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Died On This Date (December 1, 1986) Lee Dorsey / New Orleans R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 1, 2009

Lee Dorsey
December 24, 1924 – December 1, 1986


Lee Dorsey was a New Orleans R&B singer whose upbeat party sound made him a favorite of the genre.  Before he began his career in music, Dorsey was a successful prizefighter during the 1950s.  By the early ’60s, he was working with legendary New Orleans musician and producer, Allen Toussaint.  Dorsey’s first Toussaint-produced hit came in 1961 with the release of “Ya-Ya,” which made it to #7 on the Billboard singles chart.  After leaving the music business for a few years to work as a car mechanic, Dorsey returned with a vengeance in 1965.  Over the next several years, he released such classic records as “Working In A Coal Mine,” and “Yes We Can.”  In 1980, Dorsey opened for the Clash on their legendary U.S. Tour.  In more recent years, Dorsey’s songs have been covered by the likes of Devo, Petula Clark, the Pointer Sisters, and John Lennon.  Lee Dorsey was 61 when he died of emphysema on December 1, 1986.

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