George E. Lee and His Novelty Singing Orchestra

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Julia Lee
David Conrads

Julia Lee was known for her husky voice, her straightforward piano style, and the easy, but heartfelt way she sang. In a professional singing career that spanned four decades, Lee built a national reputation as one of the great female blues singers of all time.

George E. Lee
David Conrads

During the 1920s and early 1930s, George E. Lee fronted one of the most popular and successful bands in Kansas City. Though more akin to a vaudeville troupe, George E. Lee’s Novelty Singing Orchestra was the chief rival of the Bennie Moten Orchestra for supremacy among the city’s many outstanding black bands.

Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.