from Chicago, IL
March 9, 1945 (age 75)
A tough '60s soul singer with a salty sense of humor (aimed mostly at the men in her life), Laura Lee recorded at Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals for the Chess label, and later for Hot Wax. In songs like "Wanted: Lover, No Experience Necessary," "A Man with Some Backbone," and the anthemic "Women's Love Rights," the female experience was brazenly discussed, debated, kicked around, and, finally, celebrated. Her music laid the groundwork for artists like Millie Jackson and Denise LaSalle to expand this proud, sexy, brash-talking corner of "women's" soul music. Lee had a country-soul, romantic side as well, as shown on her splendid version of the Penn-Oldham classic "Uptight Good Man." Lee is a fine, versatile, saucy singer whose early work deserves more attention. In the early '80s her music went in a decidedly different direction after she turned to prayer when undergoing radiation therapy for cancer. With her recovery apparent, she released a 1983 gospel album (co-produced by Al Green) entitled Jesus Is the Light of My Life, followed by All Power (by Laura Lee with Eternal Light) in 1984. Lee later devoted herself to worldwide missionary work and became an ordained minister. ~ Christine Ohlman, Rovi
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