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Morris, Bobby


Bobby Morris (born Boruch Moishe Stempelman) was born June 30, 1927 and immigrated from Wilno, Poland to Brooklyn, New York in 1937. His passion for drumming was ignited soon after, and he began shining shoes to pay for drumming lessons from Henry Adler. At the age of thirteen, Morris got his first gig playing at the Musicians Union in the Catskill Mountains during the summer. He soon developed a career playing jazz around town with different artists while simultaneously studying at the Manhattan School of Music.

In 1950, Morris moved to Las Vegas, Nevada to play in the orchestra at the Last Frontier Hotel and Casino, working with artists like Liberace and Ronald “Ronnie” Reagan. Over the next several years, he had an exciting career as a jazz musician, playing in lounges, on studio albums and even at a presidential inauguration, with artists like Louis Prima and Keely Smith, Judy Garland, Eddie Fisher, and eventually with Elvis Presley as his musical director. In addition, Morris started his own agency – the Bobby Morris Agency – and managed acts like Robert Goulet and Keely Smith.