Benny Morton

Benny Morton (January 31, 1907 – December 28, 1985), born in New York City, was a jazz trombonist most associated with the swing genre. He was praised by fellow trombonist Bill Watrous among others. One of his first jobs was working with Clarence Holiday, and he appeared with Clarence's daughter Billie Holiday towards the end of her life on The Sound of Jazz. Morton was a member of pianist Teddy Wilson's Sextet throughout the early 1940s. In the 1960s he was part of the Jazz Giants band: "Wild" Bill Davison (cornet), Herb Hall (clarinet and alto), Claude Hopkins (piano), Arvell Shaw (bass) and Buzzy Drootin (drums). They toured the U.S. and frequently in Canada where they did some recording for Sackville Records. Towards the end of the 60's he played with an offshoot of the Jazz Giants under the leadership of Buzzy Drootin, called Buzzy's Jazz Family, including Herb Hall, with Herman Autrey replacing Davison, Buzzy's nephew Sonny Drootin replacing Hopkins, and Eddie Gibbs replacing Shaw. That stated he is probably best known for his work with Count Basie and Fletcher Henderson.

On February 23, 1934, Morton led an outstanding session of 4 songs that were issued under his own name (Benny Morton & His Orchestra). Made up mostly of member of Fletcher Henderson's and Don Redman's band, they included:

Henry Allen-trumpet/Benny Morton-trombone/Edward Inge-clarinet and alto saxophone/Jerry Blake-clarinet-alto saxophone)/Ted McRae-tenor saxophone/Don Kirkpatrick-piano/Bobby Johnson-guitar/Billy Taylor-slap bass/Manzie Johnson-drums.

  • W 152717-2-3 Get Goin' (vocal and arrangement by Jerry Blake) (Columbia 2902-D)
  • W 152718-1 Fare Thee Well To Harlem (vocal by Jerry Blake) (Columbia 2902-D)
  • W 152719-1 Tailor Made (arranged by Billy Taylor) (Columbia 2924-D)
  • W 152720-2 The Gold Digger's Song (We're In The Money) (vocal by Henry Allen) (Columbia 2924-D)+

(+ also issued on Columbia 36011, part of the early 1940s 4 record album set "Hot Trombones")

Birth and Death Data: Born January 31st, 1907 (New York City), Died December 28th, 1985 (New York City)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1934 - 1940

Roles Represented in DAHR: trombone, leader

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 38 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W152717 10-in. 2/23/1934 Get goin' Benny Morton Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Columbia W152718 10-in. 2/23/1934 Fare-thee-well to Harlem Benny Morton Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo leader  
Columbia W152719 10-in. 2/23/1934 Tailor made Benny Morton Orchestra Jazz/dance band leader  
Columbia W152720 10-in. 2/23/1934 The gold diggers' song Henry Allen ; Benny Morton Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and trumpet solo leader  
Decca 62682 10-in. 10/13/1937 I keep remembering Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 62683 10-in. 10/13/1937 Out the window Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 62684 10-in. 10/13/1937 Don't you miss your baby? Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 62685 10-in. 10/13/1937 Let me dream Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63122 10-in. 1/3/1938 Georgianna Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63123 10-in. 1/3/1938 Blues in the dark Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63286 10-in. 2/16/1938 Sent for you yesterday (and here you come today) Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63287 10-in. 2/16/1938 Every tub Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63288 10-in. 2/16/1938 Now will you be good? Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63289 10-in. 2/16/1938 Swingin' the blues Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63918 10-in. 6/6/1938 Mama don't want no peas' n' rice' n' cocoanut oil Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63919 10-in. 6/6/1938 Blue and sentimental Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 63920 10-in. 6/6/1938 Doggin' around Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64471 10-in. 8/22/1938 Stop beatin' round the mulberry bush Count Basie Orchestra ; Jimmy Rushing instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64472 10-in. 8/22/1938 London bridge is falling down Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64473 10-in. 8/19/1938 Texas shuffle Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64474 10-in. 8/19/1938 Jumpin' at the Woodside Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64746 10-in. 11/16/1938 Dark rapture Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64747 10-in. 11/16/1938 Shorty George Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64748 10-in. 11/16/1938 The blues I like to hear Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
Decca 64749 10-in. 11/16/1938 Do you wanna jump, children? Count Basie Orchestra instrumentalist, trombone  
(Results 1-25 of 38 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Morton, Benny," accessed October 18, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105496.

Morton, Benny. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 18, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105496.

"Morton, Benny." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 18 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/105496

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