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George E. Lee led this popular band that was headquartered in Kansas City during the 1920s and early 1930s. Of the Kansas City bands only the Moten band was more popular than Lee’s outfit.George E. Lee and his Novelty Singing Orchestra

Both George and his sister Julia Lee sang in the band and they tended to be more of a vaudeville band than a Jazz band. The group toured a great deal primarily in the Southwest, but also played in Chicago and New York. The band released one other record under the name of Julia Lee with George E. Lee and his Novelty Singing Orchestra. George Lee’s band featured outstanding singers and soloists. Charlie Parker briefly played in one of George Lee’s bands in the 1930s.


TitleRecording DateRecording LocationCompany
Down Home Syncopated Blues1927Kansas City, MissouriMeritt
If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
(Henry Creamer / James P. Johnson)
11-6-1929Kansas City, MissouriBrunswick
Paseo Strut
(Jesse Stone)
11-6-1929Kansas City, MissouriBrunswick
Ruff Scufflin’
(Jesse Stone)
11-6-1929Kansas City, MissouriBrunswick
St. James Infirmary
11-6-1929Kansas City, MissouriBrunswick
The Meritt Stomp1927Kansas City, MissouriMeritt

George E. LeeTenor Saxophone, Director, Vocals
Julia LeePiano, Accordian, Vocals
Thurston MaupinsTrombone
Albert “Bud” JohnsonTenor Saxophone
Jimmy JonesTrombone
Harold KnoxTrumpet
Abe PriceDrums
Charles RussoBanjo
Jesse StonePiano, Arranger, Banjo
Clarence TaylorSoprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone
Sam UtterbachTrumpet
Herman WalderClarinet, Alto Saxophone
Clint WeaverTuba
Pete WoodsDrums


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