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The box set Cadillac Baby's Bea & Baby Records: The Definitive Collection brings to light...

Cadillac Baby's Bea & Baby Records - Downbeat 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

Downbeat Magazine

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Anyone who's looking to advance their career would be very well served to have Michael...

Sari Schorr

New York songwriter/bandleader/singer

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Michael is a 21st century renaissance man who has both the business acumen and the...

Don Wilcock

Freelance Music Writer

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Lovie Lee

March 17, 1909 – May 23, 1997

Born Edie Lee Watson in Chattanooga, Tennessee, sadly under-recognized Lovie Lee became a longtime staple of the Chicago club circuit. He worked during the day as a factory woodworker, while honing his piano skills each night in the Chicago blues clubs from the 1950s onward; the adoptive father of harpist Carey Bell, he acquired an impressive local reputation over time, but was little known outside of the Midwest in spite of his association with Waters during the legend’s final years.

Lovie was the last piano player in the Muddy Waters Band. Like Muddy, Howlin’ Wolf, Sunnyland Slim and other great bandleaders, Lovie had a talent for hiring outstanding musicians as his sidemen, and molding them into his special barrelhouse blues and boogie woogie sound. Many younger bluesmen played in his band over the years, including Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Taylor, Johnny Drummer, Vernon and Joe Harrington, Carey and Lurrie Bell, Vance Kelly, Lovie’s son Douglas Watson and others. He also worked with Honeyboy Edwards during the early 1960s.

In 1984 and 1989, Lee recorded much of the material which later comprised his 1992 Earwig release Good Candy, a reissue from his own self-released LPs. The Earwig release was rounded out by latter-day efforts cut with Carey Bell; Good Candy  was his lone solo release. Despite good reviews, it too garnered little notice. Lovie continued playing clubs and festivals in the Chicago area, until shortly before his death May 23, 1997.

-Written by Jason Ankeny for All Music Guide, updated by Michael Frank

“…Lee proving to be a warm and engaging singer with a penchant for sly lyrics and traditional blues themes.”
-Living Blues

“…Lovie’s songs, expressive vocals, and steady-rollin’ piano playing shine…”
-Blues Review Quarterly

lovie lee
Pianist
Albums