Johnny Lee was born in Texas City and was raised on a dairy farm in Alta Loma. His main interest was rock ’n’ roll, and he led a high school band called Johnny Lee and the Roadrunners, which won local and statewide competitions.
In 1968, he began a 10-year working relationship with Mickey Gilley, both on the road and in the nightclub in Pasadena. Recording with ABC/DOT and GRT Records, he had moderate success with “Country Party,” new lyrics added to Rick Nelson’s “Garden Party.”
In 1979, Lee’s first screen role was in a 1979 TV movie, “The Girls in the Office,” starring Barbara Eden and Susan St. James. He was then asked to perform in the film “Urban Cowboy,” which starred John Travolta and Deborah Winger, and for which he also recorded several songs used in the soundtrack. “Lookin’ For Love” from that same soundtrack, became Lee’s first Gold Record. The song spent three weeks at the top of the Billboard Country Music Singles Charts as No. 1, and No. 2 on the Pop Music Singles Charts.
He followed up “Lookin’ For Love” with “One In A Million,” which spent two weeks at No. 1. More No. 1 singles during this time included “Bet Your Heart On Me,” “The Yellow Rose” (a duet with Lane Brody) and “You Could’ve Heard a Heart Break.” His string of Top 10 hits continued with “Pickin’ Up Strangers,” “Prisoner of Hope,” “Be There for Me Baby,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” “Sounds Like Love,” “Hey Bartender” and “Rollin’ Lonely.”
During the height of his success, he appeared on talk shows, several network specials and series such as “Fantasy Island,” “CHiPS,” “The Fall Guy,” “The A-Team” and “The Grande Ole’ Opry.”
During the ’90s, Lee’s recording career was largely on hold following his ’91 cover version of de Burgh’s pop hit, “Lady In Red.” He returned to the studio in 2003, and recorded “13th of July” and a new Christmas album Santa Claus Is Lookin’ For Love. Releasing in 2006 are two new albums so far, the new original CD Emotions, and a compilation of a record 46 songs on a 2-CD set, Greatest Hits and More.
Still writing, still performing and still lookin’ for love, Johnny Lee is keeping busy as he can. Writing a new cookbook called Chef Boy ‘R’ Lee loaded with funny stories and good recipes, and working on the release of his own food lines.
Advance tickets are on sale online at www.schroederdancehall.com. Tickets for the event are $25 advance/$30 at the door. All ages are welcome; minors will be charged an additional $5 at the door. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 361-655-8049 for more information.