Lee, Katie 1919–

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Lee, Katie 1919–

(Kathryn Louise Lee)

PERSONAL:

Born October 23, 1919, in Aledo, IL; daughter of Zanna Park (an architect) and Ruth (a designer and decorator) Lee; married Charles V. Eld (an air force officer), November 6, 1942 (divorced, July, 1945); married Gene A. Bush, 1958 (divorced, May, 1962); children: (first marriage) Ronald Charles. Ethnicity: "Scottish/Irish/English." Education: University of Arizona, B.F.A., 1942. Politics: Liberal. Religion: "Agnostic/pagan." Hobbies and other interests: "Free rivers that run un-dammed."

ADDRESSES:

Home and office—Jerome, AZ. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Performer, researcher, and writer, c. 1954—. Katydid Books and Music, Jerome, AZ, principal. Singer and actress on television and radio programs, including Gildersleeve Show, National Broadcasting Co.; Halls of Ivy, Railroad Hour, and Pacific Telephone Show. Appeared in movies and videos, on German, British, Japanese, and Dutch television shows, on National Public Radio, and on Morning Edition with Rene Montagne. Record albums, cassettes, and compact discs include Songs of Couch and Consultation, 1957; Life Is Just a Bed of Neuroses, RCA Victor, 1960; Spicy Songs for Cool Knights, Specialty, c. 1961; Folk Songs of the Colorado River, Folkways, 1961; The Best of Katie Lee, Horizon Records, 1962; The Slolom Truth Ski Songs, privately recorded, 1964; Love's Little Sisters, Katydid Records, 1975; Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, Katydid Books and Music, 1977; Fenced!, Katydid Books and Music, 1979; (with Ed Stabler) Katie Lee and Ed Stabler Sing the Poems of His Knibbs and the Badger, Katydid Books and Music, 1992; Colorado River Songs, Katydid Books and Music, 1998; and Glen Canyon River Journeys, Katydid Books and Music, 1998. Performed in clubs and coffeehouses across the United States, 1954-78. Also affiliated with the television special The Last Wagon, about cowboys Gail Gardner and Billy Simon. Glen Canyon Institute, member of advisory board.

MEMBER:

Earth Island Institute, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Wilderness Society, National Parks Association, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Southwest Center for Biodiversity, Colorado River Rats, Utah Environmental Congress, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Grand Canyon River Guides, Grand Canyon, Private Boosters Association, Jerome Historical Society, Zeta Phi Eta.

AWARDS, HONORS:

CINE Golden Eagle, Council on International Nontheatrical Events, 1972, for The Last Wagon; David Brower Award for outstanding environmental activism, Glen Canyon Institute, 2001; First Culture Treasure Keepers of Canyon Country Award, Center for Sustainable Environment, Northern Arizona University, 2002; Ward Roylance Award for commitment to arts and outdoor education, Entrada Institute, 2003.

WRITINGS:

Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story, and Verse, illustrated by William Moyers, Northland Press (Flagstaff, AZ), 1976, reprinted, University of New Mexico Press (Albuquerque, NM), 2001.

All My Rivers Are Gone: A Journey of Discovery through Glen Canyon, introduction by Terry Tempest Williams, Johnson Books (Boulder, CO), 1998, updated edition published as Glen Canyon Betrayed, Fretwater Press (Flagstaff, AZ), 2006.

Sandstone Seduction (memoir), foreword by Ellen Meloy, Johnson Books (Boulder, CO), 2004.

Work represented in anthologies, including Sisters of the Earth, edited by Lorraine Anderson, Vintage Press (New York, NY), 1991; Jack Ruby's Kitchen Sink, edited by Tom Miller, National Geographic Adventure Press (Washington, DC), 2000; Grand Canyon Women, edited by Betty Leavengood, Pruett Publishing (Boulder, CO); When in Doubt Go Higher, edited by M. John Fayhee, Mountain Sports Press (Boulder, CO); and Hell's Half Mile, edited by Michael Engelhard, Breakaway Books (Moab, UT). Contributor to periodicals, including Arizona Historical Quarterly, Mountain Gazette, American Whitewater Journal, Wild Earth, Boatman's Quarterly Review, Waiting List, and Hidden Passage. Photographer for Arizona Highways, 1954-60.

SIDELIGHTS:

Katie Lee is a singer, actress, and writer who has written about the American West. Her career as a performer, which began in 1948, included appearances in the early 1950s on various radio and television programs, including programs hosted by Dave Garroway and Jack Paar. In the mid-1950s to 1960s, she played in nightclubs in New York City, Miami, and Chicago, and she began touring as a singer and lecturer in a program devoted to folk songs related to the Colorado River in 1970. She also made several recordings.

Lee's writings include Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story, and Verse, wherein she relates the cowboy's role in American culture and recounts her efforts to locate Old Dolores, a town mentioned in a song by James Grafton Rogers. John I. White, writing in American West, described Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle as a book "about southwestern people as well as their songs," and he predicted that the volume "should quickly find a place besides other good collections of songs by and about … the American cowboy." A Music Educator's Journal reviewer, meanwhile, concluded that Lee's book provides "a realistic picture of life on the prairie."

Lee is also the author of All My Rivers Are Gone: A Journey of Discovery through Glen Canyon, in which she recalls her experiences on the Colorado River prior to the damming that created Lake Powell. A Publishers Weekly critic noted that Lee "successfully evokes the magnificent trails, beaches and waterfalls … of the canyon," and a Library Journal reviewer observed that Lee "writes poetically and soulfully."

Several years ago Lee told CA: "I am now eighty years old! (Young!) My efforts to restore Glen Canyon (lying dead under Reservoir Fowell) will continue until my death. Nothing and no one human would have dammed it in the first place, but humans with vision and dedication will un-dam it soon! Our rivers are the life blood of this planet. They must run to keep us and the planet from dying!"

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

BOOKS

Lee, Katie, All My Rivers Are Gone: A Journey of Discovery through Glen Canyon, Johnson Books (Boulder, CO), 1998, updated edition published as Glen Canyon Betrayed, Fretwater Press (Flagstaff, AZ), 2006.

Lee, Katie, Sandstone Seduction, Johnson Books (Boulder, CO), 2004.

PERIODICALS

American West, September-October, 1977, review of Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A History of the American Cowboy in Song, Story, and Verse, p. 63.

Library Journal, November 1, 1998, Thomas K. Fry, review of All My Rivers Are Gone: A Journey of Discovery through Glen Canyon, p. 121.

Music Educators Journal, January, 1978, review of Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, p. 129.

Publishers Weekly, October 19, 1998, review of Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle, p. 63.

OTHER

Rusho, W.L., Glen Canyon Remembered (video), Tower Productions (Salt Lake City, UT), 2006.