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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 24 November 1945Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameMichael Olsen

Mini Bio (1)

Versatile singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lee Michaels was a virtual one-man rock'n'roll band who enjoyed a fleeting burst of fame in the early 70s. Michaels not only belted out the hoarse lead vocals and played a fiercely ripping Hammond organ on his own compositions, but also arranged, produced and mixed said recordings in a private studio. Moreover, he was paid the then-substantial sum of $20,000 dollars per live show at the height of his 70s popularity. Lee was born as Michael Olsen on November 24, 1945 in Los Angeles, California. Michaels began his music career as a member of the San Luis-based surf-rock group, the Sentinals. After a quick stint in the band, The Strangers, Lee moved to San Francisco, California and was briefly a member of the group, the Family Tree, prior to embarking on a solo career in 1967. He signed a contract with A&M Records and released his debut album, "Carnival of Life", in 1967. Michaels achieved his greatest smash success with the supremely funky and syncopated song, "Do You Know What I Mean"; this ferociously kinetic blast of fiery blue-eyed soul peaked at #6 on the Billboard pop charts in the fall of 1971. Lee followed this big hit with an inspired cover of the classic Motown soul gem, "Can I Get a Witness", which, alas, barely cracked the Top 40 at #39 in late 1971. Michaels switched to Columbia Records in 1973. Unfortunately, his albums for this particular label proved to be both critical and commercial failures. In the mid-70s, Lee withdrew from active performing, retired from the music business, and relocated to Hawaii. He married model and actress Mary Hughes on December 19, 1968; the couple had two children before eventually getting a divorce. Lee Michaels now owns a chain of restaurants in Southern California called "Killer Shrimp".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: woodyanders

Spouse (1)

Mary Hughes (19 December 1968 - ?) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (2)

Screaming himself hoarse, pounding on an overamped Hammond organ, and backed only by an enormous drummer called Frosty, made his name as one of the original hard hard rockers -- and is the first, and quite possibly still, the only one to play hard rock on a keyboard rather than a guitar (though he can also play guitar). "Do You Know What I Mean?", which went to #6 in the fall of 1971, stands as the classic example of his unique style; at the end of that year, he netted his only other Top 40 hit, "Can I Get a Witness?" (which went to #39).
Owns a chain of restaurants in Southern California called Killer Shrimp. [January 2009]

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