One of my all-time favorite singers is the dynamic Ella Mae Morse. With her powerful, rich voice and a style that blended jazz, country, boogie woogie and swing, this underrated singer turned out such hits as “Shoo-Shoo Baby,” “Mr. Five by Five,” and “The House of Blue Lights,” while putting Capitol Records on the map. Her career had a brief start at the age of 14, when she was hired by bandleader Jimmy Dorsey She’d told him she was 19, and when he found out her real age, and that he was now responsible for her care, he promptly fired her. Ella then joined forces with former Dorsey pianist Freddie Slack in 1942, and had her first gold single with “Cow Cow Boogie.” Though her records were always well-received, she never developed a huge following, and she retired in 1957.
The lovely Ella passed away on this date in 1999, and in honor of her passing, I’m posted a video of my favorite songs.