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Lee Morse

Lena Corinne "Lee" Morse (née Taylor; November 30, 1897 – December 16, 1954) was an American jazz and blues singer-songwriter, composer, guitarist, and actress. Morse's greatest popularity was in the 1920s and early 1930s as a torch singer, although her career began around 1917 and continued until her death in 1954.

Morse was known for her strong, deep singing voice and vocal range, which often belied her petite frame. She possessed a contralto vocal range, and one of her trademarks was her unique style of yodeling. Recording over 200 songs over her career, Morse was one of the most recorded female singers of the 1920s. She was also moderately successful as an actress on the Broadway stage. Her life and career, however, were marred by alcoholism. Morse's' group the Blue Grass Boys had no relation neither to their later namesake of Bill Monroe nor bluegrass music.

In 2014, Morse's rendition of "If You Want the Rainbow" was used in an episode of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

Birth and Death Data: Born November 30th, 1897 (Cove), Died 1954 (Rochester)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1923 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: contralto, leader, composer, lyricist, songwriter

Notes: Described as "comedienne" in Victor ledgers.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 116 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-75786 10-in. 4/11/1933 I've got to sing a torch song Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano and guitar vocalist, contralto  
Victor BS-75787 10-in. 4/11/1933 Pettin' in the park Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano and guitar vocalist, contralto  
Victor BS-75788 10-in. 4/11/1933 In the little white church on the hill Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano and guitar vocalist, contralto  
Victor BS-75789 10-in. 4/11/1933 While the rest of the world is sleeping Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano and guitar vocalist, contralto  
Victor [Trial 1923-06-30-02] 10-in. 6/30/1923 Darky patter Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Victor [Trial 1923-06-30-03] 10-in. 6/30/1923 Swanee River Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, contralto  
Victor [Trial 1923-07-16-01] 10-in. 7/16/1923 Nigger patties, part 1 Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Victor [Trial 1923-07-16-02] 10-in. 7/16/1923 Nigger patties, part 2 Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Victor [Trial 1923-07-16-03] 10-in. 7/16/1923 Louisville Lou Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W143659 10-in. 3/16/1927 I'd love to be in love Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W143660 10-in. 3/16/1927 Where the wild, wild flowers grow Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W143661 10-in. 3/16/1927 My idea of heaven (Is to be in love with you) Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W143662 10-in. 3/16/1927 Side by side Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W143678 10-in. 3/17/1927 I hate to say goodbye Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist, leader  
Columbia W143679 10-in. 3/17/1927 (What do I care what) Somebody said Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W143680 10-in. 3/17/1927 Ain't he sweet? Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W143681 10-in. 3/17/1927 Mollie make up your mind Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist, leader  
Columbia W144414 10-in. 6/30/1927 Rosita Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W144415 10-in. 6/30/1927 I'm a red-hot hot-house flower (But my daddy is an ice-cream cone) Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W144416 10-in. 6/30/1927 We (My honey and me) Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W144417 10-in. 6/30/1927 I've looked all over (For a girl like you) Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with piano vocalist, contralto, songwriter  
Columbia W144579 10-in. 8/27/1927 Dawning Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W144580 10-in. 8/27/1927 I've looked all over for a girl like you Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto, songwriter  
Columbia W144845 10-in. 10/10/1927 Old fashioned romance Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W144846 10-in. 10/10/1927 Did you mean it? Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet vocalist, contralto  
(Results 1-25 of 116 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Morse, Lee," accessed September 17, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110542.

Morse, Lee. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 17, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110542.

"Morse, Lee." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 17 September 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110542

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