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  • Complete Recordings 1941-1947
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Complete Recordings 1941-1947

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Audio CD, June 15, 1999
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Frequently Bought Together

Complete Recordings 1941-1947 + Best of Miss Peggy Lee + The Best of Peggy Lee - The Capitol Years
Price for all three: $35.10

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 15, 1999)
  • Original Release Date: June 15, 1999
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000JBDW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,987 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Elmer's Tune
2. I See A Million People (But All I Can See Is You)
3. That's The Way It Goes
4. I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)
5. My Old Flame
6. How Deep Is The Ocean
7. Shady Lady Bird
8. Let's Do It (Let's Fall In Love)
9. Somebody Else Is Taking My Place
10. Somebody Nobody Loves
See all 19 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Blues In The Night
2. Where Or When
3. On The Sunny Side Of The Street
4. The Lamp Of Memory
5. If You Build A Better Mousetrap
6. When The Roses Bloom Again
7. My Little Cousin
8. The Way You Look Tonight
9. I Threw A Kiss In The Ocean
10. We'll Meet Again
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Every side cut by Miss Peggy with the Goodman band from 1941 to 1947, 38 swingin' tracks in all including 10 unissued recordings and an unissued alternate take (of If You Build a Better Mousetrap ). Other songs include Elmer's Tune; I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good); Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love); How Long Has This Been Going On?; Winter Weather; Somebody Else Is Taking My Place; My Little Cousin; We'll Meet Again; Full Moon (Nocha de Luna); The Way You Look Tonight; Why Don't You Do Right; How Deep Is the Ocean?; For Every Man There's a Woman , and more. Great notes, photos, remastering, the works!

In 1941, Peggy Lee had just come down from her home state of North Dakota to join Benny Goodman's band in Chicago as a replacement for Helen Forrest. Lee was young, frightened, and forced to sing the band's songs in Forrest's keys. No surprise, then, that the earliest records in this anthology seem a bit stiff and without commitment. She had not yet narrowed her range nor begun to phrase behind the beat (both á la Billie Holiday), but the confidence and speed with which she began to form her style are documented here, and it's amazing to hear how quickly she advanced--keep in mind that all but three of these recordings were made in a one year period between 1941 and 1942. And even when her singing lacks interest, there are some stunning arrangements here by Eddie Sauter and Mel Powell. After six months with the band, Lee was flying: the second CD contains gems such as "Where or When" and "The Way You Look Tonight" with the Goodman trio; her hit cover of Lil Green's "Why Don't You Do Right"; a couple of duos with Johnny Mercer; and three songs from a little-known reunion with Goodman in 1947. By then she was on her own, the Holiday influence was fully assimilated, and her smoky, vibrato-less voice was assured and distinct. --John F. Szwed

Customer Reviews

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See all 27 customer reviews
The sound is good as is the booklet.
Michael Palermo
And naturally included on that list is Ms. Peggy Lee.
Alfred Johnson
Thankfully, I found this double CD set.
L. F. Ribeiro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Jim Andrews on December 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If you THINK you know Peggy Lee, get this incredible collection. The singer with Benny Goodman's Orchestra is quite different from the hit-record maker who came later. Here she's a high, high soprano very wedded to the tempo and so passive she's spooky. It was written that her rendition of "How Deep Is The Ocean" (which reverses the first two verses, incidentally) is like a moon crossing a cloudless sky, silent, steady but oh so hypnotically entrancing. Oh, so true. These recordings absolutely crawl right under your skin. You will listen and listen and listen trying to uncover the unsolvable mystery of just what is going on vocally here and why it is so deeply moving while seemingly so incredibly simple. The Lee who came out of this Lee--the later Lee who is so stylish, perfect, witty, subtle--is a whole different singer but even Peg must appreciate these recordings and how she began.
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46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Alfred W Kucinski on February 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
For all you Peggy Lee fans who did not hear or know of her when she was just starting out as a young girl big band singer, you just have to get this CD. You can hear her grow as a singer from when she first started out with Benny Goodman and his band.
For me, I remember her singing with BG during the war years of the 1940's. The all time favorite of mine is hearing her singing ,"Where or When". Believe me, this CD is worthwhile for all Peggy Lee fans. She, along with the young, at the time, big band singer Doris Day with Les Brown's orchestra were the epitome of girl band singers. Doris Day in her earlier recordings with Les Brown and Peggy Lee with Benny Goodman sound quite similar. As I said before, this CD is worthwhile for all. Peggy Lee fans.
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Ian Muldoon on May 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Picture this if you will dear listener: a few days ago the President has announced that a state of war exists between the United States and Japan. It is the night before Christmas. A 21 year old Norma Jean Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota, stands at a microphone with the sheet music of WHERE OR WHEN written by Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart for BABES IN ARMS in 1937. Next to her, holding his clarinet, stands one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century who for seven years had led one of the most popular big bands in the country. In the background are Mr Lou McGarity and Mr Cutty Cutshall on trombones, Mr Mel Powell on piano, Mr Tom Morgan on guitar, Mr Sid Weiss on Bass and Mr Ralph Collier on drums. What must have been going through the minds and hearts of these musicians on this Christmas Eve? What must this singer, known as Ms Peggy Lee, been feeling? The record they made of WHERE OR WHEN is poignant, wistful and bitter-sweet and in the context of its making, heart-wrenching. The meeting of these composers, these musicians, and this singer, was a musical marriage made in heaven. This release brings together a variety of musicians and arrangers but all feature the two leads. There are 37 other tracks on this splendid release including 10 previously unissued.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A R BALL on January 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This won't be a long or detailed review - I am neither a music expert or even knowledgeable about my favourites. I merely like to listen to them. Many (many!) years ago I had most of Peggy Lee's recordings on 10" and 12" vinyl, and many of them on tape (illegally) as well. Some time in the Sixties I managed to erase the tape which contained, amongst others, "Where Or When", my all-time Peggy Lee favourite; I have been searching for it ever since. After forty years I now have it!!! (I knew the Internet had to be useful for something!)
I can only say that the digital remastering of these two cd's is superb - the technical quality is as good as I remember the recordings recordings to be, which of course is better than they actually were. Naturally, the quality of artists like La Lee only improve with age.
To put it in a nutshell, the difference between these cd's and perfection is not discernable with the naked ear.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By David A. Bede on January 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I write this having just read in the paper that we've lost Peggy Lee, after many years of declining health. Too often remembered only for "Fever," she leaves behind decades worth of recordings that prove she retained her sultry voice longer than we'd have a right to expect. But I keep coming back to these earliest of her sides as the most essential ones. This album is the definition of great torch singing, in my opinion.
It's hard to say what I like best about this collection. The sound quality is remarkable given the vintage of these recordings, and to the extent that they do sound muffled, it simply adds to the atmosphere provided by the beautiful songs. Close your eyes and it almost feels like you're sitting by the jukebox at the corner soda fountain circa 1942 - except that the sound is probably better now than it was then! But Lee's uniformly excellent singing is the real star here, of course. It's hard to believe she was barely out of her teens on some of the ballads. Her smoky performances on "Not Mine" and "Blues in the Night," among others, provide a more than adequate reminder of some of the hard times she'd known even at that young age, while the breathy, almost-whispered delivery of "Where or When" (my favorite song on the collection) is nothing short of surreal. There's plenty of upbeat material here too, with a wide variety of beats and styles as befits a key part of Benny Goodman's catalog, and Lee's youthful enthusiasm makes up for any uncertainty in her performances of the faster numbers.
Most poignant of all, in light of recent events, are the two wartime songs. "Let's Say a Prayer" and "The Freedom Train" do sound a bit dated, but they're heartfelt performances all the same and they're as relevant as ever today - which is surely what Lee herself was aiming for. The swing revival may be over, but she'll never be forgotten.
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