Biography  1930-57, 1958-65, 1966-85, 1986-88 Next

 
 

Performing  1966 - 1985

Morgan enjoyed playing, particularly in pubs and he was usually playing somewhere as well as running his other business. From 1956, until he moved out in 1984, he lived at 27 Denmark Street above a guitar shop. Convenient for some local piano playing in the West End appearing at the Palladium, Hilton, Pizza Express, Ronnie Scott's and the Cockney Prid

Since starting the site in 2010 people have contatced me who remember him. Here are some of their recollections:-

Peter Davies the assistant manager of the Cockney Pride 1976/7 sent me this interesting note:-

" He was resident at the Cockney Pride in Piccadilly Circus in 1976 / 1977. He played downstairs in the bar that also had an entry / exit to Jermyn Street. It was called the U-Bar, and during that time it also hosted parties for such as the Rolling Stones. There were 4 bars in the Cockney, the U-Bar was nearly the size of all the others put together.

At first his audience was made up of tourists mostly, but after a while there was a regular following every night. It was the period of great popularity for such as Scott Joplin, so Thunderclap had a double edged sword of brilliant Jazz and magnificent singalongs of standards like 'my Old Man said follow the Van' and 'Roaming in the Gloman' etc.

On occasions there would be a lock in when other musicians who were playing in West End Theatres would rush down to the Cockney to listen to Thunderclap, on one occasion some guys who were appearing at Ronnie Scott's called before they went on stage themselves and couldn't understand why a pianist of such great talent was appearing in a pub. It was simply that he enjoyed it, he had a large audience from all over the World eating out of his hand every night. Oh, and he had free pints."  

In a review of the pub it notes that at that time 12 bombs went off in the Soho area. They kept pulling pints and Morgan carried on playing. Beer was 29p a pint!

Patrick O'Conner knew Morgan throughout the 1970's and early 1980's and says he played regularly at the St James Tavern on the corner of Great Windmill Street and Denman St. At that time one of his favourite places was a late night Greek Restaurant called Lucas in St Giles High Street close to his flat in Denmark Street where he would hang out in the early hours, a popular place for a meal and a drink.  From time to time went to EMI Publishing in Charing Cross Road presumably to collect his royalties.

In  1980 Morgan made some records with the actress Jaqui Watkin. One of these songs called "You've got to be loved" got her a spot on Grenada TV's Songbook, a children's programme.


 
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