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Tribute to Peggy Lee
JVC Jazz Festival, Carnegie Hall

Peggy Lee  

In 1943, a pretty singer from North Dakota was just beginning an extraordinary life in music, with her first hit "Why Don't You Do Right?" with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. It opened an extraordinary, lifelong career for Peggy Lee. This time on JazzSet, we recreate her journey, with the help of a dozen singers and two of her fellow songwriters.

Nikki Lee Foster, Peggy's daughter, speaks briefly to greet the sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall. In Nikki's words, "My mother was a singer, a painter, author, sculptor, poet, musician, dress designer, creative cook, a gardener who tended her beloved rose garden, but she was most proud of her success as a songwriter."

Peggy Lee had great taste in songwriting partners, including her husband David Barbour, Quincy Jones, Johnny Mandel, Harold Arlen, Cy Coleman, Duke Ellington, Dave Grusin, Marian McPartland, and others.

"I Love Being Here with You" (Lee/Schluger)
Peter Cincotti

"It's a Good Day" (Lee/Barbour)
Ann Hampton Callaway

"I Don't Know Enough About You" (Lee/Barbour)
Freddie Cole

"Black Coffee" (Burke/Webster)
Dee Dee Bridgewater

"Don't Smoke in Bed" (Robison)
Rita Moreno

"The Siamese Cat Song - A Duet for Two Cats" (Lee/Burke)
Deborah Harry and Nancy Sinatra

"He's a Tramp" (Lee/Burke)
Deborah Harry and Nancy Sinatra

"Fever" (Cooley/Davenport)
Dee Dee Bridgewater

"The Folks Who Live on the Hill" (Kern/Hammerstein)
Shirley Horn

"The Best is Yet to Come" (Coleman/Leigh)
Cy Coleman

"Hey Big Spender" (Coleman/Fields) Cy Coleman

"The Shining Sea" (Lee/Jones)
Eric Comstock (vocal) and Corky Hale (harp)

"In the Days of Our Love" (Lee/McPartland)
Jackie Cain and Marian McPartland

"Sweet Happy Life" (Bonfa/Gimbel/Araujo de Moraes/Salvet)
Jane Monheit


  • Peggy Lee Web site

    Created and produced by Richard Barone

    Mike Renzi is pianist and Musical Director. Buddy Pizzarelli, guitar; Jay Leonhardt, bass; Grady Tate, drums; Danny Epstein, musical contractor for the orchestra.

    Thanks to the JVC Jazz Festival, George Wein and Dan Melnick.

    Leo Gambacorta is the Stage Manager at Carnegie Hall.

    Funding for this recording was provided by the Peggy Lee Trust, thanks to Cy Godfrey and Nikki Lee Foster.

    Thanks to Tim Owens and NPR's Director of Music Benjamin K. Roe.

    Recording and mixdown by Duke Markos, assisted by Leszek Wojcik of Carnegie Hall and Steve Remote of Aurasonic, Ltd. Writer/producer Becca Pulliam, thanks to Mark Schramm. Dee Dee Bridgewater voice tracks recorded by Tim Lanter, WGUC, Cincinnati. Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III, WBGO 88.3 Newark.

    Copyright 2007 NPR