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Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan (August 2, 1900 – October 9, 1941) was an American singer and actress who worked in films and on the stage. A quintessential torch singer, she made a big splash in the Chicago club scene in the 1920s. She starred as Julie LaVerne in the original Broadway production of Hammerstein and Kern's musical Show Boat in 1927, as well as in the 1932 Broadway revival of the musical, and appeared in two film adaptations, a part-talkie made in 1929 (prologue only) and a full-sound version made in 1936, becoming firmly associated with the role. She suffered from bouts of alcoholism, and despite her notable success in the title role of another Hammerstein and Kern's Broadway musical, Sweet Adeline (1929), her stage career was relatively short. Helen Morgan died of cirrhosis of the liver at the age of 41. She was portrayed by Polly Bergen in the Playhouse 90 drama The Helen Morgan Story and by Ann Blyth in the 1957 biopic based on the television drama.

Birth and Death Data: Born 1900 (Danville), Died Chicago

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1927 - 1963

Roles Represented in DAHR: soprano vocal

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-42442 10-in. 2/14/1928 Can't help lovin' dat man Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-42443 10-in. 2/14/1928 Bill Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-50917 10-in. 3/6/1929 Who cares what you have been? Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-50918 10-in. 3/6/1929 Mean to me Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-56191 10-in. 10/16/1929 Why was I born? Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-56711 10-in. 9/24/1929 What wouldn't I do for that man! Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-56712 10-in. 9/24/1929 More than you know Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-57142 10-in. 11/12/1929 Don't ever leave me! Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-63625 10-in. 9/5/1930 Body and soul Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BVE-63626 10-in. 9/5/1930 Something to remember you by Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-81880 10-in. 3/12/1934 A fool there was George Hall ; Hotel Taft Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-81968 10-in. 3/21/1934 Give me a heart to sing to Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Victor BS-81969 10-in. 3/21/1934 Frankie and Johnny Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 111-a] 10-in. July 1927 A tree in the park Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 111-b] 10-in. July 1927 Where’s that rainbow? Leslie Hutchinson ; Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 122-a] 10-in. approximately July 1927 Nothing but Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 122-b] 10-in. approximately July 1927 Wanting you Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 129-a] 10-in. approximately July 1927 Do-do-do Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 129-b] 10-in. approximately Sept. 1927 Maybe Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with male vocal duet and piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick R-166 10-in. July 1927 Possibly Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick R181 10-in. approximately July 1927 Lazy weather Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) Sept. 1927] 10-in. approximately Sept. 1927 [Unknown title(s)] Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with male vocal duet and piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) July 1927] 10-in. July 1927 [Unknown title(s)] Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 110-a] 10-in. approximately June 1927 Just like a butterfly (That's caught in the rain) Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 110-b] 10-in. approximately June 1927 You remind me of a naughty springtime cuckoo Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 104-a] 10-in. approximately June 1927 Me and my shadow Leslie Hutchinson ; Helen Morgan Female vocal duet, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 104-b] 10-in. approximately June 1927 When I discover my man Helen Morgan Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, soprano vocal  
Decca NA 12459 4/3/1963 Just over the line Helen Morgan vocalist, soprano vocal  
Decca NA 12460 4/3/1963 Don't knock upon my door tonight Helen Morgan vocalist, soprano vocal  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Morgan, Helen," accessed October 21, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108933.

Morgan, Helen. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 21, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108933.

"Morgan, Helen." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 21 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108933

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