Lee Dorsey

1924 – 1986


Vocalist Lee Dorsey recorded some of the biggest rhythm and blues (R&B) hits of the 1960s, most of them in collaboration with pianist/vocalist/songwriter/arranger Allen Toussaint. His personable charm and easygoing delivery, combined with Toussaint’s catchy and funky songs and arrangements, produced a series of instantly memorable hits such as “Ya Ya,” “Working in the Coal Mine,” and “Ride Your Pony.” Although he was not a technically gifted singer, Dorsey’s warm, engaging vocals suited his songs perfectly; as Toussaint commented, “His voice was like a smile.” Dorsey’s songs mark the transition from 1950s New Orleans R&B to the 1960s funk sound of The Meters.


Songs for Lee 2 tracks
Ride Your Pony


An interactive timeline of the life of Lee

  • 1930
  • 1940
  • 1950
  • 1960
  • 1970
  • 1939

    Joins the Navy

    Lee Dorsey joins the Navy. While serving on a U. S. Navy destroyer during World War II (1939-1945), Dorsey was injured when a Japanese fighter plane attacked his ship.