Self Taught Musician

Posted on Aug 22 by Amy Morgan
about Edwin Morgan

My grandpa grew up very poor in La Farge, Wisconsin. His father told him at the age of twelve that he was on his own. As a teenager he met my grandma, a beautiful but self-conscious girl. I was lucky enough to read her journals after my grandpa passed. Their courting was so sweet and old-fashioned. They loved to hike the many hills of the Driftless area and he was always snapping photographs. Thanks to his photography I have many pictures of them together, obviously in love. My beloved grandfather taught himself piano as a child and continued to play many other instruments including the ukulele and accordian. The stories say that he would get in trouble with her dad for serenading her outside of her window in the small town of La Farge, Wisconsin. He later sang in many radio commercials and was a member of the band “The Hayshakers”. I still can hear the sound of him playing piano by ear. They were either something he made up or a popular standard, like “Sentimental Journey”. He didn’t play the radio in the car; he sang. My dad remembers him taking requests for songs, and my dad always wanted to hear “Danny Boy”. I am lucky enough to have found a CD of him singing which was converted from a phonograph.When I asked my father if my grandpa served in the second world war, he told me that he wasn’t able to. He had broken his arm as a child. They couldn’t afford a doctor so they took him to a horse doctor who set his arm. From then on he wasn’t able to turn that arm at the elbow. He passed suddenly and before his time, and my grandmother followed him home a year later.