Ella Mae Morse
Ella Mae Morse, was an American popular singer. Morse blended jazz, country, pop, and R&B.
Morse was born in Mansfield, Texas. She was hired by Jimmy Dorsey when she was 14 years old. Dorsey believed she was 19, and when he was informed by the school board that he was now responsible for her care, he fired her. In 1942, at the age of 17, she joined Freddie Slack’s band, with whom in the same year she recorded “Cow Cow Boogie”, Capitol Records’ first gold single. “Mr. Five by Five” was also recorded by Morse with Slack and they had a hit recording with the song in 1942. She also originated the wartime hit “Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet,” which was later popularized by Nancy Walker in the film, Broadway Rhythm.
In 1943, Morse began to record solo. She reached #1 in the R&B chart with “Shoo-Shoo Baby” in December for two weeks. In the same year she had a cameo appearance in the film Reveille with Beverly and starred in Universal’s “South of Dixie” and “The Ghost Catchers” with Olsen and Johnson. 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.
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”.