Sunday, July 12, 2009
Jango Song Of The Day-Willie Tee
Willie Tee was a legend of New Orleans soul despite commercial success eluding him for most of his career. Teasin' You was his biggest hit in 1965 and it wasn't that big. He was born Wilson Turbinton Feb. 4, 1944 in New Orleans. His older brother Earl Turbinton played sax. They formed their first group The Seminoles in 1960 and Willie also joined the AFO Band led by his music teacher Harold Battiste. He also recorded for Battiste's AFO label as Willie Tee in 1962. He started The Souls and signed with cousin Ulis Gaines' label Nola. His 1965 single Teasin' You became a big enough hit that the Righteous Brothers performed it on Shindig and then Atlantic picked it up for national distribution. It reached #12 on the R & B charts. Tee never had a bigger hit so Atlantic dropped him and Nola closed. Tee started getting into production with Margie Joseph's 1969 classic One More Chance. His work with Earl got the attention of Cannonball Adderly and a short lived contract with Capitol. In 1973, Tee was approached about making an album of Native American Mardi Gras music. The result was the classic album The Wild Magnolias, a must for any black music fan. Tee released an album on United Artists in 1976 called Anticipation that went nowhere. He never again recorded for a major label but he continued to perform in New Orleans clubs and even went to England in the 90s. He was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame in 2007. He also appeared in the 2005 film Ray. This comp from the Beach Music label Ripete has all of Tee's 60s music along with some recent recordings. Willie Tee died of colon cancer Sept. 11, 2007 at age 63. Here's Willie Tee performing Teasin' You, Walking Up A One Way Street & Thank You John at his 2007 Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.