490 – [Daniel Glass Show]: A Conversation With Bobby Morris.

In this podcast, Daniel checks in with his old pal, the legendary drummer Bobby Morris. Best known for his 1950s work with Louie Prima, Morris’s colorful life and incredible musical associations are detailed in a new autobiography, My Las Vegas: With Elvis, Sinatra, Streisand, Darin, Prima & More.

What’s covered in this session:

  • Daniel shares how he met Bobby Morris almost 20 years ago, when he sought out Morris in Las Vegas to learn how to play the “Prima Shuffle.”
  • Bobby’s early years, including his birth in Poland and how he came to America 1937 at the age of 10.
  • How Bobby became inspired to play the drums – first through watching marching bands and then seeing Gene Krupa perform live with the Benny Goodman big band.
  • Snare drum studies with legendary educator Henry Adler, and getting to know a fellow student named Freddie Gruber.
  • How passion and hard work led to a professional career by the age of 14.
  • Becoming obsessed with “the New Music” (bebop) in the late 1940s – and working with many of its greatest legends as a teenager on 52nd Street in Manhattan.
  • Bobby’s move to Las Vegas in 1950, when there were only five casino/hotels and the population was just 30,000 .
  • Joining the “relief band,” which included the most crack musicians in all of Vegas.
  • Connecting with Louie Prima in 1955, introducing his famous shuffle to the act, and enjoying the band’s meteoric rise to stardom.
  • Becoming the musical director at the International Hotel in 1969, where he would conduct for the likes of Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Bobby Darin and many others.

Resources/Links/People Mentioned:

  • Daniel Glass and Bobby Morris in 2000, outside the offices of the Morris Talent Agency in Las Vegas.
  • Bobby’s new book My Las Vegas recounts the incredible stories of his life in New York, Las Vegas and around the world.
  • Bobby with Louis Prima at the height of that group’s fame in the late 1950s.
  • Learn more about My Las Vegas, now available in hard cover or digital download from Hudson Music.
4 replies
  1. Rich Noorigian
    Rich Noorigian says:

    Great to see Bobby get props for what he has done in music. For many years drummers have been trying to get that Prima shuffle down but few can execute as clean and swing it as fast as Bobby. Amazing story of his life and career.

    • Daniel Glass
      Daniel Glass says:

      Thanks Rich,
      I agree – Bobby is an incredible drummer, and am happy to be able to help give him the credit he so richly deserves.

  2. Timothy, Wayne Matthews
    Timothy, Wayne Matthews says:

    Bobby Morris was our agent in the 80s ( the Steve Long show) we had just come to town and we’re staying at Bobbies house. I was 21 and having a hard time with the Latin beat on Viva Las Vegas. Bobby explained the beat to me in the only way Bobby Morris could he said ” kid it’s simple just play shave haircut and shampoo, shave haircut and shampoo”. Sound funny but it worked. Bobby went on to produce our live in Vegas album. I remember many adventures with Bobby. If you see him again tell him Wayne Matthews the drummer from the Steve Long show says hello. I’m still playing and I pretty much have that Latin stuff down!

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