Johnny Lee (with Lane Brody) sings – Yellow Rose of Texas

John Lee Ham, professionally known as Johnny Lee, was born on July 3, 1946 in Alta Loma, Texas. He grew up on a dairy farm near what is now Santa Fe and formed a rock and roll band in highschool by the name of “Johnny Lee and the Roadrunners.” After graduating high school, Lee joined the Navy and served a tour of duty on the USS Chicago. He legally changed his name to Johnny Lee after serving his term in the military.
In the 1960s, Lee worked the bar scene performing covers at nightclubs and small venues locally. Johnny Lee formed a partnership with Mickey Gilley which not only lasted for over ten years, but also propelled Lee’s solo career forward following the success of the soundtrack for the film “Urban Cowboy.” Gilley and Lee toured together as well as performed regularly at Gilley’s Club in Pasadena, TX. Included on the Urban Cowboy record was Lee’s first hit, “Lookin’ for Love,” which spent three weeks at number one on the Billboardcountry chart. The hit also made waves in the pop world, reaching Top-5 on the Pop chart and Top-10 in the Adult Contemporary category.
Lee continued his success into the 1980s, reaching Billboard’s Top-5 with hits “One in a Million” (1980), “Bet Your Heart on Me” (1981), “The Yellow Rose” (1984, a duet with Lane Brody), and “You Could Have Heard a Heartbreak” (1984). His other major hits include “Pickin’ Up Strangers” (1981), “Prisoner of Hope” (1981), “Cherokee Fiddle”(1982), “Sounds Like Love”(1982), “When You Fall In Love” (1982), “Be There For Me Baby” (1981), “Hey Bartender” (1983), “Rollin’ Lonely” (1984), and “Save the Last Chance” (1985).
In 2014, Johnny Lee lost his son, Johnny Lee Jr., at the age of 23 due to drug overdose. Lee quickly became an active advocate for combating the illegal drug epidemic. In 2008, Johnny Lee began to perform regularly in Branson, Missouri.
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