Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ella Mae Morse|
Barrelhouse, Boogie and the Blues
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Broadway & Vocalists
Ella was the Best
Mark K. Mcdonough | Reston, VA USA | 10/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have a much less extensive (and much cheaper) single CD collection of Ella's music that's now out of print, but I may have to ask for this one for Christmas. Owning her entire output sounds like an excellent idea!Ella Mae Morse died this month (October, 1999) after many years of retirement (reportedly living in happy obscurity). She was a white girl from Paris, Texas who became one of the sexiest and most soulful singers of the WW II era. Reportedly when Sammy Davis Jr. first met her, he blurted out "Ella, baby, I thought you were one of us!" To which she replied "I am!"Her music combines elements of boogie, swing, jump blues, and western swing. Like Wynonie Harris and other performers of the era, Morse was fooling around with the parts of what later became rock and roll. Unlike, say, the Andrews Sisters, Morse has an appeal that goes beyond camp and technique -- her music is the real deal, reminiscent of the 40s, but timeless. And because she recorded for Capitol, which at that time had the best recording technique of any pop label, both the sound quality and the musicianship are first rate."
Beth | Mesa, AZ United States | 03/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A friend bought this for me for Christmas. It is by far the most expensive present I've ever received. I stared at it in a day in wonder before I finally started listening. The Very Best cd does generally collect the best of her but some real gems (Solid Potato Salad particularly) have been left in the background. The booklet is informative and is full of pictures from her sessions. Ella comes across as one dedicated character. She made a start at her music career at 13, getting a spot as Jimmy Dorsey's singer. It didn't last long once the lie about her age got out. At 17 she got together with Freddie Slack and sang the song Cow Cow Boogie which became the biggest song of her career.
Ella Mae Morse is described as a lightweight singer by many but this is hardly the case. Sure she was doing boogie woogie music but she combined blues and jazz so effortlessly. (By the way I consider her to be the queen of swing.) She also shows that she could try another genre if she wanted with her two fun country duets with Tennessee Ernie Ford. The collection ends with the last lp she did with Billy May, "The Morse Code." Only Bear Family could made a box like this."
The Legendary Ella Mae Morse: A Spectacular Collection
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 05/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Born in 1922, Ella Mae Morse was fourteen when she scored a singing gig with the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra--only to be fired when her actual age was discovered. It proved barely a bump in the road for the vocalist, who signed with Freddie Slack three years later and jumped into the public arena with "The Cow-Cow Boogie."
Morse had a long and very successful career, recording until 1957 and still giving personal performances as late as 1987. Even so, she was never a household name in the same sense as such 1940s icons as The Andrews Sisters of Betty Hutton. This was partly due to controversy: with a rich, full voice that anticipates the likes of Patsy Cline and Pearl Bailey, many listeners assumed she was black--a factor hardly calculated to promote her fame in a racially segregated society. But it was more specifically due to her unexpected range and her penchant for fusing jazz, blues, swing, big-band, and all the rest. Then as now, music fans tend to lean toward very specific genres, and Morse couldn't be pigeon-holed. Even so, Morse emerged as a singer's singers, a musician's singer. At the time of her death in 1999, she was widely recognized as one of the finest singers to emerge from the 1940s and one of several vocalists who laid the foundations of what we now refer to rythmn and blues.
"The Cow-Cow Boogie" remains her most widely known recording--and it, along with such similar boogie-woogie tunes as "Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet" and "Solid Potato Salad" are indicative of Morse's skill in the genre. But whether it's the wickedly clever double-entendre blues "Buzz Me," her big-band jazz rendition of the standard "Sunny Side of the Street," or hot-torch numbers such as "It's Raining Tear Drops From My Eyes"--well, Morse could do it all, including the original rock-and-roll of the 1950s. Cass Elliot did a famous version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me," but Morse got there first--and her version is equally fine. Many legendary vocalists have performed "My Funny Valentine," but no one ever did it like Ella Mae Morse; hear it once and the song suddenly belongs to her alone.
This five-disk set from the famous Bear Family Records of Germany does full justice to Morse in all her many colors; the sound quality is as good as it gets, the selection is spectacular, and I simply can't imagine any other collection will ever best it. If you are just beginning to admire this remarkable talent, you might do best to go with a less expensive compilation. But if you are an established fan, this is the one. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer"