Katie Lee (singer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Katie Lee
Born (1919-10-22) October 22, 1919 (age 97)
Tucson, Arizona, United States
Genres Folk music
Occupation(s) Vocalist, writer, photographer, actress, environmental activist, folk singer
Instruments Vocals
Website katydoodit.com

Katie Lee (born October 23, 1919 in Tucson, Arizona, United States) is an American folk singer, writer, actress, photographer and environmental activist.[1]

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.[2]

Artist and author[edit]

Her 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.[3] She has 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 has also released Glen Canyon River Journeys on CD, which mixes music and spoken word commentary, and is featured on the 2005 Smithsonian Folkways compilation album, Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon.

She has also written three books: Sandstone Seduction, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle and All My Rivers Are Gone. Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle is a study of the music, stories, and poetry of the American cowboy. It was also recorded as an album.

Sandstone Seduction, a memoir, relates her continuing love affair with desert rivers and canyons, and discusses her Lady Godiva-style bicycle ride through downtown Jerome, Arizona, where she lives.[citation needed]

In October 2011 Katie Lee, was inducted into the Arizona Music Hall of Fame.[4]


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.[5] 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.

Literature about her[edit]

Chronicles of her 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. Lee presently lives in Jerome, Arizona.

Popular culture[edit]

The song "Gunslinger" from Songs of Couch and Consulation 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".

Her song "It Must Be Something Psychological" was featured in an episode of United States of Tara in 2010. It was featured in a Chilean, French, German, Turkish and Dutch commercial for the Axe brand of deodorants in 2012, and also in the UK and Ireland for its version, Lynx; and used as the theme tune for the Sky Arts comedy series Psychobitches in 2013.


  1. ^ "APTV". Aftenposten.no. January 1, 1980. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  2. ^ "Forgotten Canyon – Aerial view, September/October 1955 : Colorado Plateau Archives". Archive.library.nau.edu. September 23, 1955. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Welcome to Arizona's Real Katie Lee web site... | MUSIC". Katydoodit.com. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  4. ^ "An Arizona Legend: Jerome's Katie Lee to be inducted into Arizona Music Hall of Fame – The Verde Independent – Cottonwood, Arizona". Verdenews.com. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 
  5. ^ Katie Lee. "Sandstone Seduction: Rivers and Lovers, Canyons and Friends". Books.google.com. p. 151. Retrieved 2016-01-31. 

External links[edit]