- The Pretty Eyed Baby singer died of natural causes on Thursday
- She had previously released her 1951 hit song under the name of Lola Ameche
- The vocal powerhouse ended up stepping back from her musical career in the ’70s to take care of her mother with Alzheimer’s
Lola Dee passed away at the age of 95 on Thursday.
The singer died of natural causes in a nursing facility in Hinsdale, Illinois, according to an announcement by her publicist and CD producer Alan Eichler.
She was a popular singer in the 1950s and had toured with Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante and Johnnie Ray.
Her 1951 hit song, Pretty Eyed Baby — which she released under Lola Ameche at age 23 before her name change in the ’60s — had charted to No. 21 on Billboard singles.
Dee was born Lorraine DeAngelis in Chicago in 1928 and got her start as a child star performing in local amateur shows on Junior Junction at the age of 14.
Lola Dee passed away at the age of 95 on Thursday. The singer died of natural causes in a nursing facility in Hinsdale, Illinois, according to an announcement by her publicist and CD producer Alan Eichler
By age 16, she had signed a recording contract. She recorded with Columbia and Mercury labels in the 1950s.
In 1951, she collaborated with the Al Trace Orchestra for her well-known single, Pretty Eyed Baby.
That following year, they worked on another hit, Hitsity Hotsity, together.
Over the next three years, she recorded more than two dozen songs.
Some of the songs she released during this time included swinging versions of Dance Me Loose, Old Man Mose, Down Yonder, Take Two Tango, and Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes.
With the popularity of rock and roll growing in the 1960s, she ended up changing her moniker to Lola Dee to appeal to the younger market.
She also bleached her brunette hair to a platinum blonde at the suggestion of her record label.
In 1954, she recorded and released Padre and Dig That Crazy Santa Claus, which was covered by Brian Setzer in 2005.
She was most popularly known for her 1951 hit song, Pretty Eyed Baby — which she released under Lola Ameche at age 23 before her name change in the ’60s. The track had charted to No. 21 on Billboard singles
However, her musical career was halted when she stepped back to take care of her mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Dee returned to Chicago and was a featured singer on WGN radio and television.
She often worked with National Radio Hall of Fame broadcaster Orion Samuelson from 1971 to 1971.
Her final public appearances were performances of the national anthem for the Chicago Bears and Chicago White Sox in 1978.
She later worked as an executive hotel concierge.
Dee is survived by her son, Barry, whom she shared with her late husband Rudolph Valentino, not to be confused with the film star of the same name.