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Thomas Morris (1897-1945)
Thomas MorrisCornetist Thomas Morris  (August 30, 1897 – 1945) is a somewhat shadowy, yet prolific figure of the early New York Jazz scene. He led a pretty good band called Thomas Morris and his Seven Hot Babies in Harlem in the mid-1920s and appeared on around 150 recordings. He recorded with Fats WallerSidney BechetCharlie Johnson’s Paradise Orchestra and Clarence Williams as well as accompanying Blues singers like Margaret JohnsonSara Martin and Eva Taylor. He appeared briefly in the Bessie Smith film, “St. Louis Blues” in 1929.

Some time in the early 1930s he left the music business worked as a Red Cap at Grand Central Station in New York and then became a member of Father Divine’s Universal Peace Mission Movement. This was a predominately African American fundamentalist Christian cult that believed in the equality of all people and that the leader of the group, Father Divine was the second coming of Christ. Morris changed his name to Brother Pierre and became a follower of Divine. The Universal Peace Mission Movement demanded a life of celibacy, no smoking, drinking, obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, receiving of gifts, presents, and tips. Thomas Morris was the uncle of Jazz pianist Marlowe Morris.

Thomas Morris (1897-1945)

Thomas Morris and his Seven Hot Babies Thomas Waller with Morris’ Hot Babies
Thomas Morris and his Orchestra New Orleans Blue Five
Thomas Morris Past Jazz Masters

Thomas Morris (1897-1945)

Title Director Year
St. Louis Blues Dudley Murphy 1929

 

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