Question: what music act was the first after the Beatles to simultaneously chart a single and an LP at the number one spots in England? The answer isn't the Rolling Stones, the Who, David Bowie, or Queen, to name a few major '70s icons. The answer is Peters & Lee, who did it in 1973 with their debut single, "Welcome Home," and the album We Can Make It. A vocal duo who might've been England's answer (assuming anyone asked the question) to the Captain & Tennille, Lennie Peters (1939-1992) and Dianne Lee (b. 1950) first got together in 1970 -- Peters, an aspiring prize-fighter who was blinded in an accident at the age of 16, had been a pianist/singer in pubs around London during the 1960s, and Lee had been a dancer with her cousin in an act called the Hailey Twins, when they met on the same bill. The two began working together and became popular in club and holiday camp performances and topped all of their competitors in a series of appearances on the television series Opportunity Knocks (a precursor to Star Search). Their sound was pure pop, mixing cabaret standards with classic R&B, and their television success led to a recording contract with Philips Records in 1973. "Welcome Home," with its country-pop flavor, reached the number one spot in July of 1973, in between assaults on the top spot by Slade and Gary Glitter. Their accompanying album enjoyed simultaneous identical hit status and Peters & Lee became enormously popular entertainers and were virtual fixtures on television over the next few years. They had three more hits, including the number three single "Don't Stay Away Too Long" in 1974. For their second album, By Your Side, they got a pleasantly upbeat title-track written by former Dusty Springfield collaborator John Franz. Their sound was a mix of current folk/pop tunes (David Gates's "If," Buffy Saint Marie's "Until It's Time for You to Go," Al Kasha's "The Old Fashioned Way") and old standards (Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby's "Nevertheless"). The duo disbanded in 1980, but reunited six years later, making most of their living by performing at holiday camps. In 1992, Peters revealed that he was suffering from cancer, and following his death that year, Dianne Lee resumed her career as an actress. In 1999, "Welcome Home" got a new lease on popularity in England when it turned up in television advertisements for Walker's Crisps (potato chips to Americans) ~ Bruce Eder .Portions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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