Mary Lee was only 19 years old when she was on WHO out of Des Moines, Iowa
around 1947 or so. She was a native of Ottumwa, Iowa. She started singing
and yodeling at a very early age - fiver years old to be exact. When
she was just 11 years old, she got her first 'job' at KBIZ in Ottumwa, Iowa
and was there over a year. From there, her career saw her at KJEQ in St. Joseph,
Missouri where she was working with Lloyd Cornell who later went to be
with the Downhomers. At the time, Mary Lee and Lloyd were known as "Pals of the Saddle".
Her next career stop was at KYEL in Waterloo, Iowa. But after about a year
or so, she got a bit homesick, so she had a show back home and stayed awhile,
working on her own road show for a few months, did som eleads in plays and also
tried some tap dancing. Then she moved on to WHO in Des Moines, where by
1947 she had been there three years already.
Mary Lee was said to have loved hillbilly music, and played the guitar
and was constantly in demand for personal appearances. They said she got
married in 1946. And she had just released a tune called "I'm A Big Girl
Now" on the Blue Star Records label.
Credits & Sources
- National Hill-Billy News; January 1947; Poster Show Print Co.,