The Musical Morgan Family

Riley Morgan Jr.

Riley Morgan Sr.

Tecora Morgan

Riley Morgan Sr. began his long association with St. Louis blues legend Big George Brock in the 1960’s, playing lead guitar in his band for almost 50 years, starting in Brock’s popular blues nightspot, the Club Caravan....

A family of St. Louis Blues greats

Riley Morgan Sr.

Bio of: Riley Morgan Sr.

Riley Morgan Sr. was a popular well known musician in the St. Louis music scene for over 60 years. He was born Riley Coatie (pronounced COAT-TEE) Morgan on November 26th 1932 in Bliza, Arkansas, 1 of 4 children.

He became interested in music when his aunt Margaret taught him how to blow harmonica at age 9, and from then on, he excelled in playing lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, bongos, congas, organ, piano and the saxophone.

He moved to Gary, Indiana in the 1960s, where he met and married Lucille in April of 1963, a union that lasted 50 years. They had 6 children: Tecora, Riley Jr., Natasha, Ezekiel, Mariah and Shashoney.

He taught all of his kids how to play, but only his 2 eldest offspring (Tecora and Riley Jr.) continue to perform music. Three of the biggest names in the history of the blues became his best friends in the 1960s: Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller).

He began his long association with St. Louis blues legend Big George Brock in the 1960’s, playing lead guitar in his band for almost 50 years, starting in Brock’s popular blues nightspot, the Club Caravan.

While still with Brock, he formed his own band in the 1970s. King Coatie and the Cool Gents, featuring such popular vocalists as Dave Foster and ‘Jumpin’ Jasper Rice. As hugely popular as that band was, he decided to disband the group in 1980 to form ANOTHER successful band, this time with his children and re-named it ‘Coatie and the Mighty Soul Family Band’. Coatie and the Mighty Soul Family Band backed such local notables as Walter Westbrook, Cletie Milon, Willie Johnson, Willie ‘Al’ Green, Blues Boy Bubba, Piano Slim, and Jesse Hamilton.

In 2002, he and his family went into the studio to record and release his very first CD, ‘The Blues Will Never Die’. A year later, in 2003, he recorded (with his family) and released his second and final CD, ‘Blues from the East Side’.

On Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 (his idol Sam Cooke’s birthday), he performed live with his children for the very last time, backing singer Cletie Milon in a show at the popular Soulard nightclub ‘Hammerstones’. Illness forced him to retire from public life, and he passed away on April 9th 2013, leaving behind a rich musical legacy emanating through daughter Tecora and son Riley Jr.

Photos of Riley Morgan Sr.

The YouTubes of Riley Morgan Sr.

A family of St. Louis Blues greats

Riley Morgan Jr.

Photos of Riley Morgan Jr.

Bio of: Riley Morgan Jr.

I was born April 3rd, 1969 in East Saint Louis, Illinois. The second of six children born to my parents Riley and Lucille Morgan.

All of my life, I’ve loved music and because of this my dad taught me how to play drums in 1979, when I was 10 years old. Less than a year later in 1980 I was already performing with my dad. Dad played all kinds of instruments, including harmonica, drums, organ, piano, bass, guitar and saxophone. But the one instrument he was best known for is lead guitar.

He taught all 6 of us to play music, but my oldest sister bassist Tecora and I are the only ones to keep it up. In 1980 I began my long association with St. Louis blues legend Big George Brock, drumming for him for 29 years. My dad and sister Tecora helped form his Big George and the House Rockers, performing against such local fixtures as Big Bad Smitty, Rondo, David Dee, Pennsylvania Slim, Melissa Neels, Skeet Rodgers, Terry ‘Harmonica’ Bean and Danny blue. Other notable acts we faced off against were Bobby Rush, Albert King, and Larry Davis.

One of the biggest highlights of my performing career was with dad and I accompanied Big George Brock overseas for a week’s worth of shows in July 2007. It literally was the best time in my life as a musician. Other people I played with besides big George were Walter J. Westbrook, Jasper Rice, Willie ‘Al’ Green, Blues Boy Bubba, Willie Johnson, and Cletie Milon.

After Dad passed in 2013, I (along with Tecora) continued to keep the Morgan musical legacy alive performing with artists such as Blues Boy Bubba, Skeet Rodgers, Marquise Knox, Jasper Rice, Cole Allan and Renee Smith.

Currently, I perform with Houston, Texas blues veteran John McVey at Hammerstones every week, along with my sister. Tecora and I are also the backing band behind young phenomenon Matt ‘The Rattlesnake’ Lesch. I also play drums for Art Dwyer and the Soulard Blues Band every Monday night at the Broadway Oyster Bar, as well as drums for supreme vocalist Marty Abdullah and the Expressions at Hammerstones every month.

Bio of: Tecora Morgan

Tecora Morgan is a popular veteran bassist who has been performing on the St. Louis music scene for over forty years, as part of a rich musical legacy of the Morgan family headed by her dad, patriarch Riley Coatie Morgan Sr.

Tecora Angelita (pronounced ANN-JA-LEE-TA) Morgan was born December 22nd 1967 in East St. Louis Illinois, the eldest of 6 children of Mr & Mrs. Riley and Lucille Morgan. Music was always heard in the Morgan household, so it was only natural that her dad taught her and her brothers and sisters how to play several musical instruments. She learned to blow the clarinet while in elementary school, but quickly gave it up due to lack of interest. Tecora was taught the bass guitar at age 15 by her dad in 1983, and a year later she was the primary bassist for St. Louis blues legend Big George Brock, replacing Brock’s former bass player (and Tecora’s mentor) Harry Crawford. From 1983 to 2009. Big George and the House Rockers consisted of the Morgan family: Riley Sr. on lead guitar,Tecora on bass guitar and Riley Jr. on drums.

The Morgan family are often considered the best band Big George ever had, sharing the bill with such notable figures as B.B. King, Albert King, Bobby Rush, Larry Davis, David Dee, Rondo’s Blues Deluxe, and Tommy Bankhead just to name a few. The Morgan family recorded and released 2 CD’s under the name “Coatie and the Mighty Soul Family Band”: 2002 “The Blues Will Never Die” and 2003’s “Blues From the East Side”. They also helped Big George record his very first album, 1989’s “Should Have Been There, as well as 2 other CD’s.

Since her dad’s passing in 2013 Tecora and her brother Riley Jr. keep the Morgan music legacy alive by continuing to perform backing such St. Louis luminaries as Jumping Jasper Rice, Blues Boy Bubba, Willie ‘Al Green’ Skeet Rodger’s and Misha pronounced “Mz. Sha” (pronounced MISS SHAY. Tecora and her brother Riley Jr. can currently be seen every Wednesday night performing with Houston Texas blues guitarist-singer John McVey at the popular Soulard nightclub ‘Hammerstones’. The duo are also the backing band behind singer guitarist and Webster University graduate Matthew ‘The Rattlesnake’ Lesch.

Tecora Morgan

 

 

A family of St. Louis Blues greats

Tecora Morgan

Photos of Tecora Morgan

Bio of: Tecora Morgan

Tecora Morgan is a popular veteran bassist who has been performing on the St. Louis music scene for over forty years, as part of a rich musical legacy of the Morgan family headed by her dad, patriarch Riley Coatie Morgan Sr.

Tecora Angelita (pronounced ANN-JA-LEE-TA) Morgan was born December 22nd 1967 in East St. Louis Illinois, the eldest of 6 children of Mr & Mrs. Riley and Lucille Morgan. Music was always heard in the Morgan household, so it was only natural that her dad taught her and her brothers and sisters how to play several musical instruments. She learned to blow the clarinet while in elementary school, but quickly gave it up due to lack of interest. Tecora was taught the bass guitar at age 15 by her dad in 1983, and a year later she was the primary bassist for St. Louis blues legend Big George Brock, replacing Brock’s former bass player (and Tecora’s mentor) Harry Crawford. From 1983 to 2009. Big George and the House Rockers consisted of the Morgan family: Riley Sr. on lead guitar,Tecora on bass guitar and Riley Jr. on drums.

The Morgan family are often considered the best band Big George ever had, sharing the bill with such notable figures as B.B. King, Albert King, Bobby Rush, Larry Davis, David Dee, Rondo’s Blues Deluxe, and Tommy Bankhead just to name a few. The Morgan family recorded and released 2 CD’s under the name “Coatie and the Mighty Soul Family Band”: 2002 “The Blues Will Never Die” and 2003’s “Blues From the East Side”. They also helped Big George record his very first album, 1989’s “Should Have Been There, as well as 2 other CD’s.

Since her dad’s passing in 2013 Tecora and her brother Riley Jr. keep the Morgan music legacy alive by continuing to perform backing such St. Louis luminaries as Jumping Jasper Rice, Blues Boy Bubba, Willie ‘Al Green’ Skeet Rodger’s and Misha pronounced “Mz. Sha” (pronounced MISS SHAY. Tecora and her brother Riley Jr. can currently be seen every Wednesday night performing with Houston Texas blues guitarist-singer John McVey at the popular Soulard nightclub ‘Hammerstones’. The duo are also the backing band behind singer guitarist and Webster University graduate Matthew ‘The Rattlesnake’ Lesch.

Tecora Morgan