Lola Dee, Iconic American Singer, Dies At 95


Mariane Angela Contributor
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Renowned American vocalist Lola Dee passed away Thursday at the age of 95, Variety reported.

Dee was known for her melodious voice and captivating stage presence. Her talent led her to tour internationally, performing alongside legends like Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante and Johnnie Ray, according to Variety. Dee died of natural causes at a nursing facility in Hinsdale, Illinois according to her publicist and CD producer, Alan Eichler, Variety reported.

Born Lorraine DeAngelis in Chicago in 1928, Dee’s journey into the limelight began at an early age, per Variety. Her talent shone through in local amateur performances and on ABC’s show, “Teen Town,” which later became “Junior Junction.” Her early days in the industry saw her sharing the stage with personalities like Dick York and Mary Hartline, per the outlet. Her distinct voice caught the attention of ABC, leading to her role as a staff vocalist. There, she performed alongside guitarist George Barnes.

Dee’s breakthrough came when she signed a contract with Mercury Records in Chicago, Variety reported. Under the name Lola Ameche, she recorded the 1951 hit, “Pretty Eyed Baby,” with the Al Trace Orchestra, a song which soared to No. 21 on the Billboard charts. This success was followed by a series of hits, including “Hitsity Hotsity,” “Dance Me Loose,” and “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes.” (RELATED: Myles Goodwyn Dies At 75)

As rock and roll began to dominate the music scene, Mercury Records rebranded her as Lola Dee, per Variety. She embraced this change with hits like “Padre” and “Dig That Crazy Santa Claus.” Her rendition of the Platters’ “Only You (And You Alone)” became a sensational hit, selling nearly a million copies.

Apart from her recording success, Dee was a featured singer on WGN in Chicago. However, she took a step back from her thriving career to care for her mother, who was battling Alzheimer’s disease. Dee’s final public performances were in 1978, singing the national anthem at games for the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.