Peggy Lee is probably a name which may not register with people below a certain age. Her career spanned some six decades, from the 1930s to the 1990s. She had countless hits for the-then fledgling Capitol Records label and she had a highly successful career as a Jazz/Big Band era singer which later morphed into an equally successful career as a Pop singer throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
This session, recorded in January of 1945 for the C.P. MacGregor transcription company, was one of many such sessions by a variety of artists who were popular at the time. Lee recorded a number of sessions before landing her solo career on Capitol Records. Prior to that, she had recorded for Columbia with Benny Goodman’s band and those recordings epitomize the era of the Big Band.
With the exception of two tracks (Don’t Blame Me and Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea) this session has been issued commercially by a few labels over the years. I’m not sure if those discs are still in print, but the two missing tracks haven’t appeared anywhere before.
The idea of doing these sessions specifically for radio play got around some of the restrictions in the 1930s and 40s of playing commercial discs on the air, but they were also significant for a lot of other reasons, not the least being different songs which the artists never recorded commercially as well as completely different versions. For that reason, many of them are actively sought out by collectors, even though the large format 16″ transcription discs are hard for many collectors to play.
This session comprises 9 tracks, and they are all here, with Peggy Lee backed by then-husband/band leader/guitarist Dave Barbour. The original disc was pretty beat-up and loaded with ticks and pops. But the music itself is what’s important and Peggy Lee was an important artist at a time when Pop Music sounded a lot different.