Lee Dorsey

Lee Dorsey is a rock-and-roll singer from the 60's with an interesting life story and a couple of top ten hits.

Born in New Orleans in 1924, Lee moved to Portland, Oregon when he was ten years old. He served in the U.S. Navy and began a career in prizefighting. Boxing as a light heavyweight in Portland in the early 50's, he fought under the name "Kid Chocolate" and was quite successful.

Lee met songwriter/producer Allen Toussaint at a party in the early 60's and was signed to the Fury label. The song that launched his career was inspired by a group of children chanting nursery rhymes -- Ya Ya went to number seven in 1961. He recorded other songs for Fury before the label folded and Lee went back to his car repair business.

Toussaint later came back on the Amy label and began to work with Dorsey once again. From 1965 to 1969 Dorsey put seven songs in the top 100, the most successful of which was Working In The Coal Mine in 1966. It was to be his second and last top ten song. In 1970 Dorsey and Toussaint collaborated on an album titled Yes We Can; the title song was Dorsey's last entry in the charts.

Lee appeared on an album with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, which led to more recordings on his own with ABC in the late 70's. Lee contracted emphysema and died in New Orleans in 1986.

Most Recent Update: April 20, 2000

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