Leo Watson

Leo Watson (February 27, 1898 – May 2, 1950) was an American jazz vocalese singer, drummer, trombonist and tiple player born in Kansas City, Missouri, probably best remembered as a member of The Spirits of Rhythm small group, which included guitarist Teddy Bunn. Watson also worked briefly with a variety of big bands, including those of Gene Krupa, Artie Shaw and Jimmy Mundy.

Watson also provided the (uncredited) voice for Prince Chawmin' in the cartoon Coal Black and de Sebben Dwarfs (directed by Bob Clampett, 1943), one of the racially objectionable Censored Eleven; primary voice artist Mel Blanc's contract only allowed for his solo credit. In a 1969 Funnyworld interview conducted by Michael Barrier and Milton Gray, Bob Clampett recalled Watson's name erroneously as Zoot Watson; thus, Leo Watson himself went uncredited for his work in the cartoon for almost forty more years. Finally, Australian voice artist and animation historian Keith Scott discovered his name correctly in the Warner Bros. Archives.

Birth and Death Data: Born February 27th, 1898 (Kansas City), Died May 2nd, 1950 (Los Angeles)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1932 - 1945

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, guitar, tiple

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-71790 10-in. 11/23/1932 Underneath the Harlem moon Wilbur Daniels ; Washboard Rhythm Kings ; Leo Watson Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet vocalist  
Victor BS-71792 10-in. 11/23/1932 How deep is the ocean (How high is the sky) Wilbur Daniels ; Washboard Rhythm Kings ; Leo Watson Jazz/dance band, with male vocal duet vocalist  
Decca 38633 10-in. 9/11/1934 'Way down yonder in New Orleans Red McKenzie instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 38634 10-in. 9/11/1934 I've got the world on a string Red McKenzie instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 38635 10-in. 9/11/1934 From Monday on Red McKenzie instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 38636 10-in. 9/11/1934 As long as I live Red McKenzie instrumentalist, guitar  
Decca 38662 10-in. 9/14/1934 Junk man Spirits of Rhythm vocalist, instrumentalist, tiple  
Decca 38663 10-in. 9/14/1934 Dr. Watson and Mr. Holmes Spirits of Rhythm vocalist, instrumentalist, tiple  
Decca 38664 10-in. 9/14/1934 That's what I hate about love Spirits of Rhythm vocalist, instrumentalist, tiple  
Decca 38665 10-in. 9/14/1934 Shoutin' in that amen corner Spirits of Rhythm vocalist, instrumentalist, tiple  
Decca 66167 10-in. 8/22/1939 The man with the mandolin Leo Watson Orchestra vocalist  
Decca 66168 10-in. 8/22/1939 Utt da zay (The tailor song) Leo Watson Orchestra vocalist  
Decca 66169 10-in. 8/22/1939 Ja-da Leo Watson Orchestra vocalist  
Decca 66170 10-in. 8/22/1939 It's the tune that counts Leo Watson Orchestra vocalist  
Decca RT-101 1945 Sonny boy Leo Watson vocalist  
Decca RT-102 1945 Tight and gay Leo Watson vocalist  
Decca CAL-103 1945 Snake pit Leo Watson vocalist  
Decca CAL-104 1945 Jingle bells Leo Watson vocalist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Watson, Leo," accessed October 24, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102180.

Watson, Leo. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102180.

"Watson, Leo." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 24 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102180

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