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Katie Lee Cowboy Poetry Collection

 Collection — Folder: 1 (SC 6-38)
Identifier: 2002-083

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of a two series, Publicity Materials and Photographs, both stored in one folder.


  • Creation: 1970 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

The Katie Lee Cowboy Poetry Collection has no restrictions and is available for research. If you are interested in researching the materials, please contact the Dickinson Research Center to make an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

The Katie Lee Cowboy Poetry Collection is the property of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Materials, even if owned by the NCWHM, may be protected under third party copyright. It is the patron’s responsibility to research and secure any such additional copyright and pay any required fees or royalties. It is not the intention of the NCWHM to impede upon any third party rights, and the NCWHM cannot be held responsible if the patron is involved in legal action due to violation of third party copyright claims.

Biographical / Historical

Katie Lee was born in Tucson, Arizona, in 1919. Lee graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA, then studied with two of the most successful folk singers of the 1940s, Burl Ives and Josh White. She found the market for folksingers very small, so she began working summer stock theater instead. Her luck with acting proved a little better, and she went on to work in radio on such shows as “The Halls of Ivy,” “The Railroad Hour,” and “The Great Gildersleeve.” She continued to develop her singing, though, and became one of the early regulars at clubs like the Hungry i and the Gates of Horn.

Katie Lee, a folksinger who appreciates her Western roots, created a sub-genre all her own–the Freudian folksong. And to that she contributed two albums: Life is Just a Bed of Neuroses, and Songs of Couch and Consultation. Katie Lee writes and performs her own songs about the Old West. She has appeared at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and around the U.S.

Besides singing and playing the guitar, she is also an author. Katie Lee wrote two books titled, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle and All My Rivers Are Gone. The second book documents through journal entries Katie Lee’s river trips through Glen Canyon, above the Grand Canyon, in the mid 1950s. In the early 1960s the Colorado River was dammed at Glen Canyon, forming Lake Powell, the second largest man-made lake in the United States, and thus put most of the canyon underwater.


0.08 Linear Feet (1 folder (SC 6-38))

Language of Materials



Lee is a native a Tucson, Arizona, and is a western folksinger and author. This small collection includes publicity materials and photographs.


Series 1: Publicity Materials, 1970-1995 This series contains photocopied newspaper clippings and publicity papers for Lee’s book, Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle.

Series 2: Photographs, 1971-1975, n.d. This series consists of eight 5×7 black-and-white photographs used for publicity. Most do not have a photographer, date, or place identified. These photos are not digitized yet.

Related Materials

Ten Thousand Goddam Cattle: A history of the American cowboy in song, story, and verse. (1976) Library Call Number: ML 3551 .L4

Processing Information

The Katie Lee Cowboy Poetry Collection was donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in 2002 by Katie Lee.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the NCWHM Special Collections at Dickinson Research Center Repository

1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 73111 United States