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Kenny Lee
Born:  May 10, 1935
WGST Atlanta, GA

Kenny Lee was a native of Decatur, Georgia. His musical career had an unusual beginning. It is probably one of those cases of being at the right place and time.

Kenny found himself at a local grocery store one day when a disc jockey from radio station WGST in Atlanta was doing a broadcast show. The DJ, Bill Lowery (Uncle Eb), was doing his show "Mama Goes Shopping". During that show, Bill asked Kenny if he could sing a few tunes.

Bill liked what he heard and arranged to have Kenny cut an audition record that he sent to RCA's Steve Sholes, who headed the country and western department. Steve agreed with Bill and signed Kenny to a recording contract.

By 1954, Kenny was living in Atlanta (no mention as to when he or his family may have moved from Decatur to Atlanta), he had his own regularly scheduled program that aired over WGST. He made his first professional appearance before an audience at the Sports Arena when he was just 17 years old shortly after graduating from Richland High School.

A 1955 Country Song Roundup article that was dedicated to the RCA Victor country and western artists pretty much told the same story as an earlier 1954 article, which the magazine tended to do quite a bit, recycling the writeups among its publications. But RCA may have also did this as well for we find in a Country & Western Jamboree's 1957 Yearbook edition that the same story of Kenny's early career was all that was presented - no new information.

But we did find an interesting bit of trivia in author Wayne Daniel's "Pickin' On Peachtree - A History of Country Music In Atlanta, Georgia". It seems that another couple of famous guitar players were a part of the band that Kenny headed up - Jerry Reed and Pete Drake.

Credits & Sources

  • Hillbilly and Cowboy Hit Parade; No. 8; Winter 1954; Capitol Stories Inc.; Charlton Building; Derby, CT
  • Hillbilly-Music.com wishes to thank Matti Friberg from Sweden for providing portions of Kenny's discography.
  • Country Song Roundup; Issue No. 39; July 1955; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Charlton Building; Derby, CT
  • Country and Western Jamboree; June 1955; Country & Western Jamboree, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Country Song Roundup; Issue No. 41; November 1955; American Folk Publications, Inc.; Charlton Building; Derby, CT
  • Country and Western Jamboree; January 1957; Vol. 2, No. 10; Maher Publications, Inc.; Chicago, IL
  • Pickin' On Peachtree; Wayne W. Daniel; 1990; University of Illinois Press; Urbana, IL

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Recordings
 
RCA Victor
Rec. No. Side Song Title
  20-5500 A I Saw Cupid In Your Eyes
  20-5500 B Look!
  20-5629 A That's My Baby's Kisses
  20-5629 B Baby, I Am Sick Of You
  20-5733 A Flame Of Fire
  20-5733 B Runaway Angel
  20-5816 A Holding Hands
  20-5816 B It's Tit For Tat
  20-6018 A I Gotta Go Get My Baby
  20-6018 B The Cry Of A Lonsome Man
  20-6087 A You Ring A Bell With Me
  20-6087 B But Not Like Mine


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