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Peggy Lee ‘Fever’ continues during centennial celebration

🕐 6 min read

The centennial celebration of Peggy Lee‘s birth—May 26, 1920—continues to be commemorated with new music releases and the airing of an updated documentary. Honoring one of the 20thcentury’s most important musical influences in the world of jazz and popular music, and in conjunction with UMe/Capitol, the Peggy Lee Estate today announces the digital-only release of The Capitol Transcriptions 1946-1949,and the airing of an updated edition of Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee in partnership with American Public Television.

The centennial celebration of Peggy Lee’s birth continues with new music releases and the airing of an updated documentary. Honoring one of the 20th century’s most important musical influences in the world of jazz and popular music, and in conjunction with UMe/Capitol, the Peggy Lee Estate today announces the digital-only release of ‘The Capitol Transcriptions 1946-1949,’ and the airing of an updated edition of ‘Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee’ in partnership with American Public Television.

During the 1940s, Capitol’s Transcription Library Service produced records exclusively for radio airplay and not commercial sale. From 1946-1949, Peggy Lee, backed mostly by a small jazz group, recorded masters for the Capitol Transcription Library Service. The Capitol Transcriptions 1946-1949a 72-track collection, features 55 songs making their worldwide digital debut and includes two Peggy Lee compositions, “Don’t Be So Mean To Baby” and “I Don’t Know Enough About You.”

Fever: The Music of Peggy Leewhich originally aired in 2004, has been newly updated for the centennial commemoration. The 60-minute PBS program, which will air in select markets in mid-July and premieres in most areas the week of August 29, explores her life and songs as told in her own words, though vintage interviews and performances. Check local listings for air dates and times.

Featuring her biggest hits and most famous signature songs, spanning the 1940s through the 1980s, Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee offers a wealth of extremely rare footage and images, including photographs and home movies. The program also includes commentary by family, friends, and colleagues, including k.d. lang, Quincy Jones, Andy Williams, Nancy Sinatra, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Margaret Whiting, and interviews with Michael Feinstein and Lee’s daughter, Nicki Lee Foster, and her granddaughter, Holly Foster Wells.

Three premiums for the Public Television pledge drive include: Something Wonderful: Peggy Lee Sings the Great American Songbook, a new 2-CD set with dozens of never-before-released recordings from Lee’s radio series and featuring performances with guest songwriters Hoagy Carmichael, Matt Dennis, Frank Loesser and Johnny Mercer; and Peggy Lee, Things Are Swingin’: Her Greatest Songs, an exclusive new DVD featuring a color television special from 1967, plus several previously unavailable bonus performances from each decade from 1940-1970, plus a new featurette with Michael Feinstein titled, Singing Peggy’s Praises.

This year has already seen the release of Ultimate Peggy Lee, a new 22-track career retrospective that features her hits, five songs she co-wrote, as well as the previously unreleased “Try A Little Tenderness,” which makes its world debut 57 years after it was recorded. This set is among three titles offered during the PBS pledge drive.

Also recently released is Peggy Lee Decca Rarities, a 31-song digital-only collection of artistically and commercially successful recordings over her career with Decca Records. Eleven of the featured tracks were co-composed by Lee, among these are seven songs co-written by Lee and Sonny Burke for Disney’s Lady and the Tramp, some of which did not make the final film. Though long associated with Capitol Records, Peggy Lee recorded with Decca for five years (1952-1956).

Born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, she was christened Peggy Lee in 1937 by a local North Dakotadeejay. A 13-time GRAMMY® Award-nominee, Peggy Lee helped redefine what it meant to be a female singer with her captivating voice, which continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. Her compositions and recordings, including “It’s A Good Day,” “I Don’t Know Enough About You” and “I Love Being Here With You,” can be heard today in countless television shows and feature films.

Best known for such songs as “Is That All There Is?,” “Fever,” “Why Don’t You Do Right,” and “I’m A Woman,” which made her a jazz and pop legend, she recorded over 50 albums and amassed over 100 chart entries. She won the GRAMMY for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit “Is That All There Is?” In 1995, she received the GRAMMY’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Coined “the female Frank Sinatra” by Tony Bennett, Lee did something few of her male counterparts ever attempted: she wrote songs. As one of the foremothers of the singer-songwriter school, Lee ranks among the most successful female singer-songwriters in the annals of American popular music. Over her remarkable seven-decade career, singer, songwriter and composer Peggy Lee wrote over 250 songs and recorded over 1,100 masters.

Her vast and varied catalog of compositions have been covered by Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Natalie Cole, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Diana Krall, Queen Latifah, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Janelle Monae, Nina Simone, Regina Spektor and Sarah Vaughan.

The Capitol Transcriptions 1946-1949 [digital-only]

1. Wherever There’s Me There’s You37. The Lullaby Of Broadway
2. All The Cats Join In38. In My Solitude
3. A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues 39. I Get A Kick Out Of You
4. Come Rain or Come Shine 40. Lover Come Back To Me
5. The Best Man 41. I Don’t Know Enough About You
6. If You Were The Only Boy 42. Oh, Look At Me Now
7. Love Doesn’t Grow On Trees 43. I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)
8. I Guess I’ll Get The Papers And Go Home 44. Someday, Sweetheart
9. My Sugar Is So Refined 45. If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight
10. I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me 46. Dancing With Tears In My Eyes
11. Lonesome Road 47. Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone
12. Them There Eyes 48. Birth Of The Blues 
13. You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me 49. Careless
14. The Glory Of Love 50. Then I’ll Be Happy
15. Melancholy Lullaby 51. I Only Have Eyes For You
16. Taking A Chance On Love 52. Back In Your Own Back Yard
17. A Cottage For Sale 53. How Long Has This Been Going On
18. Fools Rush In 54. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart
19. Sometimes I’m Happy 55. As Long As I’m Dreaming
20. The Way You Look Tonight 56. Swinging On A Star
21. Love Is Just Around The Corner  57. Aren’t You Glad You’re You
22. Porgy  58. Trav’lin’ Light
23. Blue Skies 59. Save Your Sorrow For Tomorrow
24. I’ve Had My Moments60. Oh! You Crazy Moon
25. Blue Moon 61. ‘S Wonderful
26. Don’t Be So Mean To Baby (‘Cause Baby’s Good To You) 62. Imagination
27. Can’t Help Lovin’ That Man 63. This Can’t Be Love
28. Mean To Me 64. You’re Driving Me Crazy
29. I’m Confessin’ 65. Goody Goody
30. Summertime 66. I Ain’t Got Nobody
31. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love 67. Molly Malone
32. Georgia On My Mind 68. This Little Piggie
33. Rockin’ Chair 69. But Beautiful
34. Swing Low Sweet Chariot 70. Fine and Dandy
35. Just Like A Gypsy 71. ‘T Ain’t So, Honey, ‘T Ain’t So
36. Somebody Loves Me 72. When A Woman Loves A Man

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