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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 either to their later namesake of Bill Monroe's 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 30, 1897 (Cove), Died December 16, 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 are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings

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 composer, lyricist, vocalist, contralto  
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 composer, lyricist, vocalist, contralto  
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 songwriter, vocalist, contralto  
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 songwriter, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W144845 10-in. 10/10/1927 Old fashioned romance Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet lyricist, vocalist, contralto, composer  
Columbia W144846 10-in. 10/10/1927 Did you mean it? Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W144847 10-in. 10/10/1927 Someday you'll say "O.K." Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with instrumental quintet vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W145292 10-in. 12/9/1927 Keep sweeping the cobwebs off the moon Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W145293 10-in. 12/9/1927 I'm lonely Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, lyricist, vocalist, contralto, composer  
Columbia W145294 10-in. 12/9/1927 Give me a good-night kiss Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W145564 10-in. 1/23/1928 Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy day Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W145565 10-in. 1/23/1928 There must be a silver lining (That's shining for me) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W145566 10-in. 1/23/1928 In the sing song sycamore tree Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W145584 10-in. 1/25/1928 After we kiss Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W145585 10-in. 1/25/1928 Poor butterfly waits for me Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with violin, piano, and lute composer, lyricist, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146407 10-in. 6/6/1928 Mother and Dad Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer, lyricist, leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146408 10-in. 6/6/1928 When I lost you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146409 10-in. 6/6/1928 Lonesome for you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer, lyricist, leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146578 10-in. 6/25/1928 Be sweet to me Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto, songwriter  
Columbia W146579 10-in. 6/25/1928 Don't keep me in the dark, bright eyes Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146580 10-in. 6/25/1928 Shadows on the wall Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band composer, lyricist, leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146989 10-in. 9/13/1928 Main Street Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble songwriter, leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146990 10-in. 9/13/1928 I must have that man! Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W146991 10-in. 9/13/1928 Mississippi mud Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W147087 10-in. 9/28/1928 You are my own Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with cornet, guitar, and piano vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist, leader  
Columbia W147136 10-in. 10/23/1928 Old man sunshine Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W147137 10-in. 10/23/1928 Don't be like that Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W147138 10-in. 10/23/1928 Where the shy little violets grow Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W147396 10-in. 12/7/1928 Let's do it (Let's fall in love) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W147397 10-in. 12/7/1928 Susianna Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W147398 10-in. 12/7/1928 Adellina Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W147403 10-in. 12/10/1928 Just you and I Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance ensemble leader, vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist  
Columbia W147442 10-in. 11/3/1928 If you want the rainbow (You must have the rain) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano (takes 4-6); with alto saxophone, cornet, trombone, banjo, and piano (takes 1-3) leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148632 10-in. 5/27/1929 He's a good man to have around Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148633 10-in. 5/27/1929 I'm doing what I'm doing for love Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148784 10-in. 7/3/1929 Miss you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148785 10-in. 7/3/1929 In the hush of the night Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148846 10-in. 7/24/1929 Moanin' low Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148847 10-in. 7/24/1929 Sweetness Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148992 10-in. 9/11/1929 Sweetheart's holiday Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W148993 10-in. 9/11/1929 Love me Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149156 10-in. 10/18/1929 Look what you've done to me Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149160 10-in. 10/18/1929 If I can't have you (If you can't have me) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149469 10-in. 11/4/1929 My fate is in your hands Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149470 10-in. 11/4/1929 To be forgotten Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149684 10-in. 12/5/1929 A little kiss each morning (A little kiss at night) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149685 10-in. 12/5/1929 I love you, believe me, I love you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149773 10-in. 1/16/1930 Until love comes along Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W149774 10-in. 1/16/1930 Blue, turning grey over you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150032 10-in. 2/27/1930 'Tain't no sin (To dance around in your bones) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150033 10-in. 2/27/1930 I'm following you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150138 10-in. 3/27/1930 Cooking breakfast for the one I love Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150139 10-in. 3/27/1930 Sing, you sinners Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150570 10-in. 6/5/1930 Swingin' in a hammock Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150571 10-in. 6/5/1930 Seems to me Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150623 10-in. 7/7/1930 Little white lies Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W150624 10-in. 7/7/1930 Nobody cares if I'm blue Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150675 10-in. 7/25/1930 I still get a thrill (Thinking of you) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150676 10-in. 7/25/1930 So beats my heart for you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150842 10-in. 9/26/1930 Just a little while Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150843 10-in. 9/26/1930 When the organ played at twilight Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150924 10-in. 10/31/1930 Wasting my love on you Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150925 10-in. 10/31/1930 Loving you the way I do Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150986 10-in. 11/26/1930 You're driving me crazy! Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W150987 10-in. 11/26/1930 He's my secret passion Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151173 10-in. 12/23/1930 The little things in life Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151174 10-in. 12/23/1930 Tears Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151225 10-in. 1/16/1931 I'm one of God's children (Who hasn't got wings) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151226 10-in. 1/16/1931 Blue again Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151334 10-in. 2/20/1931 Walkin' my baby back home Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W151335 10-in. 2/20/1931 I've got five dollars Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151470 10-in. 3/27/1931 The tune that never grows old Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, composer, lyricist, leader  
Columbia W151471 10-in. 3/27/1931 By my side Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, contralto, leader  
Columbia W151585 10-in. 6/3/1931 Let's get friendly Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151586 10-in. 6/3/1931 I'm thru with love Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151670 10-in. 7/8/1931 It's the girl! Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151671 10-in. 7/8/1931 I'm an unemployed sweetheart (Looking for someone to love) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151773 10-in. 9/4/1931 Love letters in the sand Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151774 10-in. 9/4/1931 Mood indigo Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151852 10-in. 10/19/1931 Call me darling (Call me sweetheart, call me dear) Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W151853 10-in. 10/19/1931 I'm for you a hundred per cent Blue Grass Boys ; Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band leader, vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W152173 10-in. 4/28/1932 When the lights are soft and low Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W152174 10-in. 4/28/1932 Lawd, you made the night too long Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W152290 10-in. 8/26/1932 Moonlight on the river Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Columbia W152291 10-in. 8/26/1932 Something in the night Lee Morse Female vocal solo, with guitar and piano vocalist, contralto  
Brunswick 1285W-1288W 10-in. 9/2/1925 Golden dream girl Palala’s Hawaiians Guitar duet (Hawaiian) composer  
Edison 10582 10-in. 9/17/1925 Golden dream girl Jack Stillman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Decca 63361 10-in. 3/2/1938 When I lost you Lee Morse vocalist, contralto  
Decca 63362 10-in. 3/2/1938 Shadows on the wall Lee Morse vocalist, contralto  
Decca 63363 10-in. 3/2/1938 I see your face before me Lee Morse vocalist, contralto  
Decca 63364 10-in. 3/2/1938 Careless love Lee Morse vocalist, contralto  
Decca 63365 10-in. 3/2/1938 Sing me a song of Texas Lee Morse vocalist, contralto  
Decca 63366 10-in. 3/2/1938 I need lovin' Lee Morse vocalist, contralto  
Decca 76391 5/19/1950 Don't ever change a picture on the wall Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys vocalist, contralto  
Decca 76392 5/19/1950 If you only knew Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys vocalist, contralto  
Decca 76393 5/19/1950 Lonesome darlin' Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys vocalist, contralto  
Decca 76394 5/19/1950 Longing Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys vocalist, contralto  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Morse, Lee," accessed April 22, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110542.

Morse, Lee. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 22, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/110542.

"Morse, Lee." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 22 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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