picture of Lenny Dee
Lenny Dee
Lenny (*1923 in Chicago, IL) was an organist who played many styles of music. He also played ukulele, banjo and accordion. As a teenager, he turned playing the accordion into a profession in his uncle's quartet, which he continued until he volunteered into the Navy during World War II in 1943. Upon his return from service, Lenny spent his Navy earnings on a Hammond Model A organ, one of the earliest of its kind. He received instruction in organ at the Chicago Conservatory of Music. Afterward, he began playing hotels and night clubs in the south in the late 1940s to some degree of success, but no record contracts.
It was not until the early 1950s that Lenny was signed up to Decca after country singer Red Foley heard him playing at the Plantation Inn in Nashville, TN, and thought Lenny's unique sound would be a good contrast to the label's then prominent organist, Ethel Smith.
Lenny's original composition, "Plantation Boogie", charted at No. 19 in 1955. Dee re-recorded the hit on numerous albums, and was often imitated. Lenny ventured into recording albums for Decca starting in 1954 with his first LP, Dee-lightful. Part of Lenny's charm was his albums' zany covers featuring Lenny in various situations. His recordings featured organ with other instruments. He was nearly always backed by percussion; depending on the song, he also recorded with guitarists, Les Paul and Chet Atkins; bass; a backup chorus; strings; horns such as saxophones, trombones, trumpets; and even the banjo. Lenny played various instruments, and was influential in the history of organs and keyboards. Lenny was recognized for his contribution to the field of music by Time Life for what Dee described as "bringing the organ out of the church and into mainstream music".
Lenny's first love was live performance. In the mid-1950s, he performed for several summers at the Lake Breeze Hotel lounge, at Buckeye Lake, just east of Columbus, OH. Around 1960, he played for a few years at a lounge in Fort Lauderdale, FL. In 1967, after performing regularly at Davy Jones Locker, and later in hotel super clubs at St. Petersburg Beach like the Desert Ranch and Dolphin Beach resorts, Lenny started his own up-scale supper club, named Lenny Dee's Dolphin Den. In the 1980s, he later opened Lenny Dee's King's Inn a few miles away.
Lenny continued recording into the 1970s, adding a background orchestra in the late 1960s. By the late 1970s, he was in less demand. Time Life honored him for his 1950's contribution to music. Lenny spent the rest of his career at his night clubs and on tour, but the demand for his music continued to decline. He retired in 2003. He died in 2006.
from Wikipedia


My Favorite Things
Decca DL 74706
released 1966
Lennie Dee, organ
with instrumental accompaniment
Moving On
Brunswick STA 8682
released 1967
Lennie Dee, organ
with orchestral accompaniment
Easy Come, Easy Go
Decca DL 75196
released 1970
Lennie Dee, organ
no further details known

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