Thursday, December 14, 2006

Frankie Lee

Frankie Lee is one of the last of the great soul men still working and turning out quality music. This year has seen so many people leave us that we need to cherish the survivors such as Frankie and support them. Frankie has a new Cd out called "Standing At The Crossroads" on Blues Express. This album sees him re-united with Dennis Walker with whom he recorded the 80's classic album "Face It" for High Tone, and later renamed "The Ladies And The Babies", which was a landmark album in "blues soul" coming at a time when Z.Z. Hill was recordng for Malaco and Robert Cray was bursting on to the scene.

Frankie's new CD is a long line of quality albums he has produced over the years and most of them should still be be available. Blues Express are still selling his 2000 CD "Here I Go Again" but don't forget his Blind Pig "Going Back Home" CD, which is one of my favourite sets from the 1990's. He also had the more obscure and harder to find "Sooner & Later" with Doug Newby which is listed as The Bluz Blasters and released on Flying Fish. His classic album of the 80's "The Ladies and The Babies" was also issued on CD by High Tone but you can usually find copies on Demon lying around on lists. However, the CD also contains the non-vinyl track "Steppin' In The Shoes Of A Fool"

Frankie's new CD on Blue Express is amongst the best of the new releases this year. My blogger buddy Andrew Aitcheson has done an excellent review over on his Sing It One More Time For The Brokenhearted - so lease drop by and see what he says.

So please get out there and support Frankie and let's hope he makes it back to Europe soon. I saw him in Holland in 1998, and he was pure dynamite!!!!

Frankie has had a long career in music begining with his early 60's 45s running through to 1982 when he released a 12" "May The Best Man Win" on Joey Jefferson's California Gold which came from an abortive album which remains in the can.

Paisano 100 My Last Letter/Love

Great Scott 0009 Don't Make Me Cry/Full Time Lover

Peacock 1929 Don't Make Me Cry/Full Time Lover

Peacock 1935 I Gotta Come Back/Taxi Blues

Peacock 1965 I'm Making Love/Hello Mr Blues

Elka 302 Love's Repossession/Strung Out On You"

California Gold 5019 May The Best Man Win/Cathy's Clown

Frankie also worked with Dan Treanor in 2005 on a CD "African Wind" for a Canadian label Northern Blues that I haven't heard though I have just ordered and I'll keep you posted

I have chosen to post Frankie's early 70's collaboration with Johnny Guitar Watson "Love's Repossession" for Wally Roker's Elka label. The 45 truly grooves like all Johnny's later work but Frankie's vocals are the killer. The other side is also a stone killer as well! I bought it for "Strung Out On You" but in this last year I have been playing "Love's Repossession" more.


  1. Great post (as usual) Colin! I was lucky enough to see Frankie Lee while he was on tour in support of Etta James in September of 2001. He really did whip the crowd into a frenzy by the end of his set, and was very nice to talk to back stage.

  2. Anonymous5:18 PM

    Nice one Colin!. When I emailed Blues Express a few weeks back they passed on the email of the English chap who does their European distribution. I dropped him a line but unfortunately never got a response. However the blues Express guy did tell me said distributors are looking to get him over here next year. Since the same outfit did manage to get Bettye Lavette over to London promote her Blues Express album, I'm quite hopeful.
    It really is a cracking album. If he's half as good as that live it'll be a hell of a show!

  3. Hi Brian

    Thanks for feedback - I was trying to find some pics of Frankie in Holland in 98 but the only ones I could find were poor quality.

    He came down into the crowd that night and I was standing right next to him - frighteningly powerful!!!



  4. Hi Andy

    Let's hope Blues Express can get him over!!!

    I did have word from the States this week that Blues Express will shortly be issuing the Freddie Hughes album they have had in the can for nearly 2 years.

    Fingers crossed!!! I will be doing a post on Freddie soon as an update.