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Lee Dresser of the Krazy Kats has died

Lee Dresser, a founding member of the Krazy Kats, has died. His wife, Kelly Dresser, posted an announcement of his death on Thursday at the band’s web site,

“It is with a heavy and broken heart that I must post this,” she wrote. “I just want to let everyone know that the love of my life, Lee Dresser, passed away April 24, 2014. Our son, Jason, his wife, Tasha, our granddaughter, Charlyie Mae and myself were all with him when he died.”

Dresser, the band’s lead vocalist, guitarist and harmonica player, had been suffering leukemia. He had a bone-marrow transplant two years ago, according to a post at

, announcing the band’s induction into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2012.

Dresser founded the rockabilly band in 1957 in Kansas City with high school classmates Fred Fletcher and Willie Craig. According to his

biography at

, after college and a stint in the U.S. Army, where he served in Vietnam, Dresser found work as a musician in Los Angeles, performing with Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard and others, and released a solo album.

The Krazy Kats reunited in 1980 and within five years, Dresser had rejoined them in Kansas City, where they performed regularly for decades. In 1999, they were inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

| Timothy Finn, The Star