kapp 358
-
-
-
-
1961 "In Jerusalem" / "In Jerusalem" (French version)
Kapp 369
#115
-
-
-
1961 "Love Makes The World Go Round" / "He Makes Me Feel I'm Lovely"
Kapp 390
-
-
-
-
1961 "Homesick For New England" / "It Takes Love"
Kapp 418
-
-
-
-
1961 "Blue Hawaii" / "Moon River"
Kapp 431
-
-
-
-
1962 "Forever My Love" / "What Now My Love"
Kapp 450
-
-
-
-
1962 "Ask Me To Dance" / "Waiting For Charley To Come Home"
Kapp 478
-
-
-
-
1963 "Bless 'Em All" / "Does Goodnight Mean Goodbye?"
Colpix 713
#131
-
-
-
1964 "The Last Time I Saw Paris"
Colpix 469
-
-
-
-
1964 "From Russia with Love" / "Song from Moulin' Rouge"
Colpix 727
-
-
-
-
1964 "C'est Si Bon" / "Once Upon a Summertime"
Colpix 734
-
-
-
-
1964 "Dominique" / "Funny World"
Colpix 754
-
-
-
-
1964 "Poor People of Paris" / "Funny World"
Colpix 755
-
-
-
-
1965 "After the Fall" / "Oh How I Lie"
Colpix 761
-
-
-
-
1965 "Maybe" / "Walking the Streets in the Rain"
Epic 9819
-
-
-
-
1965 "Side by Side" / "Till I Waltz Again with You"
Epic 9847
-
#25
-
-
1965 "Little Hands" / "Everyone Come to My Party"
Epic 9881
-
-
-
-
1966 "I Will Wait for You" / "Love Me True"
Epic 10012
-
-
-
-
1966 "1-2-3" / "Kiss Away"
Epic 10032
#135
#16
-
-
1966 "Elusive Butterfly" / "Good Lovin'"
Epic 10058
-
#9
-
-
1966 "Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye" / "Now and Forever"
Epic 10113
#121
#30
-
-
1967 "The Three Bells" / "I Want to Be With You"
Epic 10159
-
-
-
-
1967 "Somebody Someplace" / "This is My World Without You"
ABC 10969
-
#24
-
-
1967 "I Promise You" / "Him's a Dope"
ABC 11002
-
#27
-
-
1967 "The Marvelous Toy" / "Smile"
ABC 11024
-
-
-
-
1968 "Masquerade" / "Smile"
ABC 11034
-
-
-
-
1968 "A Child" / "My Funny Valentine"
ABC 11054
-
#39
-
-
1968 "Look What You've Done to Me" / "There's Nothing Else in My Mind"
ABC 11092
-
-
-
-
1969 "Marry Me! Marry Me!" / "Three Rest Stops"
RCA 74-0153
-
-
-
-
1969 "Traces" / "Where Do I Go?"
RCA 74-0194
-
-
-
-
1969 "Congratulations, I Guess" / "All of My Laughter"
RCA 47-9727
-
-
-
-
1970 "A Girl Named Johnny Cash" / "Charley" (US Country hit)
RCA 47-9839
-
-
-
#61
1970 "The First Day" / "I'm Only a Woman" (US Country hit)
RCA 47-9901
-
-
-
#70
1970 "He Gives Me Love" / "He's Never Too Busy"
RCA 74-0316
-
-
-
-
1971 "Jamie Boy" / "Things of Life"
RCA 74-0395
-
-
-
-

Albums (original vinyl)[edit]

# Year Album Title Label and Album Number
1 1956 The American Girl from Paris
KAPP 1023
2 1957 Fascination
KAPP 1068
3 1958 All the Way
KAPP 1080
4 1958 Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
KAPP 1089
5 1958 Jane Morgan (repackage of The American Girl from Paris)
KAPP 1093
6 1958 The Day the Rains Came
KAPP 1105
7 1958 Chante Pour Ses Amis Canadiens
KAPP 801
8 1959 Jane in Spain
KAPP 1129
9 1959 Great Songs from Great Shows of the Century
KAPP 5006
10 1959 Broadway in Stereo
KAPP 3001
11 1960 Jane Morgan Time
KAPP 1170
12 1960 The Ballads of Lady Jane
KAPP 1191
13 1961 The Second Time Around
KAPP 1239
14 1961 Great Golden Hits
KAPP 1246
15 1961 Big Hits from Broadway
KAPP 1247
16 1961 Love Makes the World Go ‘Round
KAPP 1250
17 1962 At the Cocoanut Grove
KAPP 1268
18 1962 More Golden Hits
KAPP 1275
19 1962 What Now My Love?
KAPP 1296
20 1963 Greatest Hits
KAPP 1329
21 1963 Serenades the Victors
COLPIX 460
22 1964 More Greatest Hits
KAPP 1372
23 1964 The Last Time I Saw Paris
COLPIX 469
24 1965 In My Style
EPIC 24166
25 1965 Jane Morgan in Gold - Today’s Hits…Tomorrow’s Golden Favorites
EPIC 26190
26 1966 Jane Morgan Album
COLPIX 497
27 1966 Fresh Flavor
EPIC 24211
28 1967 Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
EPIC 24247
29 1968 A Jane Morgan Happening
ABC 638
30 1969 Marry Me! Marry Me!
RCA 1160
31 1969 Traces of Love
RCA 4171
32 1970 In Nashville
RCA 4322
  • This list does not include re-releases.

Albums (CD)[edit]

Year Album Title Label and Album Number
1990 Jane Morgan - Greatest Hits
Curb Special Markets B000000CYA
1998 Fascination: The Jane Morgan Collection
Varese Sarabande B00000151D
2000 In My Style/Fresh Flavor
Collectables B0000523PI
2001 Fascination
Polygram Int'l B00005HPV7
2007 An American Songbird in Paris
Sepia Recordings B000ULQVAM
2008 Jane Morgan Sings Showstoppers
Sepia Recordings B001E1BOAE
2008 The American Girl From Paris Jane Morgan
Time Records, Spain B0025LX6X0
2009 Fascination: The Ultimate Collection
Jasmine Music B001NH4CAS
2009 Jane Morgan Sings Popular Favorites
Sepia Recordings B001QEIHWM

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1940 United States Census; Census Place: Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida; Roll: T627_621; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 64-33. Age given as 16 as of May 26, 1940. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1940 United States Federal Census. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012. Original data: United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1940. T627, 4,643 rolls.
  2. ^ Kaplan, Mike. Variety Who's Who in Show Business, Garland Publishing Inc., 1983
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 94. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  4. ^ a b c Kapp Records Liner Notes, 1957-1962
  5. ^ Kaplan, Mike. Variety Who's Who in Show Business, Garland Publishing Inc., 1983
  6. ^ a b c Kapp Records Liner Notes, 1956
  7. ^ Epic Records Liner Notes, 1965
  8. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 378. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ a b c Francis D. McKinley interview with Jane Morgan on May 22, 2000.
  10. ^ a b Jane Morgan, Nashville Liner Notes, 1970
  11. ^ Jane Morgan gets star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  12. ^ Profile, allmusic.com; accessed May 27, 2014.
  13. ^ a b David Inman. Performer's TV Credits, 1948-2000. Gollancz. ISBN 0-7864-1172-4. 
  14. ^ a b Allmusic - Charts & Awards (singles)

Bibliography

  • Kaplan, Mike. Variety Who's Who in Show Business, Garland Publishing Inc., 1983
  • Kapp Records, liner notes, 1957–1962
  • Epic Records liner notes, 1965–1967
  • RCA Records liner notes, 1969–1970
  • Lax, Roger, and Frederick Smith. The Great Song Thesaurus, Oxford University Press, 1989
  • Maltin, Leonard. Movie and Video Guide 1995, Penguin Books Ltd., 1994
  • McAleer, David. The All Music Book of Hit Singles, Miller Freeman Books, 1994
  • Murrells, Joseph. Million Selling Records from the 1900s to the 1980s, Arco Publishing Inc., 1984
  • Osborne, Jerry. Rockin Records, Osborne Publications, 1999.
  • Francis D. McKinley interview with Jane Morgan on May 22, 2000, and subsequent article

External links[edit]