Ella Mae Morse
American popular music singer
Ella Mae Morse
Ella Mae Morse, was an American popular singer. Morse blended jazz, country, pop, and R&B.
Biography
Ella Mae Morse's personal information overview.
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Timeline
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    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1999
    Age 74
    In 1999 Morse died of respiratory failure in Bullhead City, Arizona, aged 75.
    More Details Hide Details It is sometimes erroneously reported that Morse recorded with Bill Haley & His Comets in the 1950s. This is not true, although she did record versions of songs also recorded by Haley such as "Razzle-Dazzle" and "Forty Cups of Coffee".
  • FIFTIES
  • 1984
    Age 59
    Her music career was profiled in Nick Tosches' 1984 book, The Unsung Heroes of Rock 'N' Roll: The Birth of Rock in the Wild Years Before Elvis.
    More Details Hide Details She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1724 Vine Street. Her entire recorded body of work was issued in a deluxe box set by Bear Family Records. As Morse's musical style blended jazz, blues, and country, she has sometimes been called the first rock 'n' roll singer. A good example is her 1942 recording of the song "Get On Board, Little Chillun", which, with strong gospel, blues, boogie, and jive sounds as a genuine precursor to the later rockabilly/ rock 'n roll songs. Her records sold well to both Caucasian and African-American audiences. As she was not well known at the time of her first solo hits, many people assumed she was African-American because of her 'hip' vocal style and choice of material. Morse had six children from two marriages, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and an estranged sister named Flo Handy, who was also a singer.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1957
    Age 32
    Morse ceased recording in 1957, but continued performing until the early 1990s at such clubs as Michael's Pub in New York, Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Cinegrill and the Vine St. Bar and Grill.
    More Details Hide Details She appeared regularly at Disneyland for several years with the Ray McKinley Orchestra, and did a successful tour of Australia shortly before her final illness.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1952
    Age 27
    Morse also recorded a version of "Oakie Boogie" for Capitol which reached #23 in 1952.
    More Details Hide Details Her version was one of the first songs arranged by Nelson Riddle.
    Her biggest solo success was "Blacksmith Blues" in 1952, which sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
    More Details Hide Details The same year her version of "Down the Road a Piece" appeared on Capitol with Slack again on piano accompaniment.
  • 1946
    Age 21
    In 1946, "House of Blue Lights" by Freddie Slack and Morse, (written by Slack and Don Raye) saw them perform what was one of many of Raye's songs picked up by black R&B artists.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1943
    Age 18
    In 1943, Morse began to record solo.
    More Details Hide Details She reached #1 in the R&B chart with "Shoo-Shoo Baby" in December for two weeks. In the same year she performed "Cow Cow Boogie" in the film Reveille with Beverly and starred in Universal's South of Dixie and The Ghost Catchers with Olsen and Johnson and How Do You Dooo? with radio's Mad Russian, Bert Gordon. She sang in a wide variety of styles, and she had hits on both the U.S. pop and rhythm and blues charts. However, she never received the popularity of a major star because her versatility prevented her from being placed into any one category of music. The song "Love Me or Leave Me" as recorded by Morse was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 1922, with the flip side "Blacksmith Blues", which became her biggest hit.
  • 1942
    Age 17
    In 1942, at the age of 17, she joined Freddie Slack's band, with whom in the same year she recorded "Cow Cow Boogie", the first gold record by Capitol Records. "Mr. Five by Five" was also recorded by Morse with Slack, and they had a hit recording with the song in 1942 (Capitol 115).
    More Details Hide Details She also originated the wartime hit "Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet", which was later popularized by Nancy Walker in the film, Broadway Rhythm.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1924
    Born
    Born on September 12, 1924.
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