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Blakeview: Lee Dorsey 

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This week marks 30 years since one of New Orleans' most memorable voices was silenced. Rhythm and blues great Lee Dorsey recorded some of the best known R&B songs of the 1960s, including "Working in the Coal Mine," "Ya Ya," and "Ride Your Pony." Born in New Orleans, Irving Lee Dorsey was a childhood friend of Fats Domino and spent time as a boxer (nicknamed Kid Chocolate) after serving in World War II. He was working at an auto repair shop when a talent scout heard him singing and invited him to record at Cosimo Matassa's studio. Dorsey's early songs had modest local success, but when he teamed up with Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn, his career took off. Dorsey's career peaked in 1966 with three hits on the charts: "Ride Your Pony," "Working in the Coal Mine" and "Holy Cow," all of which were Toussaint collaborations. Dorsey appeared on other albums throughout the 1970s and toured with The Clash in 1980. His songs have been covered by everyone from John Lennon and Robert Palmer to The Pointer Sisters and Harry Connick Jr. Dorsey died Dec. 1, 1986.


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