Husband-wife duo of Artis Brewster, trumpeter for Jay Franks band, and Jimmie Lee Cheatum, songwriter and singer from Texarkana, Texas who cut a series of pretty good sides for Modern Records in 1952 and 1953 without doing much to stand out in the process.

Though she got credit for much of the songwriting, including on their only hit, “My Heart’s Desire”, the only thing she could’ve contributed was the new lyrics to Ivory Joe Hunter’s old melody. The pair seemed to take turns stepping out in front on the vocals, which were often in harmony, with her taking the spotlight on the hit, but him claiming it elsewhere even when it was really Peppermint Harris doing the singing.

In spite of the interesting backstory – not many husband and wife tandems in rock yet – and some enjoyable performances, plus a debut hit to their credit, the couple didn’t last very long, leaving the scene after just a few releases. They broke up with Cheatum moving to Kansas City and Brewster to Los Angeles where he became a music teacher who passed away in 2008.

JIMMIE LEE & ARTIS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

(Modern 870; June, 1952)
Though it’s just a warmed over rendition of Ivory Joe Hunter’s two year old #1 hit “I Almost Lost My Mind”, that melody still holds up and the pair give it a new story that at least holds your interest as do their modest harmonies. (5)

(Modern 870; June, 1952)
Not very original, either in theme, lyrics or basic musical approach, but well done as Jimmie Lee sings this with conviction and the band, including her husband on trumpet, gets better as it goes along with a very good sax solo late by Jay Franks. (5)

(Modern 885; October, 1952)
Clearly the prototype for Gene & Eunice’s style down the road, as their harmony singing during the verses – on a song the other duo would even re-write – makes clear, but this has got the added bonus of solo verses which tell a good story in an entertaining way. (6)

(Modern 885; October, 1952)
A record where everything is a little bit off, from the vocal blend to the slightly atonal horns to the quirky arrangement… the idea’s not bad and there may be a decent song buried here, but it’s too unsettling to sit through to dig it out and find it. (3)