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Though he was primarily a regional blues act in the midwest, McBee gained national attention in the late 1980s and early 1990s for his work with Mike Morgan and the Crawl and for his band the Passions. These bands toured the United States, Canada and Europe and recorded on major blues labels. McBee grew up in Kansas City and collected blues and soul records throughout the 1960s. In 1969, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas and worked in many blues and blues rock bands, including Bob Wire and the Worm Ranch Wranglers, Screaming Lee and the Rocktones, Used Parts, and the Lynch-McBee Band, up to 1982. When not engaging in music during this period, Lee had a job as a fat dropper at the Stokely plant in Lawrence and later cooked at the Cornucopia Cafe, in Lawrence.
From 1982 McBee moved to Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles and recorded and performed with Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Rogers, Doug Sahm and Johnny Winter. By the mid 1980s, he settled in Dallas and met guitarist Mike Morgan in 1985. They formed the Crawl and they would be together for the next twelve years. In 1994, McBee began a side project with The Passions. This band relocated to Kansas City as its base and soon evolved into Lee McBee and the Confessors. Throughout the 2000s, McBee and his band toured northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri and released two albums.
Lee was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2009.
McBee died on June 24, 2014.
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