Bennett Morgan, a Hopewell Junction Resident, Dies at 85
Bennett Morgan, well known in the music industry, peacefully passed away at the age of 85 on May 31, 2017, with his beloved wife of 31 years, Becky, at his side.. He most recently lived in Hopewell Junction, NY, previously in New York City and Philadelphia where he had three music booking agencies.
Bennett was born on December 7 1931, as the son of Max, “the baker” and Betty (Finklestein) Morganstein. He had two older brothers, Harvey and Arnold Clement, both previously deceased.
Ben was a late 50’s graduate of West Philly High and had a great love of music – he played the accordion and piano, as well as managing bands along the way. He loved his youthful days of skipping school with his buddies to go to the movies where he was so enamored with the live big band music.
He graduated from the Temple School of Pharmacy, and while working as a pharmacist, he continued his work in his first love, music. A gentle and fun loving man, after a short career as a pharmacist, he decided it was not fun being held up and quickly moved into his music career full time, forming his own company, The Bennett Morgan Agency, Inc., in the late 60s. He was booking acts in Pop and Rock, Jazz and also Comedy.
In 1971, Ben became a principal in the Sutton Artists Agency, in New York City and the focus was primarily Jazz. He was booking the top artists in Jazz – names like, Dave Brubeck, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan – the list is a long one of many of the greats in Jazz.
Ben then formed Bennett Morgan & Associates, Ltd. in 1989. He continued working with many of the jazz greats previously mentioned, adding artists such as, Eartha Kitt, John Pizzarelli, Tierney Sutton, Diane Reeves, Errol Garner, Cassandra Wilson and Rosemary Clooney to his roster. He retired in 2009, to have more fun enjoying sunsets on the beach!
Although music and family were his number one loves, Ben also enjoyed the wonders of nature, photography, travel, Broadway, antiquing, animals, (especially his lovable poodle, Jazzy), lots of time on the beach, martini time and 50 mile bicycle trips with Becky.
In addition to his cherished wife, Bennett was the proud father of four children, Rob Morganstein, Guy Morganstein, Eve Morganstein and Ted Morganstein, all of whom he leaves behind. He shared a special bond with his other children, Bunney Schmidt and her husband Brad, Brandon Lucas, and Brigitte Shaw and her husband Tim. He will be sadly missed by this 12 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, many of which he vacationed with every year.
Bennett was loved by so many – his love of life and fun was infectious – his whole hearted laughter, the twinkle in his eye and the song in his heart will long be remembered by those who knew him.
A traditional Hebrew service, led by Cantor Gail Hirschenfang, of Congregation Shir Chadash, was held in the family home, down by the creek that was loved so by Ben. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Bennett’s name to the Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra via a check to Shaut Music LLC, 5 Saw Mill Road, Lake Katrine, NY 12449, or to a charity of your choice.