The Mouth Organ Swingers

Mouth Organ Swingers
G. Vandenberghe : guitar/ chord harmonica
S. Gens : bass
J. Bax & W. Leener : chromatic harmonicas
G. Polenus : bass harmonica

The group was formed towards the end of 1949.

In 1952 they toured Belgium and Germany for Hohner.

Between 1953 and 1955, they recorded five 78 r.p.m. records.
1.a: Hohner Boogie - Polygone P 1037
1.b: Mouth Organ Boogie - Polygone P 1037
2.a: Steppin Out - Victory 9402
2.b: Cincinatti Dancing Pig - Victory 9402
3.a: Swinger Boogie - Victory 9393
3.b: Darktown Strutters Ball - Victory 9393
4.a: Ilia Boogie - Victory
4.b: Dob's Boogie
5.a: Red's Boogie
5.b: ?

They appeared numerously on Radio, TV and in Theaters, and made special appearances in the "Pleyel Concert Hall" in Paris with the Raisner Trio, the Three Scamps and César Bollini.

In 1955, they appeared on French TV with Jean Nohain (famous presenter), were engaged by musical director Bruno Coquatrix of the "Olympia Music Hall" for a month.

Towards the end of 1955 the group changed its name and became "les Morgan's", or better "The Morgan's".

In December 1955, they toured France with the Jacques Hélian's orchestra. They performed regularly in France, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, and for the U.S. Forces in Germany.

They performed a lot on TV and were billed with many International stars such as: Philippe Clay (French actor and singer), Stéphane Grappelli,, Edith Piaf, Francis Blanche, Gilbert Bécaud and Catharina Valente.

Throughout 1958 they tour with the Perez Prado's Orchestra.

In 1959 they appeared at the "Jazz aux Champs Elysées".

From then on they continued to tour France, Spain, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland and Greece. Other srtists they appeared with were: Johnny Halliday, Enrico Macias, Petula Clark and Claude François (French singer/ composer who wrote "Comme d'Habitude" better known as "My Way".

The above details come from lead player W. Leener, who also says : We appeared mainly at the "Crazy-Horse Saloon", and also performed in front of numerous important people. For example: King Léopold 3 , S.M. le Roi Baudoin , Prince Rainier of Monaco, the Duke of Windsor and his wife, Aga Khan, Onasis, Maria Callas, Ava Gardner, Gina Lolo Brigida, Marie-Josée Nat, Garry Cooper, Alan Lad, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Since two members refused to sign a year's contract at the "Ruhl Casino" in Nice, the group was disbanded in 1974.

From 1975 till 1980 W. Leener (harmonica) continued with G. Vandenberghe (guitar / song ) as a duo. During that period Luc Boriau (electric bass), M. Linthout (drums) and Bernard (roods) turned the group into a quintet again.

Even today, 2001, W. Leener, G. Vandenberghe and L. Boriau still bring a show with a lot of humour and talent.

Translated by Jean-Pierre Dréano from "A Croch Coeurs" August 2001.

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The Mouth Organ Swingers

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