Alvin Lee Interviews

Brothers Alvin, Glenn, Keith and Derrick were the driving force of the church band at the House of God church in Perrine, about fifteen miles south of Miami, Florida, where their father, Elder Robert Lee served as pastor.  Alvin played bass or guitar and Glenn picked a beautiful red Emmons double-neck pedal steel, as Keith and Derrick belted out soulful vocals.  Instrumentalists Alvin and Glenn were endlessly creative in their efforts to introduce new sounds into the church repertoire, and many of the tunes, rhythms and riffs they composed have since become standards among House of God musicians.  The Perrine House of God developed a national reputation for featuring some of the most exciting and innovative music among House of God churches.

Following Glenn‘s tragic death from cancer at age thirty-two in 2000, Alvin added nephews bassist Alvin “L’il Al Cordy, Jr., drummer Earl Walker, and Glenn’s protégée, young pedal-steel sensation Roosevelt “The Doctor” Collier to form the Lee Boys band.  Under Alvin’s direction and management, the Lee Boys rapidly became a favorite at festivals and concerts throughout the US and Canada.  Alvin is dedicated to taking the soulful and inventive music of the Lee Boys—the music he, his brothers and nephews have been playing all their lives—beyond the four walls of the church.  

  • RS-065 Alvin Lee Interview 7/11/06 00:00
  • RS-066 Alvin Lee Interview 2/23/06 00:00
Interviewee: Alvin Lee
Interviewer: Robert Stone
Date: 7/11/06, 2/23/06
Language: English

For the archive overview:
The Robert Stone Sacred Steel Archive

This is an interview originally recorded for research purposes. It is presented here in its raw state, unedited except to remove some irrelevant sections and blank spaces. All rights to the interview are reserved by the Arhoolie Foundation. Please do not use anything from this website without permission.

Alvin Lee Interview Transcripts:

Statement on the passing of Chris Strachwitz

Arhoolie Records Founder
July 1, 1931 – May 5, 2023

We celebrate the life of our founder, friend, and great record man Chris Strachwitz. He died peacefully at home in Marin County, CA, surrounded in his last days by dear friends and family. Over his 91 years, Chris captured the music that represents the best “down home music” the world has to offer.

He was at the forefront of nearly all the roots revivals over the last 60 years including blues, zydeco, Cajun, Norteño and Tejano music. His drive to document traditional music helped introduce the nation to our diverse musical heritage. He had the foresight to save music that might have otherwise been lost to obscurity and played a role in strengthening cultural traditions through his records, films, and most recently the Arhoolie Foundation. He cared for those around him, fought for royalties and recognition for Arhoolie artists, and provided counsel to countless musicians, writers, film makers, and academics.

Plans for a public celebration of his life will be announced in the coming weeks. Today we’re thinking of all that Chris brought to our lives and the lives of the musicians and fans with whom he shared his passion.