Lee Morse Collection, circa 1924-1941

Overview of the Collection

University of Idaho. Library. Special Collections Dept.
Lee Morse Collection
circa 1924-1941 (inclusive)
approximately 3.8 cubic feet
Collection Number
Lee Morse was an American singer and songwriter. The collection includes mainly photographs and sound recordings.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public. Researchers must use the collection in accordance with the policies of the University of Idaho Special Collections and Archives.

This collection is in English.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Lee Morse was born Lena Corinne Taylor on November 30, 1897 in Portland, Oregon. Raised in Idaho, the ninth of twelve children, she married Elmer Morse in 1915 and gave birth to son Jack one year later. She began her professional performing career in 1918, and was noticed by musical comedy producer Will King after a performance at the 1920 Democratic Convention in San Francisco. Her ensuing career led to separation from her husband. She made her first Broadway appearance in 1923 in the revue “Artists and Models.” One year later, she began her recording career with Pathé Perfect Records. In 1927, she transferred to the prestigious Columbia record label. In 1935, after a case of strep throat which nearly ended her singing career, she and second husband Bob Downey opened up a nightclub in Texas. She kept a low-profile career, appearing occasionally at night clubs through the 1940s. Lee Morse unexpectedly died on December 16, 1954.

Works Cited

1) Lee Morse: Echoes of a Songbird, “Her Story,” Lee Morse.com (accessed January 17, 2012).

2) Larkin, Colin. “Morse, Lee.” Encyclopedia of Popular Music, edited by Colin Larkin (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), 16.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection is dedicated to Lee Morse. The materials span the dates 1924 to 1941. Inside the boxes constituting the collection are photographs of herself and friends and family (some autographed by the artist), sound recordings under various labels, and some miscellaneous materials accumulated by Special Collections, such as photocopies of arrangements for piano and voice that include several of Morse's notable songs, of catalogues of music performances and recordings, and of several columns by Jack Gordon of the Fort Worth Press dating from 1934 to 1937.

Below is a list of Lee Morse records in this collection.

Record (Folder) Label Title Interpreter
1 Decca 1737 (63364/63365) Careless love/Sing me a song of Texas (Lee Morse) Lee Morse
2 Decca 1919 (63361/63362) When I lost you (Irving Berlin)/Shadows on the wall (Lee Morse) Lee Morse
3 Decca 27066 (76392/76393) If you only knew (V. Horton, W. Berquist, H. Kogen)/Lonesome darlin' (Bob Nicholson, Bob Buchanan) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
4 Decca 27163 (76391/76394) Don't even change a picture on the wall (Lee Morse)/Longing (Ervin Drake-Jimmy Shirl) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
5 Columbia 939-D (143680/143681) Ain't he sweet (Ager and Yellen)/Mollie make up your mind (Morse) Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders
6 Columbia 974-D (143661/143662) My idea of heaven (is to be in love with you) (Johnson, Sherman and Tobias)/Side by side (Woods) Lee Morse
7 Columbia 1063-D (143678/143679) I hate to say goodbye (Morse)/(What do I care what) somebody said (Clare and Woods) Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders
8 Columbia 1276-D (145292/145294) Keep sweeping the cobwebs off the moon (Levant, Lewis and Young)/Give me a goodnight kiss (Morse) Lee Morse and her Southern Serenaders
9 Columbia 1303-D (145564/145565) Let a smile be your umbrella on a rainy day (Fain, Kahal and Wheeler)/There must be a silver lining (that's shining for me) (Donaldson and Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
10 Columbia 1584-D (146990/146991) I must have that man (from Blackbirds of 1928) (McHugh and Fields)/Mississippi mud (Barris) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
11 Columbia 1621-D (147136/147137) Old man sunshine. Little boy blue bird (Warren and Dixon)/Don't be like that (Gottler, Tobias and Pinkard) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
12 Columbia 1659-D (147396/147442) Let's do it (Let's fall in love) (from Paris) (Porter)/If you want the rainbow (you must have the rain) (Levant, Rose and Dixon) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
13 Columbia 1752-D (146989/147397) Main street (Morse and Downey)/Susianna (Williams) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
14 Columbia 1896-D (148784/148785) Miss you (Tobias)/In the hush of the night (Hoffman and Lerner) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
15 Columbia 1922-D (148846/148847) Moanin' low (from The little snow) (Rainger and Dietz)/Sweetness (Lombardo, Cohn and Miller) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
16 Columbia 2012-D (149156/149160) Look what you've done to me (Talkie hit from motion picture Why leave home) (Conrad, Mitchell and Gottler)/If I can't have you (if you can't have me) (Talkie hit from motion picture Footlights and fools) (Meyer and Bryan) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
17 Columbia 2037-D (149469/149470) My fate is in your hands (Mi suerte esta en tus manos) (Waller and Razaf)/To be forgotten (Para ser olvidado) (Berlin) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
18 Columbia 2270-D (147403/150675) Just you and I (Morse)/I still get a thrill (thinking of you) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
19 Columbia 2474-D (151585/151586) Let's get friendly (Seamos amigos) (Dougherty, Yellen and Silvers)/ I'm thru with love (No quiero saber mas de amor (Malneck, Livingston and Kahn) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
20 Columbia 2564-D (151852/151853) Call me darling (Call me sweetheart, call me dear) (Llamame amor mio) (Dick)/I'm for you a hundred per cent (Soy toda tuya) (Dyrenforth, Rose and Gibbons) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
21 Columbia 2705-D (152290/152291) Moonlight on the river (Green)/Something in the night (Weirick, Kresa and Young) Lee Morse
22 Pathe 25158 Oh boy! What a girl (Wright, Bessinger, Green)/I love you so (Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
23 Pathe 25184 Lonesome and sorry (Davis-Conrad)/A little love (Lee Morse) Miss Lee Morse/Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
24 Pathe 25196 Someone is losin' Susan (Tuck, Meyer, Ash)/The light at the bend of the road (Lee Morse) Miss Lee Morse
25 Perfect 11216 In old Madrid (Bingham-Trotere)/Juanita (Hon. Mrs. Norton) Miss Lee Morse
26 Perfect 11573 June brought the roses (Stanley-Openshaw)/Just for you (Lee Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
27 Perfect 11574 Yearning (Davis-Burke)/Those daisy days (Lee Morse) Miss Lee Morse/Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
28 Perfect 11579 Ukelele lady (Kahn-Whiting)/ Blue waltz (Lee Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
29 Perfect 11580 Yes, sir, that's my baby (Kahn-Donaldson)/An old fashioned romance (Lee Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
30 Perfect 11581 Are you sorry (Davis-Ager)/The shadows on the wall (Miss Lee Morse) Miss Lee Morse/Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
31 Perfect 11585 Alone at last (Kahn-Fiorito)/Any old place is lover's lane (Morse) Miss Lee Morse/Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
32 Perfect 11591 Sweet man (Turk-Pinkard)/I'se gwine back to Dixie (Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys/Miss Lee Morse
33 Perfect 11595 Want a little lovin' (Davis-Warren)/Someone will miss me sometime (Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
34 Perfect 11599 I wonder where my baby is tonight (W. Donaldson)/My sugar babe (Lee Morse) Miss Lee Morse
35 Perfect 11600 My old Kentucky home (Foster)/Old folks at home (Foster) Miss Lee Morse
36 Perfect 11612 Thanks for the buggy ride (Jules-Suffano)/I'll make you fall in love with me (Lee Morse) Miss Lee Morse/Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
37 Perfect 11635 The little white house (from Honeymoon lane) (Dowling-Hanley)/Lonely nights (Lee Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys/Miss Lee Morse
38 Perfect 12165 Bring back those rock-a-bye baby days (Christy-Silver)/Mail man blues (Morse) Lee Morse
39 Perfect 12179 Too tired (Little-Shay)/I want to see my Tennessee (Ager-Yellen) Miss Lee Morse
40 Perfect 12180 Everybody loves my baby, but my baby don't love nobody but me (S. Williams-Palmer)/Better shoot straight with your mamma (Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
41 Perfect 12181 All alone (Berlin)/Lee's lullaby (Morse) Miss Lee Morse
42 Perfect 12186 I ain't got nobody to love (Coslow-Silver)/Telling eyes (Lee Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
43 Perfect 12189 I like pie-I like cake (but I like you best of all) (Little, Shay, Sizemore)/Home (Pollack-Morse) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
44 Perfect 12197 Don't try to cry your way back to me (Kelly-Welling)/A miss in Mississippi (Morse-Rich) Lee Morse and her Blue Grass Boys
45 Test pressing Unnecessary papa Miss Lee Morse

Other Descriptive InformationReturn to Top

This manuscript group is part of the International Jazz Collections-IJC.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

Some contents of this collection have been digitized.

Restrictions on Use

Consult Head of Special Collections and Archives on permissions for use.

Preferred Citation

Collection on Lee Morse, IJC MG 19, Special Collections and Archives, University of Idaho Library, Moscow, Idaho.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Container list.

Location of Collection

Special Collections and Archives of the University of Idaho Library.

Acquisition Information

All the materials in this collection were donated to the University of Idaho by John R. Morse and David M. Morse, in 2002 and 2003, except for four records (Columbia 1752-D, 2012-D and Perfect 11579, 11580), which were donated by Ray Mitchell in 2010 and eight records (Columbia 1584-D, 1621-D, 1659-D, 1922-D, 2037-D, 2270-D and Perfect 11574 and 12165) which were taken from the Carl M. Perricone collection (album 441).

Processing Note

Michael Tarabulski was the archivist for this collection until 2008. Laura Guedes and Daniel John Carroll revised the arrangement of the collection in April 2012.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
1 Lee Morse records 1-30, listed above
2 Lee Morse records 31-45, listed above and miscellaneous records from various artists
3-4 Miscellaneous records from various artists and some empty record covers
5 Empty photo albums and five pieces of sheet music: Golden dream girl, A little less of moonlight (A little more of you), Mary (I am in love with you), Mackenzie, and Lawd, you made the night too long
6 Digitized photographs and drawings, except for two photographs
7 Duplicates of some of the digitized photographs
8 Miscellaneous materials, including two photos of pianist Bob Downey and three unidentified ones

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Popular music--United States--Archives

Personal Names

  • Morse, Lee, -1954--Archives

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Mitchell, Ray (donor)
    • Morse, David M. (donor)
    • Morse, John R. (donor)
    • Perricone, Carl M. (donor)