The Kinsey Report
Virginia Lee South Africa's Singing Sweetheart, The Girl with the Golden Voice, South Africa's Queen of Song, South Africa's female Jim Reeves and South Africa's First Lady of Song. These were titles bestowed on Virginia Lee. "Ginny" as she was affectionately known, was South Africa's best selling female recording artist of the late Fifties, Sixties and early Seventies. She was the first South African female vocalist to receive a gold disc, for the equivalent of a million sales for her hit "Goodbye My Love". She followed that up with a second gold disc only seven months later for "Darling It's Wonderful". Virginia Lee was born on June 27, 1927 in Port Elizabeth and grew up there. She did her schooling at North End Grey, Port Elizabeth and the famous Victoria Girls High, Grahamstown. At school she took a keen interest in athletics and excelled in swimming and diving. She married Johnny Lee in 1948. In 1949, her only daughter, Peggy (later Koopman), was born. After nine years, she and Johnny divorced. In 1987 she married Lea Bergman. In 1957 she made her record debut under the guidance of Dan Hill. Several performances, tours, records and awards followed. She recorded a duet with Slim Whitman “She Taught Me How To Yodel”. In 1974 she played in an English film Cry me a Teardrop with Wena Naude. In 1987, Virginia was diagnosed breast cancer, but it was too late for treatment. She then withdrew from society and on January 7, 1990 died in Johannesburg at the age of 63 years. She had over 800 songs recorded. It can not be said for sure, but she has about 45 LPs made. She has 75 'seven singles', and even an old 78-speed record on the Welcome label called “Tien Duisend Myl” (TenThousand Miles). 5 CDs (compilations) were released after her death between 1993 and 1997. In 2008, Gallo Record Company released a series of commemorative CDs.
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Updated 05 April 2024