Peggy Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom on May 26, 1920, in Jamestown, North Dakota. From an early age, she showed a passion for music and performing. She began singing professionally in the late 1930s and quickly became one of America’s most popular jazz singers. Her unique voice and ability to interpret songs made her a favorite of jazz fans and critics alike. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Peggy Lee’s life and career, and explore how she helped shape the American songbook.
Peggy Lee’s childhood
Peggy Lee’s mother, Ellen, played the piano. Her father, Dave, was a guitarist. Both parents supported their daughter’s musical aspirations.
Peggy often sang with her father’s band at local dances as a child. She also took piano and singing lessons. By the age of thirteen, she was already a fully-fledged jazz singer.
Peggy Lee’s early career
In 1935, Peggy made her first recordings with the Benny Goodman Quartet. The group’s single, “Whispering”, became a surprise hit. It is followed by a series of hit singles and albums.
Peggy Lee’s career
Lee’s career took off in the 1940s. She recorded several chart-topping hits, including “Why Don’t You Do Right?”, “Fever”, and “It’s a Good Day”. She also appeared in several films, including The Singing Nun and Pete Kelly’s Blues.
In the 1950s, Peggy Lee’s career entered a new phase. She began working with arranger Nelson Riddle, and the two collaborated on a series of albums that helped define the sound of American popular music.
Peggy Lee’s final years
Peggy Lee continued performing and recording until her death in 2002. She left behind a legacy of great music and an indelible mark on the American repertoire.
Peggy Lee’s best albums
In a career that spanned five decades, Peggy Lee released dozens of albums. Here are ten of the best:
- 1941 – Benny Goodman Quartet featuring Peggy Lee
- 1944 – The Songs of Sonny Burke
- 1947 – Miss Wonderful
- 1958 – Love Me or Leave Me
- 1959 – The Fabulous Peggy Lee 1961 – Latin a la Lee!
- 1965 – Mink Jazz
- 1969 – Is That All There Is ?
- 1972 – Peggy Lee
- 1977 – Close Enough for Love
- 1996 – The Very Best of Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee’s influences
Peggy Lee has been influenced by a wide range of artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. She was also inspired by popular singers such as Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. But it was her father’s band that had the greatest impact on her musical development. Growing up, she often sang with the at local dances. This exposure to live music helped shape her unique style and sound.
Peggy Lee’s legacy
In turn, Peggy Lee had a profound influence on American popular music. Her work with arranger Nelson Riddle helped define the sound of 1950s pop. And her interpretations of standards such as “Fever” and “It’s a Good Day” became classics of the genre. Peggy Lee’s contributions to the American repertoire are legion. She was a true original, and her influence is still felt today.
Peggy Lee’s awards
Peggy Lee won numerous awards during her musical career. In 2001, Peggy Lee received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton. In 2006, she was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. And in 2010, she posthumously received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Peggy Lee is remembered as a giant of American popular music whose art and influence will be felt for generations to come. Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share it
Reasons for Peggy Lee’s success
The reasons for Peggy Lee’s success are her great voice, her many hit songs and her long career.
She was also helped by being able to work with arranger Nelson Riddle and appear in a few good films. Lee’s later years were also fruitful, as she won several awards and left behind a great legacy.