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William "Bill" James Edwards Lee III (born July 23 1928) is an Americanmarker musician. He has played the bass for many artists including Aretha Franklin, Odetta and Bob Dylan. On the original release of Dylan's classic song "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", Lee on bass guitar is the only musician performing other than Dylan himself.

Lee was born in Snow Hill, Alabamamarker, the son of Alberta G., a concert pianist, and Arnold W. Lee, a musician. He is the father of film director Spike Lee (born 1957), photographer David Lee (born 1961), actress Joie Lee (born 1962), and filmmaker Cinqué Lee (born 1966) and has composed original music for many of his son's films, including She's Gotta Have It, School Daze, Do the Right Thing and Mo' Better Blues.

Film work

  • Music director and performer on the song "Nola," She's Gotta Have It (also see below), Island, 1986.
  • Music conductor of Natural Spiritual Orchestra, School Daze (alsosee below), Columbia, 1988.
  • Music conductor of Natural Spiritual Orchestra, Do the Right Thing(also see below), Universal, 1989.
  • Music director, Mo' Better Blues (also see below), Universal, 1990.

Film appearances

  • Sonny Darling, She's Gotta Have It (also see below), Island, 1986.
  • Bassist in the Phyllis Hyman Quartet, School Daze (also see below), Columbia, 1988.
  • Father of the Bride, Mo' Better Blues (also see below), Universal,1990.

Stage work

  • (With Stuart Scharf) Music arranger, A Hand is on the Gate, Longacre Theatre, New York City, 1966.

Television appearances

  • Has appeared on the television show Today and Harry Belafonte television specials.

Album appearances

  • The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe: A Spirit Speaks
  • The Brass Company: Colors (Strata East)
  • Richard Davis: On Philosophy of the Spiritual (Buddah), Fancy Free (Galaxy) and With Understanding (Muse)
  • Richard Adams: Harvest (Muse)
  • The Warm Voice of Billy "C": Where have you been Billy Boy (Strata East)
  • Clifford Jordan: Glass Bead Games (Strata East)
  • Peter, Paul & Mary: Album (Warner Bros.)

Film music

  • Score, She's Gotta Have It, Island, 1986.
  • Score, and songs "Straight and Nappy," "Be One," and "Wake Up Suite," School Daze, Columbia, 1988.
  • Score, Do the Right Thing, Universal, 1989.
  • "Mo' Better Blues" and "Again Never," Mo' Better Blues, Universal,1990.
  • Composer of score for the short film "Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We CutHeads."

Stage music

  • (Contributor) Yes, God is Real, Apollo Theatre, New York City, 1988.


  • Composer. The Depot, One Mile East, Baby Sweets, The Quarter, The Rabbi, Monica, Juan Valdez and the children's opera Little Johnny.


  1. Spike Lee Biography (1956?-)
  2. Bill Lee Biography (1928-)
  3. [1]

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