Mary Margaret Morgan (born December 3, 1931), known professionally as Jaye P. Morgan, is a retired popular music American singer, actress and comedienne, She is an entertainer who became a household name in the 1950s and '60s who also appeared on several television programs, in films and sang and performed concerts, recitals and in nightclubs. Her husky voice became her trademark.
Born in Colorado, Jaye P. Morgan began her career at an early age constantly performing for family and friends. After a while she moved to California to graduate from high school and begin a singing career. Began to be called "J.P." in 1947 when she was class treasurer of her high school (a reference to financier John Pierpont Morgan). After graduating from high school, Jaye P. Morgan landed a spot as a vocalist with the Frank DeVol Orchestra. During the '50s, she made quite a name for herself as a vocalist. Performing concerts and recording songs was what she did in the '50s.
In 1956, she had her own The Jaye P. Morgan Show and made guest appearances on a number of other variety shows. She was a charter member of the Robert Q. Lewis "gang" on Lewis's weekday program on CBS, and was featured on a special episode of The Jackie Gleason Show in which Lewis's entire company substituted for the vacationing Gleason. In 1958, Morgan appeared on ABC's The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom. On October 6, 1960, she guest starred on NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford.
During the '60s she led a rather obscure and private life performing infrequently on the nightclub scene. Jaye P. Morgan re-emerged in the '70s concentrating on an actress/entertainer career rather than a singing career. She portrayed herself on The Odd Couple in 1973 and was a plush horse singer in the television movie Adventures of Nick Carter. She is probably best-known for her antics, comedy routines and singing as a panelist on The Gong Show. The show lasted four years and also starred panelists Arte Johnson, Phyllis Diller, Jamie Farr and Rex Reed. the show was made into a movie in 1980 in which Jaye P. Morgan played herself. Her '70s television credits include being a regular on The Chuck Barris Rah Rah Show, The $1.98 Beauty Show and she made a guest appearance on The Muppet Show in 1977 where she used both her singing and acting talents.
In 1998, Jaye P. returned to her days in high school with a tour of the stage production "Swing, Swing, Swing!" Also featuring Tommy Sands and his orchestra, the production was a celebration of the big band sounds and songs of the 1940's that were undoubtedly Jaye P.'s inspiration to become a singer.
Although not as prevalent a personality as she used to be, Jaye P. Morgan continued to be the singer, actress, comedienne and entertainer she was in the '50s. Her credits of the '90s included the films Night Patrol, Coming Attractions and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. She also appeared in the 2002 George Clooney-directed film Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. Her name, however, will most often be associated with her boisterous, fun-loving comedy of The Gong Show.
She is currently retired and her latest release is entitled Jaye P. Morgan Lately!, re-released in 2005. (Originally it came out on the Palace Records label in 1983.) (Info edited from various sources, mainly Wikipedia)