Laura Lee Biography

Laura Lee Newton, 9 March 1945, Chicago, Illinois, USA. A member of her adopted mother’s, Ernestine Rundless’, gospel group the Meditation Singers, Lee’s first secular recording was made for the Detroit-based Ric-Tic label. She was signed to Chess Records in 1966, who, after failing to find success with a Chicago-recorded single, sent her to Rick Hall’s Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals where ‘Dirty Man’ and the Fame-cut ‘Uptight Good Man’ became two 1967 R&B hits. She recorded many fine, assertive sides for Chess, before beginning her most prolific period when she joined Hot Wax Records, one of the companies founded by the Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team. ‘Wedlock Is A Padlock’, ‘Women’s Love Rights’ (both 1970), ‘Rip Off’ and ‘If You Can Beat Me Rockin’ (You Can Have My Chair)’ (both 1972), continued the singer’s uncompromising demands, but such declarations were inverted on ‘I’ll Catch You When You Fall’ (1973) and ‘I Can’t Make It Alone’ (1974) as Lee broadened her canvas. The singer left the HDH stable in 1975, but despite enjoying an R&B hit with ‘You’re Barking Up The Wrong Tree’ (1976), her later output was largely unsuccessful. Laura Lee returned to the gospel field in 1983 with Jesus Is The Light Of My Life, which she co-produced with singer Al Green.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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