Trombonist, sweet bandleader and pianist, Russ Morgan was born on April 29, 1904 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. At 14, he earned extra money as a pianist performing in a Scranton theater. With his earnings, he purchased another instrument, a trombone. In 1921 he began performing on trombone with the band the Scranton Sirens. This band was one of the hottest in the Pennsylvania area during the 20's, including such important musicians as Jimmy Dorsey, Billy Lustig and Tommy Dorsey.
Morgan moved to New York in 1922 and in three years had found work arranging for John Philip Sousa and Victor Herbert. He was invited on a European tour with Paul Specht’s orchestra as both a trombonist and arranger and after returning from tour in 1934 began working with the Fletcher Henderson orchestra as arranger.
As the leader of his own band, Morgan had over 55 hits on the pop charts including the #1 recordings of ‘The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down’ (vocal by Jimmy Lewis, 1937), ‘I’ve Got a Pocketful of Dreams’ (1938), ‘Cruising Down the River’ (vocal by the Skylarks, 1949) and ‘Forever and Ever’ (vocal by the Skylarks, 1949).
Morgan continued working on radio and as a band arranger until his death in 1969 at the age of 65.