FOX19's Katy Morgan's grandpa sang with the elite in Las Vegas - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Something you didn't know about Katy

(FOX19) -

It's no wonder Katy Morgan is a fan of Big Band music.  Her paternal grandfather use to sing with the elite in Las Vegas. 

Katy's grandmother Dottie Morgan, remembers the time well.  "He entertained at the Latest Show on the strip, where all the other entertainers on the strip would come to this show every night and join."

But before the big lights in Vegas, Katy's grandfather Dick Morgan got his start singing all over the San Francisco bay area, while still in high school during the early 1950s.  He performed in lounges with several famous big bands, including the Lyle Bardo Orchestra as well as crooning at the Golden Gate Theater in downtown San Francisco.  His majestic baritone voice even caught the attention of talent coaches, which earned him a spot on a television show in New York City, hosted by Steve Allen.

Dick had joined the military, after hearing he was going to be drafted in the Korean War, but got out to pursue a full time singing career.  From 1956 to 1959, he sang in Las Vegas, and most notably at the Silver Slipper.  He opened for big acts and sang late nights, rubbing elbows with the elite like Joey Bishop, Milton Berle, Peggy Lee, Guy Lombardo and Jerry Fielding.

But after three years of trying to make it big in Vegas, the late nights in casinos became too much for Dick.  "It's just like major league baseball" says Rick Morgan, son of Dick and father to Katy.  "Not everyone comes out of the minor leagues.  This was his minor leagues and he just quite didn't make the jump." Plus, a young man named Elvis was becoming popular for his new style of music, called rock and roll.  The big band style of music was slowly fading away.  So, Dick returned to the Air Force to better provide for his young family, and went on to have a successful military career, including flying combat in Vietnam.  

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