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Peggy Lee

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Years active  1941–2000
Name  Peggy Lee
Role  Singer ·

Peggy Lee httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonscc

Full Name  Norma Deloris Egstrom
Born  May 26, 1920 (1920-05-26) Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
Cause of death  Diabetes and Heart attack
Occupation  Singer, actress, songwriter
Died  January 21, 2002, Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse  Jack Del Rio (m. 1964–1965)
Albums  Peggy, Black Coffee, Latin ala Lee!
Similar People  Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, Danny Kaye, Benny Goodman, Rosemary Clooney

Norma Deloris Egstrom (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002) known professionally as Peggy Lee, was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, in a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, she forged a sophisticated persona, evolving into a multi-faceted artist and performer. During her career, she wrote music for films, acted, and recorded conceptual record albums that combined poetry and music.


Peggy Lee Peggy Lee Discography The Goodman Years

Peggy lee fever

Early life

Peggy Lee Lime Salt amp Peggy Lee The Texas Margarita Pie Carl

Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, the seventh of eight children to parents Marvin Olof Egstrom, a station agent for the Midland Continental Railroad, and his wife, Selma Amelia (nee Anderson) Egstrom, on May 26, 1920. She and her family were Lutherans. Her father was Swedish-American and her mother was Norwegian-American. After her mother died when Lee was four, her father married Min Schaumber.

Peggy Lee The Strange Dream World Of Singer Peggy Lee Soundcheck

Lee first sang professionally over KOVC radio in Valley City, North Dakota. She later had her own series on a radio show sponsored by a local restaurant that paid her a salary in food. Both during and after her high school years, Lee sang for small sums on local radio stations. Radio personality Ken Kennedy, of WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota (the most widely heard station in North Dakota), changed her name from Norma to Peggy Lee. Lee left home and traveled to Los Angeles at the age of 17.

Peggy Lee 0a063db6ce2249989e0aea4919f65c8bjpg

She returned to North Dakota for a tonsillectomy and was noticed by hotel owner Frank Bering while working at the Doll House in Palm Springs, California. It was here that she developed her trademark sultry purr – having decided to compete with the noisy crowd with subtlety rather than volume. Beringin offered her a gig at The Buttery Room, a nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel East in Chicago. There, she was noticed by bandleader Benny Goodman. According to Lee, "Benny's then-fiancée, Lady Alice Duckworth, came into The Buttery, and she was very impressed. So the next evening she brought Benny in, because they were looking for a replacement for Helen Forrest. And although I didn't know, I was it. He was looking at me strangely, I thought, but it was just his preoccupied way of looking. I thought that he didn't like me at first, but it just was that he was preoccupied with what he was hearing." She joined his band in 1941 and stayed for two years.

Recording career

Peggy Lee Peggy Lee Biography amp History AllMusic

In 1942 Lee had her first No. 1 hit, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place", followed by 1943's "Why Don't You Do Right?" (originally sung by Lil Green), which sold over a million copies and made her famous. She sang with Goodman's orchestra in two 1943 films, Stage Door Canteen and The Powers Girl.

Peggy Lee PEGGY LEE WALLPAPERS FREE Wallpapers amp Background images

In March 1943 Lee married Dave Barbour, a guitarist in Goodman's band. Lee said, "David joined Benny's band and there was a ruling that no one should fraternize with the girl singer. But I fell in love with David the first time I heard him play, and so I married him. Benny then fired David, so I quit, too. Benny and I made up, although David didn't play with him anymore. Benny stuck to his rule. I think that's not too bad a rule, but you can't help falling in love with somebody."

...when she left the band that spring [1943], her intention was to quit the footlights altogether and become Mrs. Barbour, fulltime housewife. It's to Mr. Barbour's credit that he refused to let his wife's singing and composing talent lay dormant for too long. "I fell in love with David Barbour," she recalled. "But 'Why Don't You Do Right' was such a giant hit that I kept getting offers and kept turning them down. And at that time it was a lot of money. But it really didn't matter to me at all. I was very happy. All I wanted was to have a family and cling to the children [daughter Nicki]. Well, they kept talking to me and finally David joined them and said 'You really have too much talent to stay at home and someday you might regret it.'"

So she drifted back to songwriting and occasional recording sessions for the fledgling Capitol Records in 1947, for whom she produced a long string of hits, many of them with lyrics and music by Lee and Barbour, including "I Don't Know Enough About You" (1946) and "It's a Good Day" (1947). With the release of the US No. 1-selling record of 1948, "Mañana", her "retirement" was over. In 1948, Lee's work was part of Capitol's library of electrical transcriptions for radio stations. An ad for Capitol Transcriptions in a trade magazine noted that the transcriptions included "special voice introductions by Peggy."

In 1948 Lee joined Perry Como and Jo Stafford as a rotating host of the NBC Radio musical program The Chesterfield Supper Club. She was also a regular on NBC's Jimmy Durante Show and appeared frequently on Bing Crosby's radio shows in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

She left Capitol for Decca Records in 1952 but returned to Capitol in 1957. She is most famous for her 1958 cover version of Little Willie John's "Fever", written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport, to which she added her own, uncopyrighted lyrics ("Romeo loved Juliet," "Captain Smith and Pocahontas"), and her 1969 rendition of Leiber and Stoller's "Is That All There Is?" Her relationship with the Capitol label spanned almost three decades, aside from her brief but artistically rich detour (1952–1956) at Decca Records, where in 1953 she recorded one of her most acclaimed albums, Black Coffee. While recording for Decca, Lee had hit singles with the songs "Lover" and "Mister Wonderful". She recorded the song "Lover" with Decca Records, because Capitol already had success of the song with Les Paul.

In her 60-year-long career, Lee was the recipient of three Grammy Awards (including the Lifetime Achievement Award), an Academy Award nomination, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Award, the President's Award, the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Living Legacy Award from the Women's International Center. In 1999 Lee was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Lee was a successful songwriter, with songs from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp, for which she also supplied the singing and speaking voices of four characters. Her collaborators included Laurindo Almeida, Harold Arlen, Sonny Burke, Cy Coleman, Duke Ellington, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones, Francis Lai, Jack Marshall, Johnny Mandel, Marian McPartland, Willard Robison, Lalo Schifrin and Victor Young.

She wrote the lyrics for the following songs:

  • "I Don't Know Enough About You"
  • "It's a Good Day", composed by Dave Barbour
  • "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'", composed with Duke Ellington
  • "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter"
  • "Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)"
  • "Bless You (For the Good That's in You)", composed with Mel Tormé
  • "What More Can a Woman Do?"
  • "Don't Be Mean to Baby"
  • "New York City Ghost", composed with Victor Young
  • "You Was Right, Baby"
  • "Just an Old Love of Mine"
  • "Everything's Movin' Too Fast"
  • "The Shining Sea"
  • "He's a Tramp"
  • "The Siamese Cat Song"
  • "There Will Be Another Spring"
  • "Johnny Guitar", composed with Victor Young
  • "Sans Souci", composed with Sonny Burke
  • "So What's New?"
  • "Don't Smoke in Bed"
  • "I Love Being Here with You"
  • "Happy with the Blues" with Harold Arlen
  • "Where Can I Go Without You?", composed with Victor Young
  • "Things Are Swingin'"
  • "Then Was Then" with Cy Coleman
  • Her first published song was in 1941, "Little Fool". "What More Can a Woman Do?" was recorded by Sarah Vaughan with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. "Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)" was number 1 on the Billboard singles chart for nine weeks in 1948, from the week of March 13 to May 8.

    Lee was a mainstay of Capitol Records when rock and roll came onto the American music scene. She was among the first of the "old guard" to recognize this new genre, as seen by her recording music from The Beatles, Randy Newman, Carole King, James Taylor and other up-and-coming songwriters. From 1957 until her final disc for the company in 1972, she produced a steady stream of two or three albums per year which usually included standards (often arranged quite differently from the original), her own compositions, and material from young artists.

    Acting career

    In 1952, Lee starred opposite Danny Thomas in The Jazz Singer (1952) a Technicolor remake of the early Al Jolson part-talkie film The Jazz Singer (1927).

    Lee played an alcoholic blues singer in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

    Lee did the speaking and singing voices for several characters in Disney's Lady and the Tramp (1955): she played the human "Darling" (in the first part of the movie), the dog "Peg", and the two Siamese cats "Si and Am".

    In 1957, Lee guest starred on the short-lived ABC variety program, The Guy Mitchell Show.

    Personal life

    Lee was married four times; each marriage ended in divorce:

  • Guitarist and composer Dave Barbour (1943–1951); daughter Nicki Lee Foster (1943–2014)
  • Actor Brad Dexter (1953)
  • Actor Dewey Martin (1956–1958)
  • Bandleader and percussionist Jack Del Rio (1964–1965)
  • Retirement and death

    Lee continued to perform into the 1990s, sometimes confined to a wheelchair. After suffering years of poor health, Lee died of complications from diabetes and a heart attack on January 21, 2002, at the age of 81. She was cremated and her ashes were buried in a bench-style monument in The Garden of Serenity of the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles' Westwood, Los Angeles, California neighborhood. On her marker in a garden setting is inscribed, "Music is my life's breath."


    Lee was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit "Is That All There Is?" In 1995 she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Lee is a recipient of North Dakota's Rough Rider Award; the Pied Piper Award from The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); the Presidents Award, from the Songwriters Guild of America; the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement, from the Society of Singers; and the Living Legacy Award, from the Women's International Center. In 1999 she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

    Carnegie Hall tribute

    In 2003, "There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee" was held at Carnegie Hall. Produced by recording artist Richard Barone, the sold-out event included performances by Cy Coleman, Debbie Harry, Nancy Sinatra, Rita Moreno, Marian McPartland, Chris Connor, Petula Clark, and others. In 2004 Barone brought the event to a sold-out Hollywood Bowl, and then to Chicago's Ravinia Festival, with expanded casts including Maureen McGovern, Jack Jones and Bea Arthur. The Carnegie Hall concert was broadcast on NPR's "Jazz Set".

  • The Peggy Lee Rose is a light pink hybrid tea rose with a "touch of peach" that was introduced in 1983 and named in her honor. Lee considered peach to be her favorite color.
  • Peggy Lee was known as "Miss Peggy Lee", and was the inspiration for the Muppets' Miss Piggy, a stylish self-assured blonde with a sense of romance.
  • Peggy Lee's song "He's a Tramp" has been covered by many artists including The Chipettes, The Beu Sisters, Bette Midler, Dianne Reeves, Liza Minnelli, and Steve Tyrell.
  • Lee's cover of "Similau (See-Me-Lo)" by Gene Krupa and his Orchestra (1949) was revived to score a 2017 television ad for Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 smartphone, to favorable reception.
  • Discography

  • Rendezvous with Peggy Lee (set of 78s: 6 songs)
  • Rendezvous with Peggy Lee (10-inch LP: 8 songs; 12-inch LP: 12 songs)
  • Black Coffee (10-inch version)
  • Songs in an Intimate Style
  • Selections from Irving Berlin's White Christmas (w/ Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, 1954)
  • Songs from Pete Kelly's Blues (Soundtrack, with Ella Fitzgerald, 1955)
  • Black Coffee (12-inch version, 1956)
  • Dream Street (1957)
  • Songs from Walt Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" (1957)
  • Sea Shells (recorded 1955, 1958)
  • Miss Wonderful (recorded 1956, 1959)
  • Lover (recorded 1952, 1964)
  • The Fabulous Peggy Lee (recorded 1953–56, 1964)
  • Peggy Lee Sings with Benny Goodman (4 songs recorded in 1941–1942, 1952 Columbia EP 45, Reissued in 1957 as 12 inch Harmony LP with six songs added)
  • The Man I Love (1957)
  • Jump for Joy (1959)
  • Things Are Swingin' (1959)
  • I Like Men! (1959)
  • Beauty and the Beat! (1959)
  • Latin a la Lee! (1960)
  • All Aglow Again! (1960)
  • Pretty Eyes (1960)
  • Christmas Carousel (1960)
  • Olé ala Lee (1960)
  • If You Go (1961)
  • Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee (1961)
  • Blues Cross Country (1962)
  • Bewitching-Lee (1962)
  • Sugar 'N' Spice (1962)
  • Mink Jazz (1963)
  • I'm a Woman (1963)
  • In Love Again! (1964)
  • In the Name of Love (1964)
  • Pass Me By (1965)
  • Then Was Then – Now Is Now! (1965)
  • Guitars a là Lee (1966)
  • Big $pender (1966)
  • Extra Special! (1967)
  • Somethin' Groovy! (1967)
  • 2 Shows Nightly (Live, 1968)
  • A Natural Woman (1969)
  • Is That All There Is? (1969)
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water (1970)
  • Make It With You (1970)
  • Where Did They Go (1971)
  • Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota (1972)
  • Let's Love (1974)
  • Mirrors (1975)
  • Live in London (Live, 1977)
  • Peggy (1977)
  • Close Enough for Love (1979)
  • Miss Peggy Lee Sings the Blues (1988)
  • The Peggy Lee Songbook: There'll Be Another Spring (1989)
  • Love Held Lightly: Rare Songs by Harold Arlen (Recorded 1988, released 1993)
  • Moments Like This (1993)
  • Film and television

  • The Powers Girl (1943) – Herself – Goodman Band Vocalist (uncredited)
  • Stage Door Canteen (1943) – Benny Goodman Orchestra Singer (uncredited)
  • Banquet of Melody (1946, short subject)
  • Jasper in a Jam (1946, short subject) – Harp (voice)
  • Midnight Serenade (1947, short subject) – Peggy Marsh
  • Peggy Lee and the Dave Barbour Quartet (1950, short subject)
  • Mr. Music (1950) – Herself
  • The Jazz Singer (1952) – Judy Lane
  • Lady and the Tramp (1955) – Darling / Si and Am / Peg (voice, songwriter)
  • Pete Kelly's Blues (1955) – Rose Hopkins
  • Celebrity Art (1973, short subject)
  • Television
  • Mystery guest on What's My Line? (February 28, 1960)
  • The Danny Kaye Show Original air date 12/22/1966 – gettv
  • The World of Peggy Lee – documentary film produced for National Educational Television (October 16, 1969)
  • Peggy lee the secretary song


    Peggy Lee Wikipedia