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Happy Birthday, Peggy Lee

This Day in Music notes that today would have been Peggy Lee’s 95th birthday.

Wikipedia says that Lee — Norma Deloris Egstrom – was a singer, songwriter, composer and actress. She was born in Jamestown, North Dakota and rose to the heights: She was a vocalist for Benny Goodman’s big band, a composer and radio host.

It sounds like a hard life:

Her mother died when Lee was just four years old.[3] Afterward, her father married Min Schaumber, who treated her with great cruelty while her alcoholic father did little to stop it.[4] Later, she developed her musical talent and took several part-time jobs so that she could be away from home.

The profile describes her rise, which reached a high point when Lee – appearing at The Buttery Room in Chicago, was noticed by Goodman’s finance. She brought Goodman to see her perform, and Lee was invited to replace Helen Forrest. She performed with the Goodman band for two years.

Lee was a tremendous talent. She had hit records and became a radio co-host – along with Perry Como and Jo Stafford – after marrying Dave Barbour, a guitarist in the Goodman band. Lee also was a successful songwriter. She won three Grammys and was nominated for an Academy Award.

The bio also says that Lee was one of the first of the old guard to understand the shift to rock and rool, and recorded songs by The Beatles, Randy Newman, Carole King, James Taylor and other composers from the next generation. Peggy Lee died on January 21, 2002.

Above is “Don’t Know Enough About You.” Below is “Nice Work if You Can Get It” with Frank Sinatra.

Wikipedia was used for this post.