Posted: Jul 20, 2005 10:07 pm
speaking of great New Orleans R&B.........Shirley and Lee are awesome...
unfortunately the bad news.....
Shirley Goodman-Pixley of Shirley & Lee dies
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
By Keith Spera
Shirley Mae Goodman-Pixley, the female half of the 1950s New Orleans rhythm and blues duo Shirley & Lee, died July 5 of complications from a stroke at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was 69.
Born in New Orleans, Ms. Goodman-Pixley was a high school student when she first teamed with Leonard Lee, a family friend. The legendary Dave Bartholomew produced the duo's first single, "I'm Gone," for Aladdin Records. The song hit No. 2 on the national rhythm and blues charts in 1952.
That launched a fruitful recording career. Shirley & Lee's singles generally featured her high-pitched, youthful voice answering Mr. Lee's booming, bluesy entreaties. Though the duo pretended to be "sweethearts" in their songs, they were not romantically involved.
The formula yielded such popular singles as "Shirley, Come Back to Me," "Shirley's Back" and "Two Happy People."
Too young to perform in nightclubs where alcohol was served, the duo toured as part of rhythm and blues packages that visited theaters nationwide. Generally, a family member chaperoned Ms. Goodman-Pixley.
In 1956, Shirley & Lee crossed over to the pop charts with the suggestive "Let the Good Times Roll" and the subsequent "Feel So Good," both classic examples of New Orleans rhythm and blues that appealed to a diverse, broad audience. Shirley & Lee subsequently crisscrossed the country on tour.
"It was real exciting," Ms. Goodman-Pixley recalled in author Jeff Hannusch's "I Hear You Knockin'." "We had so much work, we only had one day off a month for a couple of years. We did the Apollo, the Brooklyn Paramount, the Uptown -- we practically played everywhere with everybody."
After the demise of Aladdin Records, Shirley & Lee recorded for both the Warwick and Imperial labels. But their heyday had passed, and they broke up their act in the early 1960s. Mr. Lee died in 1976.
Ms. Goodman-Pixley continued to record intermittently, even pairing briefly with local R&B singer Jessie Hill as Shirley & Jessie. After moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s, she worked with other artists. She contributed backing vocals to "Let It Loose," a track on the Rolling Stones' 1972 album "Exile on Main Street," and Dr. John's 1972 "Gumbo" album, among others. She last scored a national hit of her own in 1974 with the disco anthem "Shame, Shame, Shame."
She was a member of St. John Divine and Genesis Missionary Baptist churches, where she sang in the choir. She lived in Los Angeles on and off for a combined 27 years.
Survivors include a son, Calvin Z. Pixley Jr., and four brothers, Kenneth and Marvin Goodman, both of New Orleans, and Edwin and Jonel Goodman.
A funeral will be held today at 11 a.m. at Genesis Missionary Baptist Church, 1820 N. Robertson St. Visitation will begin at 8 a.m. Burial will be in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Boissiere-Labat Family Funeral Services is in charge of arrangements.