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Biography

  • Born

    23 October 1919

  • Born In

    Tucson, Pima County, Arizona, United States

  • Died

    1 November 2017 (aged 98)

There are two artists name Katie Lee.

1) Katie Lee (October 23, 1919 – November 1, 2017) was an American folk singer, writer, actress, photographer and environmental activist.

She graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After that, she went on to study with two of the most successful folksingers of the 1940s, Burl Ives and Josh White.

After joining a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon she became a regular on river trips on the Colorado River and joined the opposition to the construction of Glen Canyon Dam. In September and October 1955, she, Tad Nichols, and Frank Wright traveled through and documented parts of the Glen Canyon that later were to be submerged.

Lee's early folk music albums, Life Is Just a Bed of Neuroses (1960) and Songs of Couch and Consultation (1957), have long been out of print, but six of her later CDs are still available. She also released three videos, including Love Song to Glen Canyon (DVD, 2007).

In 1964, Lee released an album on Folkways Records, entitled Folk Songs of the Colorado River. In the 1980s, she recorded a cassette-only release Colorado River Songs consisting of old songs popular among river runners on the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon, and some original compositions. This release was hailed by Edward Abbey and David Foreman among others. Colorado River Songs was expanded to include more songs and re-released in 1997 on CD. She also released Glen Canyon River Journeys on CD, which mixes music and spoken word commentary, and was featured on the 2005 Smithsonian Folkways compilation album, Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon.

She also wrote three books: Sandstone Seduction, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle and All My Rivers Are Gone. Sandstone Seduction, a memoir, relates Lee's continuing love affair with desert rivers and canyons, and discusses her Lady Godiva-style bicycle ride through downtown Jerome, Arizona, where she lived. Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle is a study of the music, stories, and poetry of the American cowboy. It was also recorded as an album.

In October 2011, Katie Lee was inducted into the Arizona Music Hall of Fame.

Katie Lee met her first husband, "Brandy" (Edwin Carl Brandelius Jr.), to whom her book Sandstone Seduction is dedicated, on a trip to Baja California. Brandy was a war veteran, a race car driver and good friend of Turk Murphy. Katie Lee noted Brandy as the prime influence on finishing and publishing her first book, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle. Brandy is the father of Jerilyn Lee Brandelius, author of The Grateful Dead Family Album, along with four other children from his first marriage.

Lee lived in Jerome, Arizona from 1971 until her death in 2017. She died at her home on November 1, 2017, aged 98.

Chronicles of Lee's adventures in Baja California appear in the book Almost An Island by Bruce Berger. In 2016, a short documentary called Kickass Katie Lee was screened at the Mountain Film Festival. Katie Lee featured prominently in "Cry Me A River", an episode of the podcast Fugitive Waves, which explored the damming of American rivers.

Lee's song "Gunslinger", from Songs of Couch and Consultation, was translated to Swedish in 1965 and was recorded by Per Myrberg as "Skjutgalen". Utah Phillips praised Katie Lee and Songs of Couch and Consultation on the 1996 album The Past Didn't Go Anywhere on the track "Half a Ghost Town".

2) Katie Lee is a Folk Rock/Country/Soul singer/songwriter from Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
www.katieleemusic.com

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