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Laura Lee Perkins

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LAURA LEE PERKIN
Born Alice Faye Perkins, 1939, Killarney, West Virginia

There is some confusion surrounding the real name of Laura Lee Perkins. In Billboard, January 27, 1958, we find the following announcement: “Lew Chudd says his new signing, 17 year old Allie Mae Perkins of West Virginia, will be the female Jerry Lee Lewis”. Perhaps Chudd changed the name Allie Mae to Laura Lee to make her name resemble “Jerry Lee”. But the two songs that she wrote, “Don’t Wait Up” and “Oh La Baby” (both co-written with deejay Jeffrey Allen Baxter) are credited to “Faye Perkins” and in the BMI database she is Fay Perkins. “Alice Faye Perkins” (and the year of birth) comes from the following web page http://www.rockabillyhall.com/LauraLeePerkins1.html which also shows a few pictures of the singer/pianist.

Laura Lee Perkins has been reissued so frequently (on 22 different compi- lations, according to Terry Gordon’s “Rockin’ Country Style” website) that we tend to forget that her complete recorded output consists of only six recordings. After graduating from high school in 1957, she moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where she was managed by fiddle player Slim Luse. She was spotted by Cleveland’s famous deejay Bill Randle of WERE, one of the nation’s most active disc jockeys when it came to recording masters and selling them to record labels. He recorded most of his sides in Cleveland at the Audio Recording Studio. This was where Laura Lee’s first session was held, in late 1957. Three songs were recorded (“Don’t Wait Up”, “Oh La Baby” and “Come On Baby”), with Laura’s Lee’s pounding piano playing well to the fore.

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