Mary Margaret Morgan was born in Colorado. Like many other singers, she moved to the Los Angeles area and sang in high school. She was also the class treasurer at one point and joking comparisons to J. P. Morgan resulted in the nickname JP that she couldn’t shake. She finally started using the name Jaye P. Morgan when performing professionally.
Jaye P. began recording records within a year after graduating from high school. A few years later she first got onto the charts with her version of Just A Gigolo in 1953. You would probably recognize that song as the first half of a hit record by David Lee Roth in 1985, although David’s version is a lot faster.
In 1955, the single That’s All I Want From You reached #3 on the pop charts. That turned out to be the biggest hit of her career.
In the next twelve months, she released another half-dozen singles that all reached the top twenty, including two singles she sang with Perry Como. Her last top forty single, Pepper Hot Baby, peaked at #14 in the first week of 1956.
Seven more singles followed in 1956, but none of them came close to the top forty. She hosted her own variety show that year and started regularly appearing in one television show after another.
In 1976 she was hired to appear as a regular judge on The Gong Show. Those appearances are no doubt what Jaye P. is most remembered for. She was even cast as herself when Chuck Barris filmed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, a movie that illustrates the questionable claim that Chuck was an assassin for the CIA. No word yet on who Ms. Morgan may have been working for during that time.