The Morris Brothers
|The Morris Brothers|
|Origin||Old Fort, North Carolina, United States|
|Genres||Old time, Country|
|Labels||Bluebird, RCA Victor|
|Associated acts||J. E. Mainer
|Past members||Zeke Morris
The Morris Brothers (Zeke Morris born May 19, 1916 - died August 21, 1999 and Wiley Morris born February 1, 1919 - died September 22, 1990) were an American country music group particularly popular in the 1930s, although they continued to play together occasionally until the 1970s.
The Morris Brothers were born in Old Fort, North Carolina. Originally, they began performing as a trio together with a third brother, George Morris. In 1933, Zeke moved to Concord and joined J. E. Mainer's Crazy Mountaineers  He made his first recordings with the Mountaineers in August 1935 för Bluebird Records. Four years later, in 1937, Wiley and Zeke along with banjo player Wade Mainer did some radio work in the North Carolina towns of Asheville and Raleigh. In April 1938, The Morris Brothers, fiddler Homer Sherrill and banjo player Joel Martin, calling themselves the Smilin' Rangers, performed at radio station WBTM in Danville, Virginia. In September 1938, Zeke recorded with Charlie Monroe as a replacement for Bill Monroe just after the Monroe Brothers had disbanded. The same year, Zeke's musical career came to a halt when he went to work in a cotton mill in Gastonia. In 1939, the brothers moved to Asheville and WWNC radio, where they resumed their career. After World War II they retired and opened an auto repair business. Between 1938 and 1939, the Morris Brothers made 36 recordings for RCA Victor.
Well known musicians who have played with the Morris Brothers include: Hoke Jenkins, Red Rector, Red Smiley, Don Reno, Benny Sims and Earl Scruggs. the wiley of the morris brothers was my father and of zeke was my uncle. they really used to have jam sessions i loved. there are 2 girls, 3 boys for wiley and his wife evelyn hollingsworth morris and zeke and his wife frances had 1 boy and 5 girls. i used to listen to mom and dad sing together and thought they were very very good. earl scruggs was a very good friend of many years and we would have visits from time to time from so called famous people. it hurts still even after all these years to know i will never be able to go up to his house and say, sing for me daddy. daughter donna morris hunnicutt
- Lange 2004, p. 57.
- Huber 2008, p. 289.
- Tribe 2006, p. 234.
- Erbsen 2003, p. 74.
- Russell, Pinson 2004, p. 632.
- Carlin 2004, p. 208.
- Erbsen 2003, p. 75.
- Carlin, Bob (2004) String Bands In the North Carolina Piedmont, McFarland
- Erbsen, Wayne (2003) Rural Roots of Bluegrass: Songs, Stories & History, Mel Bay Publications
- Huber, Patrick (2008) Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music In the Piedmont South, University of North Carolina Press
- Lange, Jeffrey J. (2004) Smile When You Call Me A Hillbilly, University of Georgia Press
- Russell, Tony - Pinson, Bob (2004) Country Music Records: A Discography 1921-1942, Oxford University Press
- Tribe, Ivan M. (2006) Country: A Regional Exploration, Greenwood Publishing Group