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Warren Lee

Best known for the funk cult classic "Funky Belly," New Orleans R&B singer/guitarist Warren Lee was born Warren Lee Taylor in Vacherie, LA, in 1938, apprenticing under local musicians before cutting his debut single, "Unemployed," for the tiny Ron label in 1961. He resurfaced later that same year with the Soundex label release "Anna (Stay With Me)," an answer record responding to the Arthur Alexander classic "Anna." In 1963 Lee relocated to producer Wardell Quezergue's Nola imprint for another "Anna" riposte, "Anna (We're Gonna Get Married)," and that same year landed at his fourth label, Jin, for "Geraldine."

He returned to Nola for 1964's great "Every Day Every Hour," credited to Warren (Lee) Taylor, then resumed his traditional stage sobriquet for the following year's underground favorite "Star Revue," the first of his efforts for producer Allen Toussaint's Deesu label. Name-checking soul greats from Wilson Pickett to Otis Redding to Solomon Burke -- with "the Mighty King Lee" giving himself a shout-out -- "Star Revue" was later covered by soul shouter Arthur Conley, whose immortal "Sweet Soul Music" follows the same thematic formula. With 1966's "Climb the Ladder" Lee unsuccessfully attempted to jump-start a dance craze, and with the following year's "Underdog Backstreet" he moved to Toussaint's Tou Sea label, scoring his biggest regional hit in the process -- the single was so successful that it even earned a U.K. release on the Pama label, but wasn't a national hit on either side of the Atlantic.

In 1968 Lee unleashed the scorching Wand label single "Funky Belly" -- produced by Toussaint and featuring the legendary Meters on backup, the single is much coveted by today's deep funk collectors, but made little impact on its original release. The 1969 Deesu release "Mama Said We Can't Get Married" paid homage to James Brown, and marked Lee's final collaboration with Toussaint; he resurfaced on vinyl one final time with the 1974 Choctaw single "Direct from the Ghetto." In 1977 Lee suffered a massive stroke -- he survived, but abandoned his music career in favor of devoting his life to Christianity. ~ Jason Ankeny
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Funk Unlimited - The Lost Hits

1. Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky

2. 5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love)

3. Big City Funk

4. Nothing Takes The Place Of You (From the Movie Hairspray)

5. You're No Good

6. Amen, Brother

7. Here Come the Girls (Original 45 Stereo Version)

8. Either

9. Street Parade

10. Lean On Me

11. Mama Said We Can't Get Married

12. Are You Man Enough (New Stereo Version)

13. (If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right (Original Single Version)

14. Moon Walk

16. Funky Shing-A-Ling

17. Something Strange Is Going On In My House

18. Chitlin' Strut

19. Every Day I Have To Cry

20. Gossip

21. Right Place, Wrong Time

x

Track List: Sehorn's Soul Farm - 50 New Orleans Soul Classics

Disc 1

1. Star Revue

2. Why You Wanna Do It

4. Sinner Girl

5. Love Affair

6. Let's Make It

7. Get Low Down

8. Hercules

9. Struttin' On Sunday

10. Climb The Ladder

12. Oh Love This Is Sonny

13. All My Love (All My Love)

14. That's What You Need

15. Gossip Gossip

16. Hotcha Mama

17. Baby, Baby, I Love You

18. A Love Problem

19. Underdog Backstreet

20. This Is What I Call Livin'

21. Ride Your Pony

22. Mean Man

23. Cissy Strut

24. I Don't Need You Anymore

25. I Can't Believe She Gave It All To Me

Disc 2

1. Lovely Woman

2. How To Pick A Winner

3. Fair Child

4. Just Like A Woman

5. I Love You Still

8. You Got To Love Me

9. Natural Soul Brother

10. Goodbye

11. Cheatin' Woman

12. Don't Set Me Back

13. Did You Have Fun

14. All I Want Is You

15. Sadie Mae

16. You Lie So Much

17. A Mother's Love

18. An Open Letter (To My Love)

19. A Lady

20. Look Way Back

21. Get Out Of My Life, Woman

23. Chicken Strut

24. Keep You Mine

25. Let Me Love You

x

Track List: Essential Louisiana Rhythm And Blues

1. Mother-In-Law

2. Ya Ya

3. Over You

4. Mathilda

5. Ooh Poo Pah Doo, Pt. 1

6. I Like It Like That

7. All These Things

8. C.C. Rider

9. Preacher's Daughter

10. Nothing Takes The Place Of You

11. Hello Mama

12. Where Is The Love

13. Underdog Backstreet

14. In The Same Old Way

15. Street Parade

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