Peters and Lee

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Peters and Lee were a successful British folk/pop duo of the 1970s, comprising Lennie Peters (22 November 1931 – 10 October 1992) and Dianne Lee (born February 1950).

Background[edit]

Lennie Peters (AKA Gary Hall)(born Leonard George Sargent, 22 November 1931, London), an uncle of Rolling Stones' drummer Charlie Watts, was blinded in one eye during a car accident when he was five years old. A thrown brick blinded his other eye when he was sixteen. Before Peters and Lee he was a pianist playing the London pub scene. He recorded two singles on the Oriole label, "Let the Tears Begin" and "And My Heart Cried" in 1963 and 1964 respectively. In 1966 he recorded "Stranger in Paradise" for Pye Records and then "Here We Go Again" on the Gemini label in 1970. The latter he would revisit as Peters and Lee in 1976. He teamed up with actress and dancer Dianne Lee (born Dianne Littlehales, February 1950, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England) in 1970. Lee would provide backing vocals for Peters' solo act. She was also at the time part of a dance act with her cousin Liz.

Their original act was called Lennie Peters and Melody until their management International Artists suggested the name: Peters and Lee. Their first performance was with Rolf Harris on 30 April 1970 at a concert in Bournemouth.

Early success[edit]

They entered the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks, which they won for a then record of seven times with such songs as "All Change Places", "I'm Confessin'", "Let It Be Me" and "All I Ever Need is You". Following their TV success, a record contract was soon signed with Philips Records. They were produced by Philips' A&R man Johnny Franz and their management company was International Artists, run by showbiz professionals Phyllis Rounce and Laurie Mansfield. Franz found the song which suited them well and their recording quickly led to a number one hit, "Welcome Home" - which sold over 800,000 copies in Britain. A successful first album, "We Can Make It", followed which also reached the number one position, selling over 250,000 copies. Further single hits followed with "Don't Stay Away Too Long" and "Hey Mr Music Man".

TV appearances[edit]

The duo were top of the bill at the Royal Variety Performance in 1973.[1] They were also resident guest stars on The Des O'Connor Show,[2] had slots on Golden Shot, Mike and Bernie Winters' Show, Presenting Nana Mouskouri, Seaside Special and David Nixon's show.

Peters and Lee had a popular TV series of their own Meet Peters and Lee,[3] including several Christmas specials made by ATV. "The Peters and Lee Story" was one Christmas special made for 27 December 1975 which starred Mike and Bernie Winters, Cleo Laine and Aiden J Harvey who won New Faces in 1974. Their success made them household names and frequent appearances on Top of the Pops also kept their record sales steady.

Their last TV appearance before their split was London Night Out in November 1980, in which they performed four songs from their farewell album.

Solo and reunion[edit]

Lee went on to perform mainly in theatre and acting roles, whilst Peters pursued a solo singing career. He recorded his only solo album Unforgettable in 1981 and released three singles, "Record of My Love" in 1981, "Why Me" for Christmas 1982 and "Key Largo" in 1985. Peters also appeared on a few small TV slots and appeared briefly as a crime boss in the 1984 film The Hit, but without a huge success. Despite their fame, neither Peters nor Lee could repeat the success they enjoyed whilst together.

The pair reunited in 1986 with a new single, "Familiar Feelings", to perform on the nostalgia circuit. They also made some TV appearances, performing their new single. The duo went on to record two new albums, one in 1989 and the last in 1992 for their 21st anniversary, before Peters' death from bone cancer in 1992. Their final TV appearance was Pebble Mill in February 1992 with a short interview and a performance of the hit "Hey Mister Music Man". Sporting a broken arm, Peters' illness was apparent. Lee went on to marry Rick Price of Wizzard and recorded a solo album Chemistry in 1994. She continues to tour with Price as a duo, performing hits and new material.

Discography[edit]

Peters and Lee recorded two albums in the US, one being Smile, which included a new recording of their hit "Welcome Home". The album achieved a brief time in the US Billboard charts.

Singles
  • "Welcome Home": May 1973, #1
  • "By Your Side": November 1973, #39
  • "Don't Stay Away Too Long": April 1974, #3
  • "Rainbow": August 1974, #17
  • "Closer", 1974
  • "The Crying Game", 1975
  • "Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song", 1975
  • "Hey Mr. Music Man": March 1976, #16
  • "Save Me", 1976
  • "What is Love", 1976
  • "Serenade That We Played", 1976
  • "Where is Your Heart", (#22 in the Netherlands) 1977
  • "Smile" 1977
  • "Let Love Come Between Us", 1977
  • "Suspicious Minds", 1977
  • "Love (Loving Time)" 1978
  • "People Over the World", 1979
  • "I Understand", 1980
  • "Ocean and Blue Sky", 1980
  • "Familiar Feelings", 1986
  • "Peace Must Come Again", 1989
  • "Isle of Debris", 1989
  • "Through All the Years" (planned, but ultimately unreleased), 1992
  • "Welcome Home" (used to advertise Walkers Crisps) 1995
Albums
  • We Can Make It January 1973, #1
  • By Your Side November 1973, #9
  • Rainbow September 1974, #6
  • Favourites October 1975, #2
  • Serenade 1976
  • Invitation December 1976, #44
  • Smile 1977
  • Love and Affection 1979
  • The Farewell Album 1980
  • Peters and Lee 1989
  • Through All the Years 1992
Compilation albums
  • Love Will Keep Us Together 1978
  • Spotlight On... 1979
  • Remember When 1980
  • Yesterday and Today 1982
  • All I Ever Need is You 1985
  • The Best Of Peters and Lee 1999

References[edit]

External links[edit]