Monday, January 18, 2021

Fwd: ENOUGH ABOUT ME Jack Blanchard's Column

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Misty Morgan, my wife and partner, has a photographic memory for music.
I call it a "phonographic" memory.
She can play any piece she hears once,
even if it's just background Muzak in a store,
but she does not read music.
She has never sung a note off key.

Her first underage jobs were with pickup combos
around Tonawanda, New York.
They played standards, dance music, jazz, and a little country.
As a piano single, she played and sang mostly standards,
Broadway, and popular songs.

When I met her she was playing with her country band
at The Corral Barbecue in West Hollywood, Florida,
under the name "Mary Male".

One night, when we had only been together a short time,
we went to a club to hear an all female jazz quintet.
Somebody asked her to sit in on piano, and she accepted.
I was embarrassed. I said, "Honey, you don't play jazz."
She just said, "I can do it."
As she went on-stage, I went to the rest room.
I didn't want to see it.

Then I heard this great jazz piano,
a mix of Oscar Petersen, Erroll Garner, and Ramsey Lewis.
I went out and looked and it was Misty.
She brought down the house.
I said, "Where did you learn THAT?!"
She calmly said, "I told you I could do it"

She can play all kinds of music,
and never plays anything the same twice.

She is the first female entertainer I know of to play six stacked keyboards onstage.
Sometimes the strings, guitars, fiddles,
and many of the other sounds on our records
are really Misty and her magic keyboards.
She can blend them with Buddy Spicher, Johnny Gimbel,
Vassar Clements, and other musicians,
so that you can't tell unless you were there.

Her ear for sound is a valuable tool I use when mixing sessions.
I can write the songs,
and we work out the arrangements together,
but she has the final word on the mixdowns.
She was the first woman to produce a Number One country record.

When I write a new song I sing it to her first.
She never says it's bad.
If she says, "That's really nice" I know it isn't.
I have go back and work on the song
until she gives the right reaction.
It's sort of an excitement in her eyes... sometimes even tears.
She's always right. My final editor.

Everybody remarks about her unusual harmony on our duets.
I have no idea what she's doing and I don't want to know.
It just works.

On top of all this,
she is the perfect straight man to my funny stuff.
She folds her arms and gives me a look that says this:
"Whenever you're through, dummy.
We're trying to do a serious show here."

The audiences love her,
and so do I.

Jack Blanchard

P.S. Misty and I have been together 24 hours a day for over half century,
I seriously miss her.

Jack Blanchard & Misty Morgan.

Grammy Nominees. Billboard Duet of the Year.
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Monday, January 4, 2021

Country Songstress Misty Morgan Passes Away At The Age Of 75



It’s never easy to say goodbye

by Paul Cashmere 

on January 3, 2021




Country Star Misty Morgan 

Dies Aged 75

January 01 2021

Country singer Misty Morgan, best known for the 1970 hit ‘Tennessee Bird Walk’ with her husband Jack Blanchard, has died after a battle with cancer at the age of 75.

‘Tennessee Bird Walk’ was a number 1 hit according to Billboard in America and reached number three in Australia. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group at the 13th Grammy Awards.




That Nashville Sound

January 01 2021

Country Songstress Misty Morgan Passes Away At The Age Of 75

The new year begins as the old one ended: with sad news.  Misty Morgan has died.

Morgan, half of the duet of Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan, died New Year's Day, less than a week after being diagnosed with cancer.  According to Blanchard (her husband of 53 years), Morgan was taken to the emergency room on Christmas day.  Surgery, per his Facebook posts, revealed that she had cancer and "not more than five months or so, if we're lucky."  By New Year's Eve, Blanchard's posts went from searching for hospice care to "she can't come home." 

This evening, around 6 PM, Blanchard posted, "I was sitting in the hospital room watching Misty sleep, and she died."

Although both were from Buffalo, New York (even born in the same hospital), Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan didn't meet until 1963, in Florida.  They wed in 1967 and spent their career and lives together.

In 1970 America was blindsided by the novelty-style hit "Tennessee Bird Walk," the song about taking things away from birds that make them birds.  It went to #1 on the country charts and was a top 25 hit on the pop charts (amid things as diverse as Elvis, the Jackson Five, and Led Zeppelin).  Blanchard and Morgan would have a total of five top 40 country hits in their brief heyday, including another novelty song, "Humphrey the Camel," and the far more serious "Somewhere in Virginia in the Rain," before fading from commercial popularity. 

Misty Morgan was 75.

K.F. Raizor, author of the website Raizor's Edge and the book We Can't Sing and We Ain't Funny: The World of Homer and Jethro is our guest writer today on That Nashville Sound. She's ever so gracious to provide wonderful tributes to honor those to whom the music we treasure just wouldn't be the same without. Thank you, K.F.

Jack Blanchard and Misty Morgan also had another 1970 Top 40 Australian hit with ‘Humphrey The Camel’.






Jack and Misty would have a string of Country hits in America throughout the 1970s including ‘You’ve Got Your Troubles’, ‘There Must Be Something More To Life (Than Growing Old’ and ‘Somewhere in Virginia in the Rain’.


In a statement on Facebook Jack Blanchard told fans,

“I was sitting in the hospital room watching Misty sleep and she died. They tell me I’m in shock so I’d better stop writing”.
Love, Jack