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
|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|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Watson, Leo," accessed January 22, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102180.
Watson, Leo. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 22, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102180.
"Watson, Leo." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 22 January 2021.
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