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Jesse Lee Turner

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Biography

Jesse Lee Turner was born in Addicks, Texas and grew up in the tiny town of Boling, a place so small you can't even find it with computer mapping software. The mysterious black-haired singer fit the image of the times; he had the allure and looks that the media wanted in a teen star. Turner changed labels often during his career. He first recorded for Fraternity Records, but "Teenage Misery" failed to get noticed. Then he dealt with Carlton Records, where he scored his only hit, "The Little Space Girl" b/w "Shake Baby, Shake," which rose to number 20 on the pop chart early in 1959. Its successor, "Thinkin'," stiffed, and he left Carlton for Top Rank Records, where he waxed "Do I Worry," a good record that suffered from abysmal promotion. Sudden Records, his next home, released the self-written "The Elopers," but it bombed. He also recorded two stiffs, silly ones at that, for GNP Records, including another Turner composition, "Ballad of Billy Sol Estes." A writer of sorts, Turner has 15 songs registered with BMI, his biggest title being "Little Space Girl," a song that compilers would like to include on various compilation CDs but nobody knows who holds the rights. It seems that a short time after Carlton Records went out of business, their records disappeared. The song's only known appearance is on an old 33 1/3 entitled One Dozen Goodies, although there is an original 45 of "Little Space Girl" available on various auction sites. As for the whereabouts of Jesse Lee Turner, he reportedly became an evangelist and still lives in Texas. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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