The Morris Brothers

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The Morris Brothers
Origin Old Fort, North Carolina, United States
Genres Old time, Country
Years active 1930s-1940s
Labels Bluebird, RCA Victor
Associated acts J. E. Mainer
Wade Mainer
Past members Zeke Morris
Wiley Morris
George Morris

The Morris Brothers (Zeke Morris, May 19, 1916 – August 21, 1999 and Wiley Morris, February 1, 1919 – September 22, 1990) were an American country music group particularly popular in the 1930s, although they continued to play together occasionally until the 1970s.

Biography[edit]

The Morris Brothers were born in Old Fort, North Carolina. Originally, they began performing as a trio together with a third brother, George Morris.[1] In 1933, Zeke moved to Concord[2] and joined J. E. Mainer's Crazy Mountaineers [1] He made his first recordings with the Mountaineers in August 1935 för Bluebird Records.[3] 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.[1] 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.[4] In September 1938, Zeke recorded with Charlie Monroe as a replacement for Bill Monroe just after the Monroe Brothers had disbanded.[5][6] The same year, Zeke's musical career came to a halt when he went to work in a cotton mill in Gastonia.[1] In 1939, the brothers moved to Asheville and WWNC radio, where they resumed their career.[4] After World War II they retired and opened an auto repair business.[1] Between 1938 and 1939, the Morris Brothers made 36 recordings for RCA Victor.[2]

Well known musicians who have played with the Morris Brothers include: Hoke Jenkins, Red Rector, Red Smiley, Don Reno, Benny Sims and Earl Scruggs.[7]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Lange 2004, p. 57.
  2. ^ a b Huber 2008, p. 289.
  3. ^ Tribe 2006, p. 234.
  4. ^ a b Erbsen 2003, p. 74.
  5. ^ Russell, Pinson 2004, p. 632.
  6. ^ Carlin 2004, p. 208.
  7. ^ Erbsen 2003, p. 75.

References[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]