Julia Lee

Julia Lee (born Oct 31, 1902 in Boonville, Missouri - died Dec 8, 1958 in San Diego, California) was an American blues musician. She was raised in Kansas City, and began her musical career around 1920, singing and playing piano in her brother George Lee's band, which for a time also included Charlie Parker. She first recorded on the Merritt label in 1927 with Jesse Stone as pianist and arranger, and launched a solo career in 1935. In 1944 she won a recording contract with Capitol Records, and a string of R&B hits followed, including "Gotta Gimme Whatcha Got" (#3 R&B, 1946), "Snatch and Grab It" (#1 R&B for 12 weeks, 1947, selling over 500,000 copies), "King Size Papa" (#1 R&B for 9 weeks, 1948), "I Didn't Like It The First Time (The Spinach Song)" (#4 R&B, 1949), and "My Man Stands Out". ...show more

Julia Lee (born Oct 31, 1902 in Boonville, Missouri - died Dec 8, 1958 in San Diego, California) was an American blues musician. She was raised in Kansas City, and began her musical career around 1920, singing and playing piano in her brother George Lee's band, which for a time also included Charlie Parker. She first recorded on the Merritt label in 1927 with Jesse Stone as pianist and arranger, and launched a solo career in 1935. In 1944 she won a recording contract with Capitol Records, and a string of R&B hits followed, including "Gotta Gimme Whatcha Got" (#3 R&B, 1946), "Snatch and Grab It" (#1 R&B for 12 weeks, 1947, selling over 500,000 copies), "King Size Papa" (#1 R&B for 9 weeks, 1948), "I Didn't Like It The First Time (The Spinach Song)" (#4 R&B, 1949), and "My Man Stands Out".

As these titles suggest, she became best known for her trademark double entendre songs, or, as she once said, "the songs my mother taught me not to sing". The records were credited to Julia Lee and Her Boy Friends, her session musicians including Jay McShann, Vic Dickenson, Benny Carter, Red Norvo, Nappy Lamare, and Red Nichols. Although her hits dried up after 1949, she continued as one of the most popular performers in Kansas City until her death from a heart attack.. ...show less