Swinging since the age of 14, Peggy Lee has been one of the world's most captivating vocal artists since she first hit the pop charts almost 60 years ago. From her erotic take on "Fever" to her forays into blues, Latin, folk and rock music, Peggy Lee has always chosen -- and written -- songs which showcase her sexy tone, impeccable sense of swing, and distinctive delivery.
Lee, n,e Nora Egstrom, was born in 1920 in Jamestown, North Dakota. She worked on farms and as a waitress while singing for local radio stations, then traveled to Fargo, Minneapolis, and St. Louis to sing with regional big bands. In 1941, she got her first big hit record with "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." Her singles continued to chart, and in 1943, she recorded her trademark hit, "Why Don't You Do Right." After a short break from recording during the beginning of her first marriage, to guitarist Dave Barbour, Lee signed to Capitol Records and garnered over two dozen charting singles before the end of the decade.
She wrote and recorded with Barbour throughout this time, and in 1955, the duo wrote the songs for Disney's animated feature, Lady and the Tramp, with Lee singing several of the vocal parts. That same year, Lee was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as a woman who suffers a nervous breakdown in Pete Kelly's Blues.
Lee has performed and recorded with such luminaries as Benny Goodman, Mel Torm,, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, and countless others. She is the only woman to have Top Ten pop hits in the 1940's, 1950's, and 1960's. In 1994, despite being confined to a wheelchair, she performed a sold-out show at London's Royal Festival Hall.
In 1992, Lee and Chesky Records teamed up to produce Moments Like This (JD84), Lee's last studio album. She revisits trademark hits like "Ma.ana," "Moments Like This," and "The Folks Who Live On The Hill," and delivers new interpretations of songs by, among others, Cy Coleman ("Then Was Then"), Cole Porter ("Do I Love You?"), and George and Ira Gershwin ("Our Love Is Here To Stay"). Recorded at the end of a triumphant engagement at New York's Hilton Hotel that drew rave reviews from all the New York critics, Moments Like This continues Lee's illustrious recorded legacy.