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Sweetheart of the Blues

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Album Review

Bonnie Lee cut her first full-length album, Sweetheart of the Blues, in 1995, nearly 30 years after she established herself as a staple of the Chicago scene. During those years, she sang constantly, and it's clear from the first note that this album is the work of a seasoned pro. Lee pretty much sticks to standards like "Baby, What You Want Me to Do," "Walking Blues" and "That's All Right," but that's all right, because it gives her the opportunity to wail. And wail she does, proving she's a fine soul-blues vocalist, capable of great things. She doesn't reach greatness here, but Sweetheart of the Blues is a classy set of Chicago blues. It's just too bad that it took her so long to cut the record.


Born: 11 June 1931 in Bunkie, LA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Bonnie Lee was a longtime fixture of Chicago's contemporary blues scene as well as one of the last surviving links to its postwar heyday. Born Jessie Lee Frealls on June 11, 1931, in Bunkie, LA, Lee grew up in Beaumont, TX, where she studied piano and sang in her church's choir. Gospel singer Lillian Ginn was sufficiently impressed to extend an invitation to join her on tour, but Lee's mother refused to grant her permission. As a teen Lee nevertheless toured the South as a member of the Famous Georgia...
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Sweetheart of the Blues, Bonnie Lee
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