Pamela Rose : Wild Women of Song
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Peggy Lee

    1920 - 2002

    I Don't Know Enough About You

    She had a voice that caressed each note, and the word 'sultry' is used in every article written about her. She approached rhythm in a relaxed, confident way that we learned in later years to term 'soulful'. Like Sinatra, and Louis, her accomplishments as a musician were almost eclipsed by her famous persona.

    Yet few people really are aware of how what a prolific and superb songwriter Peggy Lee was. Writing at first with her guitarist husband Dave Barbour, she later worked with collaborators as diverse as Victor Young, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Cy Coleman, Johnny Mandel, Dave Grusin, Sonny Burke, Marion McPartland, Lalo Schifrin and Michel Legrand. Ms. Lee produced hit after hit for vinyl, television, Broadway, Hollywood and even animated features.

    Born Norma Egstrom in North Dakota, she lost her mother at age 4, then suffered at the hands of a physically abusive step mother. Breaking first into radio at age 14, she ran away to join a string of regional bands, until she was finally spotted by Benny Goodman to replace Helen Forrest in his big band. In 1943 her version of "Why Don't You Do Right" made her one of the most popular young singers in the U.S.

    Click to read the full bio of Peggy Lee...

Suggested Listening

    For a complete list of Peggy Lee's compositions, recordings, and where to find them, is a terrific site.

    Here, however, are some notable covers:

    "Don't Smoke in Bed" - Nina Simone, Julie London and k.d.lang. (k.d. lang's version is still a stand out in her shows)

    "I Love Being Here With You" - Ernestine Anderson, Diana Krall

    "It's a Good Day" - Mavis Rivers, Judy Garland

    "The Shining Sea" - Tony Bennett


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