Roger J. Morris (R.J.) was born on 31 August, 1946 in New Bloomfield, Missouri. He is the third of four surviving sons and one daughter of Frank and Lissie Maples Morris (both deceased).
He was introduced to music at birth (maybe before). His father Frank, who’s main instrument was the fiddle, was a well known musician and entertainer throughout central Missouri. Although Frank was best known as a fiddler and singer, he was just as adept at the guitar, harmonica, keyboards, mandolin, whatever…. If it made music, “Fiddlin” Frank could play it. And he continued until shortly before his death at the age of 92!
In fact, almost everyone in the family and many neighbors were musicians. His older brothers, Robert and Raymond played and sang on the local radio station in Jefferson City before they even reached their teens.
A typical Saturday consisted of people coming from miles around to gather for a day of fish fries, ballgames, horseshoe pitching and music. There were so many musicians at any given get-together that the music never stopped until late at night. When someone became tired and needed a break, someone else just sat down and picked up their instrument. It was easier to count the people who couldn’t play music than those that could.
His first instrument was a fiddle made out of a cigar box when he was about five years old. His first performances where at these Saturday parties and at barn dances where his entire repertoire consisted of “Little Brown Jug” which he would play and sing at the hint of an invitation. He soon graduated to a Harmony Flat Top guitar and was playing and singing popular songs of the day. R. J. says “I don’t know when I learned how to play music and I don’t remember when I learned to talk.”
R. J. joined the Army at eighteen, volunteered for Airborne training, became a paratrooper, saw a lot of the world and played music in his off time wherever he was stationed around the world.
He always had a band and many of his band members traveled with him and lived near the places where he was stationed in the Army. Many of those band members were family. His band always prided themselves in covering every style of music that might be requested in the varied clubs and concerts where they performed.
He wrote and recorded his first Album in 1975, and throughout the 70s and 80s toured with and fronted for many popular recording artists. Some of those artists were:
Dave Dudley, Johnny Paycheck, Tommy Overstreet, Hank Thompson, Stella Parton, Justin Tubb, Don Williams, The Platters, Joe Stamply, Jerry Naylor, Johnny Rodriguez, Billy “Crash“ Craddock, Barbara Fairchild, Kenny Husky, Penny DeHaven and many more.
R. J. lived in Europe more than twenty eight years. He currently has homes in Largo Florida, Frankfurt Germany, a home in Normandie France and a sailboat that is currently berthed in the Mediterranean south of Barcelona Spain. Needless to say, he enjoys traveling and tries to divide his time between the United States and Europe.
His interests include long-distance single-hand sailing on his sailboat (Sans-souci); writing lyrics and music, playing and singing the blues, fishing, and spending time with friends and family.
After a break from professional music for several years, he has given in to the encouragement of his wife, family and friends, and has returned to the music scene with a new Blues album “I’m Goin' To Walk Away From The Blues.” Every song was composed by R. J.