The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography And Videography:
The Benny Goodman Years
by Iván Santiago Mercado

Generated on Dec 6, 2010

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Peggy Lee's Career As Benny Goodman Orchestra's Canary, 1941-1943

Peggy Lee joined The Benny Goodman Orchestra in mid-August, 1941 and left it in mid-March, 1943. For a general account of her year and a half as Goodman's canary, see this page's lengthy final notes. Among the topics discussed therein are The 32 Masters And Their Alternate Takes, The AFM Recording Ban, The Frank Sinatra Event At The Paramount, and Lee's Departure From The Benny Goodman Orchestra. Also found at the bottom of the page is a section dedicated to discographical matters in need of clarification, such as my occasional use of take letters instead of take numbers, or my designation of some takes as "secondary masters." For an explanation of the few codes that accompany the albums and singles below (e.g., yyy~), click here.


Date: August 15, 1941
Location: Chicago
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), John Hammond (pdr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Skip Martin, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Cootie Williams (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), John Simmons (b), Mel Powell (p), Sid Catlett (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CCO 3950-1   AlternateElmer's Tune - 2:50  (Sammy Gallop, Elmer Albrecht, Dick Jurgens)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7616 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume V; The Earl   (1980)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: Ck 53422 — BENNY GOODMAN, FEATURING PEGGY LEE ("Best Of Big Bands" Series)    (1993)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8822 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME II, 1 & 2   (1994)
b.CCO 3950-2   MasterElmer's Tune - 2:51  (Sammy Gallop, Elmer Albrecht, Dick Jurgens)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36359 — {Elmer's Tune / The Birth Of The Blues [instrumental]}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark LP: (England) Hm 503 — We'll Meet Again [Reissue Of Columbia's Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman]   (1967)

At The Recording Session

During the summer of 1941, The Benny Goodman Orchestra welcomed numerous additions to its fold: pianist Mel Powell and drummer Sid Catlett (in June), bassist John Simmons and saxophonists George Berg, Chuck Gentry, Vido Musso, Clint Neagley (in July) and vocalist Peggy Lee (in August). Many of the instrumentalists had actually played in earlier editions of the orchestra, but were of course new to this particular edition. The pianist and the drummer had been part of a studio session held on June 11, and had been constantly onstage with Goodman since then. The saxophonists and the bassist had also spent a few weeks with Goodman before first going into the studio on August 1.

The female vocalist was a brand new member. When this session took place, she probably had spent no more than three or four evenings onstage with The Benny Goodman Orchestra (three or four at most; possibly even less than that). Although the singer had had extensive training with a variety of minor-league ensembles, her previous professional experience had not extended to studio recording. This August 15 session marked her debut on record.

None of the newer additions to the band fared particularly well on this day. What's more, the ensemble's collective effort was dismissed by a few music critics, and even dissed by some Goodman fans of note. No less an authority than the bandleader's bio-discographer, D. Russell Connor, referred to the sound of the entire reed section as very ragged. He added that the nervous vocalist would show improvement during the next session, held five days later.

In her autobiography, Peggy Lee quotes Mel Powell's recollection of this Friday the 15th date: "Columbia Records, to whom Benny was contracted, always came to wherever the band was playing. So they arrived in Chicago to record. There Peg was, making a recording with Benny Goodman just a day or two after she joined the band. She met CBS producer John Hammond in the control room, and he handed her the sheet music for Elmer's Tune. This was a pretty tough rap for a kid. There was no taping on those days. You just made records. If you blew something, you started from the beginning. You didn't say, 'Well, let's take it from measure 39 and splice it.' She was so nervous. The sheet music John handed her made such a racket, and they didn't have high-tech ways of beating that, so unfortunately, it sounded like a forest fire that was going over the brass, over the saxophones. Peggy had probably been up all night learning this thing, and then she came in, and the arrangement was disorienting because Elmer's Tune was very clever, very fancy, full of stuff."

Part of the vocalist's difficulty stemmed from the fact her new boss did not think that singers needed to rehearse with the band. (The strict purpose of Goodman's rehearsals was the fine-tuning of the instrumentalists -- with occasional exceptions, of course.) In other words, Lee was not only coming into the recording studio for the first time but also trying a number that she had not previously practiced with the ensemble.

Fortunately, the newcomer counted with the invaluable aid of pianist Mel Powell, an 18-year-old prodigy who had joined the band two months before the arrival of the 21-year-old Lee. After the initial aborted attempts, Powell and Lee met in an adjacent room, where they sat down and ran through the more demanding parts of the arrangement. By creating a cue especially for her ("I'm just gonna pop that in there in the midst of what seems to be just a ramble over the band while the band's playing ... you catch it from that ... count four, and go"), the pianist immensely helped the vocalist, making possible the subsequent waxing of two complete takes.


Songs

1. "Elmer's Tune" And The Music Charts
"Elmer's Tune" was not fondly remembered by Peggy Lee. In 1983, an interviewer described Lee as involuntarily shuddering at the mention of the tune: "Oh, that. First, I hated Elmer's Tune, and second, it was in Helen Forrest's key ..."

Leaving aside the unpleasant memories of a difficult recording session (and the unsavory challenge of singing in somebody else's key), there were other plausible reasons for Lee's dislike of the number. "Elmer's Tune" was a far cry from the sophisticated repertoire of swing and standards that she had come to associate with The Benny Goodman Orchestra. The novelty tune features lyrics which evoke a backwoods atmosphere: "What makes a lady of eighty / Go out on the loose / Why does the gander / Meander in search of a goose / What put a kick in a chicken / The magic in June / It's just Elmer's tune ..." Better suited for a vocal group (or a hillbilly act), such tongue-twisting lyrics must have failed to meet the high expectations of the young Lee. For her debut with the top band that she had hugely admired for years, they were not the most ideal of choices.

For many of the era's fans of the big band this ditty was, on the other hand, a winner: playfully humorous and, most importantly, eminently danceable. A version by The Glenn Miller Orchestra became the nation's top hit in early October 1941. It featured Ray Eberle and The Modernaires on vocals. Competing versions included not only Goodman's but another one recorded by Dick Jurgens and His Orchestra, with vocal chorus by Eddy Howard. It reached the top 10. (Since Jurgens was one of the credited songwriters, he might have actually been the first to record the tune.) Both hit versions counted with the advantage of being sold at competitive prices. Miller's was issued by RCA on its budget subsidiary Bluebird, and Jurgens' on Columbia own budget line, Okeh.

Though released in the pricier Columbia label, Goodman's version enjoyed some measure of popularity, at least in the Chicago area. (Reports on its success come from contemporaneous newspapers, which are vague as to specifics.) The Goodman-Lee version is also listed in Edward Foote Gardner's Popular Songs Of The Twentieth Century: A Charted History as one of four that received airplay and which made a dent in Billboard's charts. (Three of these versions have been already mentioned in this and the previous paragraph. The fourth version was by The Andrews Sisters, on Decca. Foote Gardner's book does not include specifics such as charting positions.)

Thanks to airplay on the radio and in the movies, "Elmer's Tune" remained current for about two more years after the charting versions ran their course. In November of 1942, audiences at the premiere of Universal's Strictly In The Groove were treated to a performance of the song. (For another number featured in Strictly In The Groove that Lee happened to record, see her #1 hit "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place," which she and Goodman recorded on November 13, 1941.) The Universal flick came out in 1943. Moreover, the popular radio show Hit Parade named "Elmer's Tune" one of the top songs of 1943. The ditty had spent 15 weeks in the show's countdown. There was also an attempt at extending the string of successes which "Elmer's Tune" had enjoyed. Elmer Albrecht (a Chicago undertaker who had named the tune after himself) wrote a follow-up which he of course titled "Elmer Done It Again," and which, unfortunately for him, got nowhere.


Masters And Issues

1. Columbia Co #36359 [single]
This 78 was Peggy Lee's debut on record. The issue, seen here, does credit her by name ("vocal chorus by Peggy Lee").

2. "Elmer's Tune" And Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee [CD]
The 1993 Columbia CD Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee identifies its version of "Elmer's Tune" as a "previously unissued master." Such a wording is at the very least equivocal, if not plain wrong. Given the fact that the performance in question (CCO 3950-1) is not the master, the last of those three words should be "alternate."

The claim that CCO 3950-1 was "previously unissued" is also inaccurate. This alternate take was first issued by the collectors' label Phontastic, probably with the blessing of Benny Goodman himself, back in 1980. (As for the only other extant take, the master, Columbia first issued it in 1941, on its subsidiary label Okeh.)

The likely reason why Columbia (Sony) calls CCO 3950-1 unissued is because the company itself had not released it before. As explained by Goodman's bio-discographer D. Russell Connor, who wrote the notes for the aforementioned Phontastic album: "[i]n company with other major label producers, Sony refuses to acknowledge prior releases on unauthorized labels."

3. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session was the instrumental "The Birth Of The Blues" (master #3951).

4. Breakdowns
There are no extant breakdowns from this date.


Arrangements

1. "Elmer's Tune"
The arranger of "Elmer's Tune" was either Mel Powell or Eddie Sauter. As discussed in the next paragraphs, my main sources disagree on this matter.

In the track listing of various Columbia Legacy CDs (#53422, #65686), Mel Powell is listed as pianist/arranger of "Elmer's Tune." And yet, the liner notes of one of those CDs (#53422) allude instead to Eddie Sauter as the arranger. Perhaps one or both of the track list annotators wrongly inferred that, because Powell was the session's pianist, he had to have been the arranger, too.

Powell's own comments about this date, quoted in Lee's autobiography, vaguely point to Sauter as the arranger.

For his part, bio-discographer D. Russell Connor lists Mel Powell not only as this session's pianist but also as the arranger of its other performance (the instrumental "The Birth of The Blues"). However, Connor does not list any arranger for "Elmer's Tune," thereby suggesting that he, too, is uncertain about his identity.


Location

None of the consulted sources identifies the exact location of Benny Goodman's Chicago sessions. In one instance, Russell Connor does refer to "Chicago's Columbia Studios," but he does not provide any further specifics.


Date: August 20, 1941
Location: Chicago
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), John Hammond (pdr), Bill Savory (eng), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Skip Martin, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Cootie Williams (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), John Simmons (b), Mel Powell (p), Sid Catlett (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CCO 3981-1   "Secondary Master"My Old Flame - 3:16  (Sam Coslow, Arthur Johnston) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7616 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume V; The Earl   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8822 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME II, 1 & 2   (1994)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: C2k 65686 — PEGGY LEE & BENNY GOODMAN: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, 1941-1947   (1999)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1271 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1941, VOLUME 3   (2002)
     zzz~ Acrobat CD: (England) Addcd 3047 — Where Or When   (2008)
b.CCO 3982-"A"   AlternateI See A Million People  (Una Mae Carlisle, Robert Sour) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
c.CCO 3982-"B"   AlternateI See A Million People  (Una Mae Carlisle, Robert Sour) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
d.CCO 3982-"C"   AlternateI See A Million People  (Una Mae Carlisle, Robert Sour) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
e.CCO 3982-1   MasterI See A Million People - 2:42  (Una Mae Carlisle, Robert Sour) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36379 — {I See A Million People / The Count [instrumental]}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 39034 — {I See A Million People [Benny Goodman instrumental] / I See A Million People [Cab Calloway instrumental]}   (1950)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)

At The Recording Session

1. John Hammond
John Hammond was the producer of Goodman's 1941 Chicago sessions. (The identity of the man who produced all subsequent dates -- which were held in New York -- remains unknown to me. The Japanese LP Elmer's Tune gives credit to Hammond for the production of all 32 takes in the album, but I am wary of collective credits, since they often prove to be inaccurate. Besides, this collective credit is not found in other official issues, nor is it explicitly given in Benny Goodman's bio-discography. What's more, Ross Firestone states in his book Swing, Swing, Swing: The Life & Times of Benny Goodman that at the end of 1941 Hammond "took what was described as an indefinite leave of absence from Columbia Records.")

Despite what is suggested in various books about Benny Goodman and his music, it was apparently at this session (not at the previous one) that Hammond tried to get rid of the band's new canary. In the words of D. Russell Connor: "Benny was ... annoyed with John Hammond during this session. With Helen Forrest on notice, John kept bugging Benny to hire Billie Holiday, get rid of Peggy Lee, who just cahn't sing, Benny, she really cahn't. Benny put a stop to that by throwing a chair at his future brother-in-law." Given the fact that the Goodman bio-discographer personally listened to the session tapes -- and consulted with Goodman, too -- Russell Connor's account should be deemed more reliable than those found in other texts. One such text is Ross Firestone's otherwise recommended Swing, Swing, Swing, in which Hammond's "cahn't sing" exclamations are presented as part of the happenings from the previous date (August 15, 1941). Firestone might not necessarily be at fault for the ascription of these events to the previous date. He seems to have relied not only on previous literature but also on oral testimony from those present at the sessions. Perhaps the passing of time led one of the participants to coalesce into one date events that had happened over the two Chicago dates with Lee -- or perhaps the various accounts led to some confusion in the chronology.

Another active participant in the events under scrutiny -- in addition to Goodman, Hammond, and Lee -- was audio engineer Bill Savory. According to Russell Connor, "Benny was unhappy with the audio engineering in Columbia's Chicago studios, hastily summoned Billy Savory to participate, give them a hand." (Incidentally, Goodman gave to Savory various takes from the session as souvenirs, including the three unissued takes of "I See A Million People" that are listed above.) Savory was probably Russell Connor's source for the comments quoted in the previous paragraph, and he was definitely among the sources for Firestone's book, where his colorful account is quoted at length: "It was a very tense situation. Then, to make matters worse, John started hassling Benny about Peggy's deficiencies. Benny, she cahn't sing. She just cahn't sing. Finally, out of exasperation, Benny picked up a chair and hurled it across the studio at him. John was amazed and upset. What does one do?, he asked me. Does one fight? 'Just forget about it,' I told him. 'The sight of blood would probably make you faint.' "

According to Firestone, Hammond "continued to hold fast to his disdain even after [Peggy Lee] had more than proved herself through such excellent recordings as Let's Do It, Where Or When and Somebody Else Is Taking My Place. He quotes Hammond as having once declared that Lee had "no vocal or interpretative talent."

A man who relentlessly championed Count Basie and (most notably) Billie Holiday but at times dismissed Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, Hammond was highly opinionated as a critic, relentless as a promoting impresario and, according to acquaintances, rigidly unwilling to entertain views other than his own. Though a highly influential figure in the world of jazz music (and beyond), his personality earned harsh criticism from many of those who knew him -- and also from others who interacted with the not-so-gentle-man on a more limited basis. (His sense of ethics has come into scrutiny as well. The battery of charges includes fickleness, rudeness, pettiness, haughtiness, thoughtless obstinacy, vindictiveness with his pen, opportunism, self-aggrandizement, and distortion -- or even outright fabrication -- of anecdotal stories.) In the 1930s and 1940s, his influence in the hiring and firing of personnel from The Benny Goodman Orchestra became a sore subject among musicians, too. As James Lincoln Collier explains in his book Benny Goodman And The Swing Era (while indirectly quoting Benny Goodman's first canary, Helen Ward), "Hammond's meddling was frequently resented by the members of the band, said Ward, in part because they felt they knew more about how the music should be played than Hammond did, and partly because they knew his tastes were fickle, and he might at any moment start urging Benny to fire any of them in favor of somebody he had recently heard."


Songs

1. "I See A Million People" In The Music Charts
In his book Popular Songs Of The Twentieth Century: A Charted History, Edward Foote Gardner lists three versions of this song that, according to his research, received airplay in 1941. One of them is the original version sung by Una Mae Carlisle, another the above-listed Benny Goodman-Peggy Lee version, issued on Columbia. The third, which is also found in Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954: Cab Calloway's, whose vocal was released by Columbia's budget line Okeh. Whitburn lists neither the Goodman-Lee nor the Carlisle versions.


Masters

1. World Transcription Recordings
2. Mysterious, Unknown 1941 Peggy Lee Recordings?
Discographer D. Russell Connor makes reference to some mysterious Goodman & Lee sides whose existence still remains in doubt: "music press reports at this time [late August 1941] claimed Benny recorded some sides with vocals by Peggy for World Transcriptions. Benny has no recollection of such a session, cannot imagine under what circumstances it would have occurred."

I have not come across any other mentions of such transcriptions. (Lee did record for the World transcription service, but she did so in the 1950s, by which time she was an established solo artist.) The aforementioned music press reports from 1941 may thus be erroneous. Misinterpretation could have stemmed from the fact that, between 1939 and 1941, Columbia Records occasionally made use of the World Broadcasting System's studio in New York. Perhaps The Benny Goodman Orchestra came into World not to do transcriptions per se, but to participate in some live radio broadcast, or even to record a studio date. (However, this page includes all the Goodman studio dates with Lee that are listed in the sources.)

Another possible source of confusion, though a less likely one: many studio recordings of the 1940s were re-pressed on transcription discs by the Armed Forces Radio Service. For instance, Goodman-and-Lee's Columbia recordings of "I See A Million People," "On The Sunny Side Of The Street," and "Why Don't You Do Right?" made appearances on AFRS transcription discs.

In conclusion, there is no factual evidence of 1941 World transcription recordings by Lee with Goodman. Still, the lack of evidence does not automatically discard the possibility that such recordings were made. (As for Goodman's incredulous reaction, his memory is known to have been faulty in other occasions.)

3. "I See A Million People"
This session's three unissued masters of "I See A Million People" were not kept in Columbia's vaults. For that reason, the official paperwork at Columbia does not list them. Discographer Russell Connor explains that they were found in the possession of audio engineer Bill Savory, who kept them as souvenirs of the date, after they were discarded. (Savory was not a regular member of Columbia's staff in Chicago. He became involved in the session at Goodman's request. According to Russell Connor, the bandleader felt "unhappy with the engineering in Columbia's Chicago studios.")

4. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session were the instrumentals "The Birth Of The Blues" (master #3951; a remake) and "Clarinet A La King" (master #3980).

5. Breakdowns
There are no extant breakdowns from this date.


Cross-references

1. "My Old Flame"
According to Peggy Lee, "My Old Flame" was the number -- or one of the numbers -- that she sang during her very first concert with The Benny Goodman Orchestra. That onstage appearance probably took place one or two days before her August 15 debut session. "My Old Flame" is, therefore, a very important song in Peggy Lee's canon. After she became a solo artist, Lee re-recorded it twice, once for Decca (on June 7, 1956) and once for Capitol (on February 28, 1969). It is the only composition that Lee recorded in each of the three main decades of her discographical career. (See also session dated October 2, 1941, which lists a Goodman-and-Lee remake of "My Old Flame.")


Discographical Clarifications

1. Secondary Masters
2. Takes #3982-"A" / #3982-"B"/ #3982-"C"
For an explanation of my use of the term "secondary master" in this and in some subsequent dates, see final note at the bottom of this page. See same note for an explanation of takes that have a letter designation ("A," "B," "C," etc.)


Date: September 25, 1941
Location: Liederkranz Hall, 115 East 58th Street, New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Skip Martin, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Cootie Williams (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Morty Stuhlmaker (b), Mel Powell (p), Jo Jones (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 31363-"A"   AlternateHow Deep Is The Ocean? - 3:20  (Irving Berlin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1015 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 8; 1936-1955   (1986)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: C2k 65686 — PEGGY LEE & BENNY GOODMAN: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, 1941-1947   (1999)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1271 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1941, VOLUME 3   (2002)
     zzz~ Acrobat CD: (England) Addcd 3047 — Where Or When   (2008)
b.CO 31363-"B"   AlternateHow Deep Is The Ocean?  (Irving Berlin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
c.CO 31363-2   AlternateHow Deep Is The Ocean? - 3:19  (Irving Berlin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7616 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume V; The Earl   (1980)
     COLUMBIA LP: Ck 40834 — [Benny Goodman] Clarinet Ala King ("Benny Goodman" Series, Volume II)   (1987)
d.CO 31363-1   AlternateHow Deep Is The Ocean? - 3:13  (Irving Berlin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1014 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 7; 1941-1942   (1985)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8822 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME II, 1 & 2   (1994)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1271 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1941, VOLUME 3   (2002)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 1004 — [Benny Goodman] title unknown   
e.CO 31366-1   AlternateThat's The Way It Goes - 3:05  (Alec Wilder, Sid Robin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
f.CO 31366-2   MasterThat's The Way It Goes - 3:09  (Alec Wilder, Sid Robin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA EP/LP: B 356 [7 1500-1502]/GL 523; reissues CL 523 & Jgl 523 [rel. 1975 by CBS] — [Benny Goodman] Benny Goodman Presents Eddie Sauter Arrangements    (1953)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark LP: (England) Hm 503 — We'll Meet Again [Reissue Of Columbia's Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman]   (1967)
g.CO 31367-1   AlternateLet's Do It - 2:00  (Cole Porter) / arr: Mel Powell
     unissued
h.CO 31367-2   "Secondary Master"Let's Do It - 2:01  (Cole Porter) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6474 — {Let's Do It [take 2 pressing]/ The Earl [instrumental]}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA's Epic LP: Ee 22025 [reissue: Columbia Sp Prods P 18711] — [Benny Goodman] Clarinet Ala King ("Encore" Series)   (1968)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)

On The Road: The Transitional Weeks

When this date took place, more than a month had elapsed since Peggy Lee's enrollment in The Benny Goodman Orchestra. The singer and the rest of the band had spent the intervening weeks traveling and performing across the nation. Lee's previous experiences with traveling bands had been on a smaller scale (in and around North Dakota's Valley City with the Doc Haines ensemble, back when she was 14 or 15; from Minneapolis to Missouri with The Will Osborne Orchestra, when she was 20). Still, those experiences probably eased her way into the more taxing travails of an itinerant life with a national band -- travails which included dizzying location changes every few days, irregular or limited sleep, and everyday difficulties brought about by non-familiarity with new accommodations.

Traveling must have also strengthened Lee's ties with fellow band members. During the previous month in Chicago, when her nerves had overtaken her, she had felt that the band's members were not speaking to her, but by the time of this session, she was well integrated into the band, and on friendly terms with her fellow musicians.

Widespread approval from concert fans would take months, however. Many concertgoers were still pining after the stylings of the orchestra's previous canary, the very popular and highly regarded Helen Forrest. But thanks to vocals waxed during these New York sessions, Peggy Lee would soon begin to earn fans from the radio-listening and record-buying public.


Peggy Lee's Early Successes: The New York Recording Sessions

For Lee, this particular session signified a fresh start in the recording studio. Unlike previous ones, this date was held in New York, not in Chicago. New arrangements, mostly by Mel Powell, were now being tailored for Lee's range. (At this point, her song assignments were probably a combination of fresh numbers thought to suit her and numbers that Eddie Sauter, in particular, had arranged with Helen Forrest in mind.) As for the rather nefarious presence of John Hammond in the studio, there is no indication that he actively produced or even attended the New York sessions.

Hammond's earlier protests notwithstanding, Goodman's hiring of Lee would soon prove a wise decision. For starters, one of her vocals from this very session proved popular among concert audiences (see below, under Songs). Then, at the date which follows this one, Lee recorded the first official chart hit of her career. Subsequent dates resulted in further hits, including a couple of big sellers.

A clear indication of Peggy Lee's ascent in Goodman's estimation happened when he asked her to participate in two of the bandleader's prestigious sextet sessions. Her vocals were granted a prominent role on both occasions, and Lee certainly took advantage of the opportunity. (See sessions dated December 24, 1941 and March 10, 1942.) Those sessions' ballads ("Where Or When," "The Way You Look Tonight") display a very personalized style of singing which harks back to the years before Lee had become a member of Goodman's big band orchestra. (As part of their integration to the orchestras from the time, Lee and most other singers had often had to subjugate their styles to the dance-oriented beat which audiences craved from the bands.)

On at least two New York recording dates, including this one, the singer was also allowed to offer input in the area of song selection. (For further details, see immediately below, under Songs. See also notes under session dated July 27, 1942.)

Judging from the aural results, Lee seems to have been in a self-assured and relaxed state of mind during this September session, and even more so during the ensuing dates. As previously mentioned, by this time Lee's footing as a band member was stronger than it had been during her earlier work with the band in Chicago. From here on, sessions would take place at a new facility, in a new city, without any known intrusion from John Hammond, and with a band to which Lee had become well integrated.

As for the specifics surrounding this initial New York recording session, none involving Lee are known, unfortunately. All the anecdotal details that have been passed down over the decades pertain to problems with the use of percussion during the date.


Location

None of my main sources identifies the exact location where Benny Goodman held his 1941 Chicago and New York sessions.

For the New York dates, Liederkranz Hall is a prime suspect. In various interviews, Lee and Goodman corroborate that they indeed recorded together in this hall, which was then located between Lexington Avenue and Park Avenue. However, such general comments from the artists offer no guarantee that each of the New York dates (16 in total) took place in the same building. Hence the present discography lists Liederkranz Hall only for those specific sessions that Goodman, Lee, or any other member of the personnel identified as having occurred there. (Columbia is known to have also had four recording studios at a penthouse facility located on 799 Seventh Avenue. The company would acquire yet another facility in the late 1940s, and would occasionally record in World Transcriptions' studio as well.)


Songs (And Cross-references)

1. "Let's Do It"
According to D. Russell Connor, "Let's Do It" was Peggy Lee's "first big hit" with The Benny Goodman Orchestra and "a must in her repertoire for years. He adds that "Peggy's sexy treatment of those clever lyrics was a looked-for highlight of Benny's dance and radio dates of wartime '40's." Russell Connor seems to be referring not to popularity in radio airplay but to audience demand during Goodman's concerts, which were sometimes broadcast on the radio. However, "Let's Do It" was most likely excised or left out from many of those broadcasts. (Despite his allusion to "Let's Do It" as a highlight at Goodman's radio dates, Russell Connor's bio-discography lists only one radio broadcast in which Lee is heard singing the number -- that is to say, just one broadcast among dozens listed. Ever since its original publication in 1928, the song's suggestive lyrics kept it out of the airwaves, and thereby away from a significant chunk of the record-buying public.)

At any rate, Russell Connor's comment suggests that "Let's Do It" was Lee's unofficial first hit.

Peggy Lee told radio broadcaster Fred Hall that the Cole Porter standard was among the numbers that she had sung during her pre-Goodman days at the Buttery Room of Chicago's Ambassador West Hotel. Hence "Let's Do It" may have been Lee's first active contribution (or suggestion) to the band's repertoire, and as such, an indication that she was gaining a footing amidst Goodman's ensemble. In her autobiography, the singer further clarified how she became acquainted with the tune. "Rather late at night after I sang," explained Lee, "I would go to Rush Street and hear Laura Ricker [sic; Rucker] and Baby Dodds [brother of Johnny Dodds] -- two of the truly old-time greats. Laura played the piano and sang, Baby sang and played the drums ...... she taught me how to sing songs like Let's Do It ... They both had quite an effect on me, and, without reservation, I loved them very much."

The Benny Goodman Orchestra re-recorded "Let's Do It" on October 21. That saucier-sounding version (not this one) is the Peggy Lee vocal that has become best-known through continued issuing, although this version also displays a fine reading of the lyrics. More generally, and in comparison with the August dates, both this and the October 21 date reveal a commendably looser (more tongue-in-cheek and adventuresome) approach on Lee's part.

2. "How Deep Is The Ocean?"
For comments about Lee's rendition(s) of this song, see notes under session dated October 8, 1941.


Masters And Cross-references

1. Non-Lee Masters
2. Non-Lee Vocals: Tommy Taylor
Also recorded during this session were "The Earl" (master #31364; an instrumental) and " 'Tis Autumn," which features a vocal by Tommy Taylor (master #3136).

3. Sequence Of Masters And Takes
During this session, the band actually recorded numerous takes of both "The Earl" and "How Deep Is The Ocean?". Word of mouth suggests that Goodman was dissatisfied with the session's drummer, who was not Sid Cattlett, the band's regular drummer at the time (Sid Cattlett) but Jo Jones. As extant, the recording sequence begins with two completed takes of "How Deep Is The Ocean?," which are followed by various takes of "The Earl," some complete, some aborted. More takes of the two songs ensue, but without drums. When queried decades later, a hesitant Goodman simply offered that the sometimes problematic acoustics at Liederkranz Hall had probably led him and his engineer to get rid of the drums. He did not think that there were any difficulties with personnel -- other queried witnesses suggest otherwise -- or at least he had no recollection of any.

4. "How Deep Is The Ocean?" (Takes' Order And Availability)
Before the CD era, Columbia does not seem to have released any of this session's takes of "How Deep Is The Ocean?". For the take that Columbia did originally issue on 78, see remake session dated October 8, 1941.

The first two takes of "How Deep Is The Ocean?" shown above (named A and B) differ from the last two (numbered 1 and 2) in instrumentation. Drums are present in A and B, absent in 1 and 2.

Furthermore, Columbia's database lists only the two takes of "How Deep Is The Ocean?" that are herein identified as take #1 and take #2. The other two takes of "How Deep Is The Ocean?" were belatedly found -- presumably in the possession of Goodman or one of the other main participants. These four takes are herein listed in the order in which they were performed.

5. Breakdowns
Two "How Deep Is The Ocean?" breakdowns are extant, both from the drumless segment of the date. Also extant are three consecutive "Let's Do It" breakdowns, following the first completed take. There are no extant "That's The Way It Goes" breakdowns.


Personnel

1. Jo Jones
Jo Jones present on takes A and B of "How Deep Is The Ocean?" only. Jones out on all other above-listed takes and masters.


Arrangements And Cross-references

1. "Let's Do It"
"Let's Do It" began as a head arrangement, later polished by Mel Powell. See also notes under session dated October 21, 1941.


Issues, Alternate Takes And Cross-references

1. "Let's Do It" And Okeh #6474 [78]
The single that pairs "Let's Do It" and the instrumental "The Earl" was originally issued not on Columbia but on its budget subsidiary Okeh. Discographer Russell Connor deems Columbia's decision "a strategical move to counter RCA's low-priced Bluebird releases." It was the first of what would be various Goodman singles in the Okeh series.

Okeh #6474 has a couple of peculiarities. For starters, not all of this 78's pressings feature the same take of "Let's Do It." One pressing contains take #2, another take #4. The pressing that contains take #2 was apparently withdrawn and replaced with the other pressing. The presumed motivation for the withdrawal is the lack of an audible drummer in that take. Goodman and/or Columbia might have objected to the company's initial issuing of the drumless take.

Notice also that, although Columbia's cataloguing system identifies those two performances of "Let's Do It" as takes from the same matrix (31367), in reality they were not recorded during the same session, but at different dates. See one of the pressings, probably #4, here.

For other peculiarities pertaining to "Let's Do It" and to Okeh #6474, and for additional takes of "Let's Do It," see session dated October 21, 1941, including note entitled "Let's Do It": Comparison Of Takes.

2. "Let's Do It" And Elmer's Tune [LP]
In a 1996 update to his 1988 Benny Goodman bio-discography, D. Russell Connor tried to correct an error that he had allegedly made in an earlier edition of the text. In the 1988 edition, he had supposedly misidentified the take of "Let's Do It" which is included in the LP Elmer's Tune as #2, when it was #4 instead. My inspection of the actual LP reveals that Connor was paradoxically wrong in thinking that he was wrong: the LP in fact contains both takes of the song (#2 and #4). I have thus disregarded Russell Connor's self-correction. (For take #4, see session dated on October 21, 1941.)

3. "Let's Do It" And Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
Columbia Legacy's 1999 CD set includes two takes of "Let's Do It," the one recorded during this date (#2) and another one (#4), recorded on October 21. The CD's discographical annotator has made a transpositional error in the identification of those two takes:

Track #8 (in the first of the set's two CDs) is misidentified by the annotator as take #4 from October 21. It is actually take #2 from this September 25 date .

Track #19 (also in the first of the two CDs) is misidentified by the annotator as take #2 from September 25. It is actually take #4 from October 21.

My thanks to the ever-vigilant Bill "Mr. Alternate Take" Brooks for noticing and pointing out the annotator's error to me.

4. "How Deep Is The Ocean?" And Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
Columbia Legacy's 2CD set Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings also contains two takes of the song "How Deep Is The Ocean?". One take is from October 8. The other take (track #18, first CD) is from this date. According to the CD's annotator, track #18 is take #1. Record collector Bill Brooks has a dissenting opinion on this matter. He convincingly argues that the take in question is not #1 but a take which herein I have listed as "A" and which was originally issued on LP Blu-Disc 1015. The lead or key detail is the presence or absence of drums in the take: Take #1 is known to be drumless, yet drums can be heard in the CD's track #18. Of the other three extant take, #2 is drumless as well. Therefore, track #18 is likelier to be one of the session's two other takes, both of which featured drums, and which herein I have indentified as "A" and "B." (Faced with the need to make a decision between "A" and "B," I have followed Brooks' lead. Because I have not been able to listen to that LP, I cannot fully corroborate or deny Bill's claim, but I am endorsing it.)

For yet another error in his set, pertaining to the other take of "How Deep Is The Ocean?," see notes about issues under session dated October 8, 1941.

5. "Let's Do It" And Public Domain Issues
Most Public Domain issues contain not this session's take of "Let's Do It" (#2) but the master take of the same song (#4) which was recorded later, on October 21, 1941. Readers must bear in mind, however, that I have not been able to listen to every single Goodman/Lee Public Domain issue. In some instances, I have simply made the tentative assumption that the included take is #4, not #2. Corrections from those who own any of the PD issues would be appreciated.

In passing, it is worth noting that the once uncommonly found take #2 is now more easily available to bootleggers and Public Domain companies, due to its inclusion in the two above-bolded, widely distributed CD issues from the 1990s. Case in point: Acrobat's Where Or When, which showed no compunction in grabbing the entire contents of the Columbia Legacy CD set, alternate takes included.


Date: October 2, 1941
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Skip Martin, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Cootie Williams (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Morty Stuhlmaker (b), Mel Powell (p), Sid Catlett (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 31391-1   MasterI Got It Bad And That Ain't Good - 3:14  (Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36421 — {I Got It Bad / Pound Ridge [instrumental]}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP: Hl 7148 — [Various Artists] The Girl Friends   (1958)
COLUMBIA's Epic LP: Ee 22025 [reissue: Columbia Sp Prods P 18711] — [Benny Goodman] Clarinet Ala King ("Encore" Series)   (1968)
b.CO 31392-"A"   AlternateMy Old Flame  (Sam Coslow, Arthur Johnston) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1014 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 7; 1941-1942   (1985)
c.CO 31392-1   MasterMy Old Flame - 3:08  (Sam Coslow, Arthur Johnston) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36754 — {My Old Flame/How Deep Is The Ocean?}   (1945)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark LP: (England) Hm 503 — We'll Meet Again [Reissue Of Columbia's Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman]   (1967)

Songs

1. Peggy Lee's Billboard Hits
Peggy Lee's string of 70 Billboard entries began with a Columbia master from this 1941 session. The string lasted 33 years, ending with the 1974 Atlantic master "Let's Love."

2. "I Got It Bad" In The Music Charts
According to Joel Whitburn's estimates in his book Pop Memories, 1890-1954, Peggy Lee's first Billboard hit appeared in the charts during the week of November 15, 1941 and peaked at #25. (Duke Ellington's own version of "I Got It Bad," with a vocal by his canary Ivie Anderson, had entered the charts a month earlier. It is estimated to have peaked at #13.)

"I Got It Bad" was also the first of Lee's 10 chart hits as vocalist with The Benny Goodman Orchestra. During her stay with the band, vocals actually accounted for the bulk of chart hits by the orchestra. (Besides Lee's entries, there were also a couple of charting numbers sung by Dick Haymes, who was the orchestra's male singer for a few weeks.) The orchestra had only two instrumental hits within the period in question.

(Nota bene: In making the previous commentary about the ratio of vocal to instrumental hits, my chief intention has been to show that Lee contributed to the band's success during the early 1940s. My commentary should not be misconstrued as an indication that Lee or any other Goodman vocalist deserves primary credit for the band's overall success. Before Lee and Haymes joined the band, Goodman had had well over a hundred radio hits -- just as many instrumentals as vocals by his previous singers. The bandleader would go on to have about thirty more hits after Haymes and Lee left his orchestra.)


Masters

1. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session were the instrumentals "Caprice XXIV Paganini" (master #31390), "Clarinet A La King" (master #31393) and "I'm Here" (master #31402).

2. Breakdowns
Two consecutive "My Old Flame" breakdowns have been preserved. There are no extant "I Got It Bad" breakdowns.


Issues

1. "My Old Flame" And Columbia Co #36754 [78]
As noted by Russell Connor, original 78 #36754 omits credit to Peggy Lee for her "My Old Flame" vocal.


Collectors' Corner

1. Vocalists ("70 Oz." Series) [CD]
I have generally listed various-artists compilations in a separate discographical page, but have made exceptions for a few compilations that might be of interest to collectors. The 1995 CD Vocalists ("70 Oz." Series) is a Sony-licensed product which includes Lee's version of "I Got It Bad." On its front cover, this release features a drawing of a brass section and a female, singing into a microphone. Though the woman is unidentified, her face is clearly Peggy Lee's (minus mole, and with a neo-swing attire which is unlike anything that Lee was ever known to wear, however).


Cross-references

1. "My Old Flame"
For an earlier version of "My Old Flame," see master #3981 in session dated August 20, 1941 .


Date: October 8, 1941
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Skip Martin, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Cootie Williams (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Sid Catlett (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 31363-3   MasterHow Deep Is The Ocean? - 3:04  (Irving Berlin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36754 — {My Old Flame/How Deep Is The Ocean?}   (1945)
     COLUMBIA's Epic LP: Ee 22025 [reissue: Columbia Sp Prods P 18711] — [Benny Goodman] Clarinet Ala King ("Encore" Series)   (1968)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
b.CO 31426-"A"   AlternateShady Lady Bird  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
c.CO 31426-"B"   AlternateShady Lady Bird  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
d.CO 31426-"C"   AlternateShady Lady Bird  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
e.CO 31426-1   AlternateShady Lady Bird - 2:45  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36429 (small-type? pressing) — {Shady Lady Bird / Buckle Down Winsocki [vocal by Tommy Dix & Chorus]}   (1941)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1271 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1941, VOLUME 3   (2002)

Songs

1. "How Deep Is The Ocean?"
Critical Praise. In the book The Swing Era, Eddie Sauter's arrangements of How Deep Is The Ocean? and My Old Flame are singled out for praise. Author Gunther Schuller also writes approvingly of Peggy Lee's interpretative talents. In How Deep Is The Ocean?, he hears a suitably "unemotional, virtually passive" voice that "drifts across the song like a slow-moving distant cloud in the sky." (According to a commentator on the net, the virtues of Lee's low-key vocal have also been extolled through the simile "as still as a full moon gliding silently across a cloudless sky.") Peggy Lee herself would have been pleased by this correlation of her work with pictorial poetry.

Lyric Order. As noted by Richard Sudhalter in his essay for the Columbia Legacy CD Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee, the singer reverses the first four-bar lines of "How Deep Is The Ocean?". Instead of

How much do I love you?
I'll tell you no lie
How deep is the ocean?
How high is the sky?

the lines are sung as follows:

How deep is the ocean?
How high is the sky?
How much do I love you?
I'll tell you no lie

Since the same pattern is present in all takes that I've heard, the reversal seems to have been intentional. If so, perhaps this reversal was requested by the bandleader or by the session's producer. (On the web, I have read comments from listeners who assert that Goodman demanded the alteration. The presumable motivation for the change would have been a desire to start the vocal with its title. The same listeners also claim that Lee originally sang the song in the correct order, after which Goodman requested the reversal. That's certainly a logical scenario, and therefore it could have happened. Nevertheless, the reliable sources at my reach offer no confirmation, nor are there, as already mentioned, any extant takes which feature the official line order.)

2. "How Deep Is The Ocean?" In The Charts
Curiously, "How Deep Is The Ocean?" remained unissued for four years. Columbia's decision to finally release it in 1945 might have had something to do with the inclusion of this song in the film Blue Skies, which premiered in 1946. As a result of the film's high profile, the record companies issued competing singles by artists such as Margaret Whiting (Capitol) and Dick Haymes (Decca). Columbia might have also wanted to reap benefits from Peggy Lee's then-incipient success as a solo artist at Capitol.

According to Joel Whitburn's estimates in his book Pop Memories, 1890-1954, the Goodman-Lee version of "How Deep Is The Ocean?" appeared in the charts during the week of October 6, 1945 and peaked at #19. It belatedly became Lee's 10th charting success as Goodman's canary. (Margaret Whiting's Capitol version is not listed as charting in Whitburn's book, but, according to Edward Foote Gardner's Popular Songs Of The Twentieth Century: A Charted History, it also received airplay, making a smaller dent in the charts.)


Masters

1. A Session Of 'Makes' And Remakes
This was one of three consecutive sessions which Goodman partially or completely dedicated to remaking previously recorded songs. (Peggy Lee did not participate in the third one, dated October 23.)

"How Deep Is The Ocean?" had been first recorded during the orchestra's September 25 session. Columbia had assigned the numbers 1 and 2 to a couple of completed takes from that earlier date. At the present October 8 session, "How Deep Is The Ocean?" was re-recorded. The resulting performance received the same master number that had been previously used (31363), with a 3 suitably added to identify the new take.

Two other songs from this October 8 date would be remade in Goodman's next session, dated October 21: the above-listed "Shady Lady Bird" and also "Buckle Down, Winsocki," which does not feature Lee.

2. "Shady Lady Bird"
Only the master take of "Shady Lady Bird" (#1) is listed in Columbia's master logs. Three other takes, herein labeled them A, B and C, were belatedly found.

3. Non-Lee Masters
4. Non-Lee Vocals (Tommy Taylor)
Also recorded during this date were the instrumentals "Roll 'Em, Part 1" and "Roll 'Em, Part 2," to which Columbia did not assign a master number. A fifth recording from this session was "Buckle Down, Winsocki" (master #31427), whose vocal was sung by the orchestra's then-new, recently hired male vocalist, named Tommy Taylor, and which also featured a backing vocal by the musicians, singing in chorus. (During the ensuing October 21 session, this particular song was tried again, but it was assigned to other vocalists. Taylor's membership with The Benny Goodman Orchestra seems to have lasted a couple of weeks, at most.)

5. Breakdowns
Among the various aborted attempts from this date that are extant, one occurred during the recording of "How Deep Is The Ocean?" and three during the recording of "Shady Lady Bird." All other extant breakdowns happened during the recording of the session's instrumentals.


Dating

1. "Shady Lady Bird"
In addition to the four takes listed under this date, four more takes of "Shady Lady Bird" can be found in the next session (October 21). The dating of these eight takes is problematic. Columbia's database places those it lists in this session only. (Not all eight takes are listed by Columbia). Nevertheless, discographer D. Russell Connor does not believe that all extant take come from a single date. Because he inspected not only the Columbia's 16" safeties but also the reference tapes originally in Goodman's possession, I am trusting his judgment on this matter. His proposed distribution is thus the one that I have followed herein -- and through most of this page.


Issues And Collectors' Corner

1. "Shady Lady Bird" And The Different Pressings Of Columbia Co #36429 [78]
The issue Columbia #36429 exists in two different pressings. One pressing contains take #1 from this session. The other pressing features take #3 from the next session (October 21, 1941). The two pressings can be told apart by inspecting the typeface used on the song's title: in one case, it is the standard size for Columbia's typeface; in the other case, it is a smaller typeface.

There is some discrepancy as to which typeface accompanies which take. According to Russell Connor, take #1 shows the small typeface. However, music collector Mark Takasugi tells me that his copy of the 78, in small typeface, contains take #3, as "evidenced by the 3- imprinted in the dead wax directly across from the matrix number." Since I have not been able to inspect and listen to copies of this 78, I can offer no definite explanation for this discrepancy; I am wondering if the wax of the small typeface 78s wrongly identify the take as #3 -- and if close listening would reveal it to be take #1.

Through a secondary source, Mark also learned that, according to Benny Goodman expert Dave Jessup, take #3 was issued first, whereas take #1 was a later, erroneous (and perhaps regional) release.

2. "How Deep Is The Ocean?" And Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
Columbia Legacy's 2CD set Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings contains two takes of the song "How Deep Is The Ocean?". One take is from September 25. The other take (track #6, first CD) is from this date (October 8). The CD's annotator states that it was "[o]riginally released in 1941." That statement is incorrect: as shown above, "How Deep Is The Ocean?" was first released in 1945. (The alternates were of course released even later.)


Personnel

1. Cootie Williams
In Columbia's logs, this session from early October is the last one to include trumpet player Cootie Williams amidst its personnel. According to discographer Russell Connor, the trumpet player actually stayed with the band for the whole month, until October 31, when his one-year contract expired, but he does not appear to have come into the studio. Connor adds that Williams is present in extant broadcasts from later in October.


Date: October 21, 1941
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Clint Neagley, Jules "Julie" Schwartz (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.31367-"A"   AlternateLet's Do It  (Cole Porter) / arr: Mel Powell
     unissued
b.31367-"B"   AlternateLet's Do It  (Cole Porter) / arr: Mel Powell
     unissued
c.CO 31367-3   AlternateLet's Do It - 2:00  (Cole Porter) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
     yyy~ Veronica LP: (Sweden) Ve lp 1 — [Benny Goodman] title unknown   
d.CO 31367-4   MasterLet's Do It - 2:16  (Cole Porter) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6474 — {Let's Do It [take 4 pressing] / The Earl [instrumental]}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
COLUMBIA (10") LP: Col Cl 2534 — [Various Artists] The Hot Canaries ("House Party" Series)   (1955)
e.CO 31426-"D"   AlternateShady Lady Bird  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
f.CO 31426-"E"   AlternateShady Lady Bird  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
g.CO 31426-3   MasterShady Lady Bird - 2:45  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36429 (large-type? pressing) — {Shady Lady Bird / Buckle Down Winsocki [vocal by Tommy Dix & Chorus]}    (1941)
     COLUMBIA's Epic LP: Ee 22025 [reissue: Columbia Sp Prods P 18711] — [Benny Goodman] Clarinet Ala King ("Encore" Series)   (1968)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
h.CO 31426-2   AlternateShady Lady Bird - 2:40  (Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: Ck 53422 — BENNY GOODMAN, FEATURING PEGGY LEE ("Best Of Big Bands" Series)    (1993)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)

At The Recording Session. Masters, Dating And Cross-references.

1. A Session Of Remakes
This was a session entirely dedicated to remakes: "Shady Lady Bird," "Buckle Down Winsocki" (both previously recorded on October 8, 1941) and "Let's Do It" (first recorded on September 25, 1941). As Goodman bio-discographer D. Russell Connor states, "Benny had trouble getting these two tunes [Shady Lady Bird and Buckle Down Winsocki] from the musical Best Foot Forward onto wax satisfactorily. Each tune was recorded a total of eight times, spread over three studio dates. Shady Lady Bird, a simple-enough score probably by Mel Powell, seemed jinxed; the band would ride through it without mistake almost to the coda, then someone would hit a clinker. Finally the band got it right; Peggy's vocal is split by a Goodman-Powell interlude, Vido Musso solos against a brass background, and the result is a happy blend of piquant lyrics and lighthearted melody." [n.b.: Russell Connor alludes to three recording dates because when he wrote the above-quoted note -- in the late 1960s -- he indeed believed that those two songs had been recorded over a trio of October, 1941 sessions. But there was no known date for a few alternate takes, kept by Goodman in reference tapes, and not extant in Columbia's vaults. Later research (and also the "discovery of Columbia 6" safeties in private hands in 1984") led Connor to make corrections which included the assignation of those previously undated takes to two just dates, instead of three.]

2. "Let's Do It": Comparison Of Takes
Peggy Lee sings this session's takes of "Let's Do It" in a saucy manner, particularly where the title line is concerned. The other issued take from this session (#3) finds Lee in an even more humorous mood, especially toward the end of the song. In the earlier takes (September 25), she generally sings the title line in a manner that comes across as more emphatic than saucy.

3. Non-Lee Masters
4. Non-Lee Vocals: Tommy Dix And Benny Goodman
The only non-Lee master recorded during this session was "Buckle Down Winsocki." Initial takes of "Buckle Down Winsocki" featured vocals by Tommy Dix; later takes had Benny Goodman himself on vocals. [The earlier versions from October 8 used yet another vocalist, Tommy Taylor.] Also singing in all takes, as a chorus: the musicians. Explains D. Russell Connor: "The difficulty with Buckle Down Winsocki wasn't orchestral, it was vocal. Before he got a take he liked, Benny tried three vocalists: Tommy Taylor, Tommy Dix, and ... Benny Goodman! One effort by Taylor was released on V-Disc; one by Dix was issued by Columbia; but th[e] take with Benny singing was unissued until [1968]."

5. Breakdowns
During the recording of "Let's Do It," there were three aborted attempts. They took place right after the second completed take. There are no other extant breakdowns from this date.

6. Dating [Co #31426-2, Co #31426-3]
In Columbia's database, takes #2 and #3 of "Shady Lady Bird" are listed under the earlier, October 8 session, but in this sessionography, I have followed the lead of Goodman's discographer D. Russell Connor, who re-assigned those takes to this date. Russell Connor's alteration was based on his listening of the session tapes. (He also re-assigned various takes of "Buckle Down Winsocki" to this session.)


Arrangements

1. "Let's Do It"
"Let's Do It" began as a head arrangement which was apparently polished by Mel Powell. In Peggy Lee's own words, this was a tune with which "we fooled around ... quite a bit. I guess you'd have to say Mel Powell was responsible for the arrangement as it was finally recorded." Benny Goodman's comments, as quoted by D. Russell Connor, echo Lee's take on the matter: "we first started fooling around with this cute little tune of Cole Porter's [while playing in New Jersey's Meadowbrook club]. We changed it a couple of times, and I guess you'd have to credit Mel with the finished arrangement."

2. "Shady Lady Bird"
3. Stylistics: Mel Powell Versus Eddie Sauter
Goodman bio-discographer Russell Connor does not seem to have known who the arranger of "Shady Lady Bird" was. In his book, he identifies the arrangers of this session's two other songs -- Mel Powell for "Let's Do It," Cliff Jenkins for "Buckle Down Winsocki" -- but remains mum about "Shady Lady Bird."

However, in his aforementioned notes for the Epic LP Clarinet Ala King, Russell Connor does venture an educated guess. He writes, in passing, that the arrangement was "probably by Mel Powell." Writer and musician Richard M. Sudhalter shares the same opinion in his liner notes for Columbia Legacy CD #53422 (Peggy Lee And Benny Goodman).

One basis for the tentative assignation of ditties such as "Shady Lady Bird" to Powell is that his writing is, in Sudhalter's words, "generally clear and direct, without as much musical incident as [Eddie] Sauter's, and therefore flows better rhythmically."

In short, the identification of Mel Powell as the arranger of "Shady Lady Bird" is tentative.


Issues

1. "Let's Do It" And Okeh #6474 [78]
A peculiarity of this 78 is its existence in two versions. One version contains take #2 of "Let's Do It," the other take #4. The pressing that contains the rarer take (take #2, I believe, from the session dated September 25, 1941) is deemed a valuable collectible.

2. "Shady Lady Bird" And Columbia Co #36429 [78]
This 78 also exists in two pressings that contain different takes of "Shady Lady Bird." See notes under session dated October 8, 1941.

3. "Shady Lady Bird" And Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee [CD]
Columbia Legacy's 1993 CD incorrectly identifies its take of "Shady Lady Bird" as #3. According to D. Russell Connor, the disc contains take #2 instead.

4. "Shady Lady Bird" And Peggy Lee And Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
In Columbia Legacy's 1999 CD set, the master take of "Shady Lady Bird" is inaccurately dated October 8, 1941. The correct date is October 21. (This error is attributable to the original source. Columbia's old logs do list all takes of "Shady Lady Bird" under Goodman's October 8 session. But bio-discographer D. Russell Connor actually listened to the original session tapes, and found out that the takes are split between two consecutive sessions. Herein I have followed the corrected dating that the discographer established.)

5. "Let's Do It" And Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
Columbia Legacy's 1999 2CD set includes two takes of "Let's Do It," one recorded on September 25, 1941 (#2) and another (#4) recorded at this date. The CD's discographical annotator has made a transpositional error in the identification of those two takes:

Track #8 in the first CD is misidentified by the annotator as take #4 from October 21. It is actually take #2 from September 25.

Track #19, also in the first CD, is misidentified by the annotator as take #2 from September 25. It is actually this date's take #4.

My thanks to Bill Brooks for pointing out the annotator's error.


Date: November 13, 1941
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Clint Neagley, Jules "Julie" Schwartz (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Billy Butterfield, Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 31741-2   AlternateSomebody Else Is Taking My Place - 3:09  (Bob Ellsworth, Dick Howard, Russ Morgan) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA (10") LP: Cl 6048 — [Benny Goodman] Benny Goodman, Volume 1 ("Dance Parade" Series)   (1949)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
b.CO 31741-1   MasterSomebody Else Is Taking My Place - 3:09  (Bob Ellsworth, Dick Howard, Russ Morgan) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6497 — {Somebody Else Is Taking My Place / That Did It, Marie}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA 78 album: C 122 (37243-37246) — [Benny Goodman] Benny's Best   (1947)
COLUMBIA 78: Co 38198 — {Why Don't You Do Right? / Somebody Else Is Taking My Place}   (1948)
c.CO 31742-"A"   AlternateSomebody Nobody Loves  (Seymour Miller) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia 45: (Sweden) Phon Mlp 80 — {Somebody Nobody Loves / [unknown second title]}   
d.CO 31742-1   MasterSomebody Nobody Loves - 3:20  (Seymour Miller) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6562 — {Somebody Nobody Loves / Let's Give Love A Chance [vocal by Art London]}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
e.CO 31742-2   AlternateSomebody Nobody Loves - 3:30  (Seymour Miller) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
f.CO 31743-"A"   AlternateHow Long Has This Been Going On? - 3:15  (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) / arr: Mel Powell
     unissued
g.CO 31743-2   MasterHow Long Has This Been Going On? - 3:16  (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6544 — {How Long Has This Been Going On? / Clarinet Ala King [instrumental]}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: Ck 53422 — BENNY GOODMAN, FEATURING PEGGY LEE ("Best Of Big Bands" Series)    (1993)
zzz~ [Pearl] Flapper Pavilion CD: (England) Past cd 7801 — In The Beginning ... The Legend Of Peggy Lee   (1996)
h.CO 31743-1   "Secondary Master"How Long Has This Been Going On? - 3:21  (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA (10") LP: Cl 6100 — [Benny Goodman] Benny Goodman, Volume 2 ("Dance Parade" Series)   (1950)
     COLUMBIA EP: (England) Seg 7556 — [Benny Goodman] Benny Goodman Plays   (1955)
COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
i.CO 31744-bkdn   IncompleteThat Did It, Marie - 1:06  (Irene Higginbotham, Fred Meadows) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
j.CO 31744-"A"   AlternateThat Did It, Marie - 3:19  (Irene Higginbotham, Fred Meadows) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
k.CO 31744-1   MasterThat Did It, Marie - 2:29  (Irene Higginbotham, Fred Meadows) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6497 — {Somebody Else Is Taking My Place / That Did It, Marie}   (1941)
     COLUMBIA 78 album: C 122 (37243-37246) — [Benny Goodman] Benny's Best   (1947)
COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)

At The Recording Session

This was the first Benny Goodman date entirely dedicated to vocals by Peggy Lee. Goodman's decision to feature only Lee was a wise one: the session generated a number one hit -- Lee's first.

Judging from the dialogue that has been preserved in the session tapes, the date was a fun one, too. We hear Goodman accusing Lee of a mistake that, as it turns out, she had not made. The "non-mistake" occurred toward the session's end, while That Did It, Marie was being recorded. Reports D. Russell Connor: "Benny, evidently at a different microphone and watching the band, believes that Peggy has missed her entrance cue; he terminates the recording by exclaiming, in meter, 'Where the hell's the vocalist?' But Peggy is on time, and Benny realizes he's wrong; he says he's sorry, but asks, 'Why didn't you tell me about it?' The session proceeds [...]; as if to compensate, Benny digs hard. Peggy then saucily adds a bop phrase -- a a diddle la dip, When all the cats gave out their jive -- not on the original [...], seemingly in retaliation for the boss' blunder. Fun and games in the studio ..."


Songs

1. "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" In The Music Charts
According to Joel Whitburn's estimates in his book Pop Memories, 1890-1954, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" topped the Billboard charts for three consecutive weeks. Released by Columbia on its budget imprint Okeh, the smash hit entered the charts during the week of March 7, 1942. It stayed for a total of 15 weeks.

Competition came from Russ Morgan and His Morganaires, whose Decca version peaked at #5. Edward Foote Gardner's Popular Songs Of The Twentieth Century: A Charted History lists two other versions which received airplay, and which might have showed up in some (unspecified) charts. One is by The Bob Chester Orchestra, the other by Vaughn Monroe.

"Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" was the fourth Peggy Lee vocal to make a dent in Billboard's charts. The first one had been "I Got It Bad," from the a session dated October 2, 1941. The second and third hit vocals were actually recorded after "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" but released before. (See below, under sessions dated November 27 and December 24, 1941.)

Long after its 15 aforementioned weeks in the charts, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" managed the feat of re-entering them. Newly pressed and re-released on Columbia single #38198, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" made its return during the week of June 19, 1948. On this second round, it peaked at #30 (according, once again, to Whitburn's estimates). One of the factors that probably triggered Columbia to re-release these performances was the success that Capitol had had, a few months earlier, with the Goodman-Lee track "For Every Man There's A Woman" (Capitol #15030, recorded on December 2, 1947).

"Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" thus holds the distinction of being not only Lee and Goodman's only #1 hit collaboration but also their #11 and final chart entry together.


2. "Somebody Nobody Loves"
3. The Singles Collection [CD]
The CD set The Singles Collection is a definitive retrospective of Lee's career. From her Goodman years, three tracks were picked. Although many would have considered the #1 ballad "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" a more logical choice, the producers chose to include instead the uptempo "Somebody Nobody Loves". Someone who would have approved of that decision is Goodman's bio-discographer D. Russell Connor, who once wrote the following about Lee's rendition: "[Somebody Nobody Loves is] her kind of tune, there's a perky lilt in her voice, and I consider it one of her better, if little remarked efforts."


Masters

1. Slightly Different Readings Of "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place"
The two preserved takes of "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" evince some minor but clear differences which should help collectors in the task of locating them. For the master take, Lee sings the fifth and six lines of the lyrics in their correct, official order ("Little you know the price that I paid / Little you care for vows that you made"). In the alternate take, she reverses those two lines ("Little you care for vows that you've made / Little you know the price that I've paid"). The fact that the tense was altered in the alternate take suggests that this reversal was thought out and, thus, intentional.

2. The Correct Takes Of "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
Two takes of "How Long Has This Been Going On?" were officially issued during the pre-CD era. Take #2 was the original release; it first came out in 1941, on 78. Take #1 was released as part of the Benny Goodman 10" LP Dance Parade, Volume 2, in 1950. Ever since, Columbia has regularly picked take #1 for issue in not only its main label but also its subsidiaries and licensees (Harmony, Hallmark, etc.). One exception is the 1993 CD Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee, in which the original master take was used.

A trait that distinguishes one take from the other is Lee's periodic use of a tremulous vibrato in take #2. For instance, only on take #2 does Lee apply vibrato to the "I" of the lines "Where have I / Been all these years?," which are heard around 36 seconds into the performance.

The fact that both of these takes were issued before the compact disc era complicates the task of determining their distribution. Posing the most difficulty are the many Public Domain CDs which do not supply discographical information. Here is a list of PD CDs whose take of "How Long Has This Been Going On?" I have been able to identify:


Flapper CD: In The Beginning ... [take #2; i.e., originally released master]
Gallerie CD: A Portrait Of Peggy Lee [take #2; i.e., originally released master]
Going-For-A-Song CD: The Fever Of Peggy Lee [take #2; i.e., originally released master]
Great Voices Of The Century CD: Oh La La Lee [take #2; i.e., originally released master]
History CD: Everything I Love [take #2; i.e., originally released master]
Music Club CD: Black Coffee; The Best Of Peggy Lee [take #2; i.e., originally released master]


ASV CD: It's A Good Day [take #1, aka "secondary master"]
ASV CD: Why Don't You So Right [take #1, aka "secondary master"]
Pickwick/Hallmark CD: Why Don't You So Right [take #1, aka "secondary master"]
Planet CD: Let There Be Love [take #1, aka "secondary master"]
Snapper CD: Linger [take #1, aka "secondary master"]
Tim/Document CD: A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues [take #1, aka "secondary master"]

Acrobat CD: Where Or When [probably take #1, aka "secondary master"]

In the case of all other Public Domain CDs that contain Lee's Columbia performance of "How Long Has This Been Going On?," I have not listened to them, and I do not know which take they contain. Until I'm able to locate copies and give them a listen, I am forced to arbitrarily "dump" all of those PD CDs under one of the two takes. Take #1 is my choice.

3. Non-Lee Masters
Only numbers with vocals by Peggy Lee were recorded during this session.

4. Breakdowns
There are four extant breakdowns from this date. Two happened during the recording of "Somebody Nobody Loves," one during "How Long Has This Been Going On?," and another during "That Did It, Marie."


Arrangements

1. "That Did It, Marie"
Columbia's database credits Eddie Sauter with the arrangement of "That Did It, Marie." After listening to the session tapes, discographer Russell Connor determined that the credit was erroneous. Dialogue heard in the session's aborted takes proves that the arranger was Mel Powell. Further corroboration comes from the arrangement itself, currently kept in the New York Public Library, as part of the Benny Goodman Collection of Musical Arrangements: it identifies Powell as its author.

2. "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place"
In his Benny Goodman bio-discography, D. Russell Connor lists no arranger for this number. Mel Powell "probably did the arrangement," writes music historian Richard Sudhalter in his notes for the Columbia Legacy CD Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee. Although I have trusted the late Mr. Sudhalter's proven expertise, more exacting readers are advised to consider the credit tentative.


Issues

1. "Somebody Nobody Loves,", "Somebody Loves Me" And Benny Goodman And Peggy Lee [78 Album]

Consisting of four 78s, the album Benny Goodman And Peggy Lee exists in two versions, a70 and C-170. Each version sports a different cover but otherwise they are alike, and have the exact same eight recordings. There is, however, an error in the cover of set a70: instead of "Somebody Nobody Loves," a70 lists "Somebody Loves Me," which is not a song that Lee recorded during her years with Benny Goodman. The cover of C-170 correctly lists the track as "Somebody Nobody Loves."

2. Columbia Co #38280, Co #38281, Co #38282, Co #38283 [78s]
Listed as 78 singles in some sources, these four issues are actually pieces of the 78 album Benny Goodman And Peggy Lee. They were originally released only as part of that album, not separately.

3. Benny's Best [78 Album]
I have not been able to locate the catalogue number of this 78 album. I would appreciate hearing from any reader who owns a copy, or who can tell me the album's number. It consists of four 78s: #37243 ("Let's Dance" / "Why Don't You Do Right?"), #37244 ("Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" / "That Did It, Marie"), #37245 ("Jersey Bounce" / "A String Of Pearls") and #37246 ("Scatterbrain" / "On The Sunny Side Of The Street").

4. "That Did It, Marie" And Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [LP]
As duly noted by D. Russell Connor in his Goodman bio-discography, the first chorus of "That Did It, Marie" is missing from this Harmony issue, and thus also from its derivates.

5. "How Long Has This Been Going On?" And Peggy Lee And Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings [CD]
6. "How Long Has This Been Going On?" And The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI [LP]
7. "How Long Has This Been Going On?" And The Different Version, Volume III, 1&2 [CD]
There is an error in the track listing of the Columbia Legacy set Peggy Lee And Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings. The set's version of "How Long Has This Been Going On?" is identified as take #2 but aural inspection reveals that the CD contains take #1 instead. My thanks to Bill Brooks, whose notes about different takes alerted me to this error. (n.b.: As already explained above, the take originally released on 78 in 1941 was #2 but ever since the 1950s Columbia/Sony has shifted to take #1 for issue. Perhaps this situation led to the use and misidentification of take #1 as the master.)

Adding to the confusion about "How Long Has This Been Going On?" is the existence of a third take, which was supposedly released first on the Phontastic LP The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI. However, close listening of this LP reveals that the alternate in question is not a third take, but actually alternate #1. My thanks to Bill Brooks and to Jarl Ingves, both of whom gave careful listening to this LP, and came to the same conclusion.

Since I have not been able to find a copy of The Different Version, Volume III, 1&2 (i.e., Phontastic's CD version of the aforementioned LP), I'm only making an educated guess that, like its LP incarnation, the CD contains take #1, too.

8. A Portrait Of Peggy Lee 1941-1942 [LP & CD, CBS Sony]
9. A Portrait Of Peggy Lee [CD, Gallerie]
Many commercial websites give incorrect track information about a CD that they call A Portrait Of Peggy Lee 1941-1942 but whose real title is simply A Portrait Of Peggy Lee. A detailed explanation follows.

There is only one issue titled A Portrait Of Peggy Lee 1941-1942. It is a Japanese anthology that has undergone various incarnations. Originally released on LP, it has also been issued on CD twice. The original incarnations (LP, CD) contained 16 tracks. In 2002, a reissue expanded the track total to 24. This Sony anthology boasts a cover illustration of a young Peggy Lee in a red-orange gown, singing on a rooftop at dusk, with a skyline behind her.

There are, on the other hand, various CD releases whose title is A Portrait Of Peggy Lee. The one of interest to this discussion is a 47-track 2CD set, encased in a red box. It was released by the Gallerie label.

Many commercial websites wrongly list the 47 tracks of A Portrait Of Peggy Lee under the title A Portrait Of Peggy Lee 1941-1942. There are also a few commercial sites which mix numbers from the Sony and the Gallerie releases, ending up with a total of 24 tracks.

At the time of this writing (May 2010), Amazon is still showing the wrong title and the wrong cover here. The right cover (the one from the Public Domain CD) can also be seen at Amazon, thanks to a customer who uploaded it, here.


Date: November 27, 1941
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Sol Kane, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Al Davis, Joe Ferrante, Jimmy Maxwell (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee, Art London aka Art Lund (v)

a.CO 31811-"A"   AlternateWinter Weather - 2:55  (Ted Shapiro) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7617 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VI; Clarinet Ala King   (1980)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
b.CO 31811-"B"   AlternateWinter Weather  (Ted Shapiro) / arr: Mel Powell
     unissued
c.CO 31811-3   AlternateWinter Weather  (Ted Shapiro) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA©CBS Special Products CS/LP/CD: 17817 [re-pressed at least once] — [Various Artists] Christmas With The Big Bands [CD released in 1992]   (1984)
d.CO 31811-1   MasterWinter Weather - 3:00  (Ted Shapiro) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6516 — {Winter Weather / Ev'rything I Love)   (1941)
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6516 — {Winter Weather / I Don't Want To Walk Without You [vocal by Tommy Tucker; erroneous pressing]}   (1941)
COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
e.CO 31812-"A"   AlternateEv'rything I Love - 3:05  (Cole Porter) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7620 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VII; Royal Flush   (1982)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
f.CO 31812-"B"   AlternateEv'rything I Love  (Cole Porter) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
g.CO 31812-2   MasterEv'rything I Love - 3:05  (Cole Porter) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6516 — {Winter Weather / Ev'rything I Love)   (1941)
     COLUMBIA's Epic LP: Ee 22025 [reissue: Columbia Sp Prods P 18711] — [Benny Goodman] Clarinet Ala King ("Encore" Series)   (1968)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)

Songs

1. "Winter Weather" In The Music Charts
According to Joel Whitburn, Peggy Lee's second chart hit with The Benny Goodman Orchestra made its debut during the week of January 10, 1942. "Winter Weather" peaked at #24. Whitburn's text shows no other charting versions.


Personnel

1. Art London
2. Art Lund
In "Winter Weather," Peggy Lee shares vocal duties with the band's then-new male vocalist, Art London. (In "Ev'rything I Love," Lee sings solo.) Notice that in later years Art London changed his stage name to Art Lund.


Issues

1. "Ev'rything I Love" And Okeh #6516 [78]
This 78 exists in two pressings. The official pressing pairs "Winter Weather" with "Ev'rything I Love." The other issue pairs "Winter Weather" with a vocal by Tommy Tucker ("I Don't Want To Walk Without You"); its release is deemed to have been an error on Columbia's part.


Masters And Takes

1. "Ev'rything I Love" (Critical Commentary)
Goodman bio-discographer D. Russell Connor describes the first take of "Ev'rything I Love" as follows: "Mel Powell's intro seems somewhat experimental, Peggy Lee is strident, but excellent nevertheless; and Benny is quite inventive." Russell Connor's comment is partially meant as an illustration of the adage that practice makes perfect. He considers subsequent takes better than the first. (Russell Connor is more harshly critical of the male vocalist in the next date.)

2. "Ev'rything I Love" (Take Numbers)
Columbia's general policy was to assign numbers to takes when and if they were released, beginning with #1 for the master take. But in its handling of this date (and one or two others), Columbia seems to have partially disregarded policy: the takes were numbered according to the order in which they were recorded, not the order in which they were released. For instance, the master take of "Ev'rything I Love" was assigned the number "2" because, according to Columbia's logs, it was the second take recorded on November 27, 1941.

(n.b.: The take that the logs list as recorded first is identified merely as 31812. The logs give it no #1 -- or, for that matter, no number, other than the one for the matrix. In keeping with my own policy for unnumbered takes -- described in this page's final note -- I have labeled it as 313812-"A." As for the take that I have identified as 31812-"B," it is not listed in Columbia's logs, and it was not preserved in Columbia's vaults. It was instead kept by one of the session's participants.)

3. "Winter Weather" (Take Numbers)
A more uneven modus operandi is apparent in the handling of the "Winter Weather" takes. Columbia actually followed its usual policy when it released the master take. That is to say, the master was given the number "1," per usual, although it had actually been recorded last. However, the policy was disregarded by Columbia (Sony) later, when it released one of the alternate takes. Instead of numbering it 2, that alternate was assigned a 3 as its number, because it was the third one recorded at the session. (n.b.: As shown above, Sony released take #3 in a 1984 various-artists compilation.)

4. Non-Lee Masters
Only masters that featured Peggy Lee were recorded during this session.

5. Breakdowns
All four extant breakdowns from this date happened during the recording of "Winter Weather."


Date: December 10, 1941
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Sol Kane, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Bernie Privin (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee, Art London aka Art Lund (v)

a.CO 31944-"A"   AlternateNot Mine - 2:59  (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7620 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VII; Royal Flush   (1982)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
b.CO 31944-1   MasterNot Mine - 3:18  (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36580 — {Not Mine / If You Build A Better Mousetrap}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
c.CO 31944-"B"   AlternateNot Mine  (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     unissued
d.CO 31945-1   AlternateNot A Care In The World - 3:22  (Vernon Duke, John Latouche) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7620 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VII; Royal Flush   (1982)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7659-61 — [Benny Goodman] The Permanent Goodman; A Portrait In Music of the King of Swing, 1926-1945   (1986)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: Ck 53422 — BENNY GOODMAN, FEATURING PEGGY LEE ("Best Of Big Bands" Series)    (1993)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
e.CO 31945-2   MasterNot A Care In The World - 3:20  (Vernon Duke, John Latouche) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA EP/LP: B 356 [7 1500-1502]/GL 523; reissues CL 523 & Jgl 523 [rel. 1975 by CBS] — [Benny Goodman] Benny Goodman Presents Eddie Sauter Arrangements    (1953)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark LP: (England) Hm 503 — We'll Meet Again [Reissue Of Columbia's Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman]   (1967)

At The Recording Session

To judge from details reported by D. Russell Connor in his bio-discography of Benny Goodman, the bandleader's temper was running high during this date, which was entirely dedicated to vocal recordings. He reached his boiling point during the session's last song, "You Don't Know What Love Is." His chief target was trombonist Lou McGarity, whose solo does not meet the bandleader's expectations. Explains the bio-discographer: "You Don't Know What Love Is was the last tune cut on a lengthy and difficult recording session; an inordinate number of aborted takes and full renditions of four other takes had preceded it. Understandably, tempers were frayed; and Benny explodes when Lou McGarity fluffs his solo with, You've got a solo -- why don't you play it!, and then demonstrates how it should be played with his clarinet ... In Lou's behalf, must say the tune and the tempo are dirge-like, and Sauter's arrangement does not facilitate a trouble-free reading." Tellingly, no trombone solo is heard in the released take of "You Don't Know What Love Is."

Peggy Lee's two vocals were waxed right before You Don't Know What Love Is. Russell Connor does not allude to any trouble during the recording of them. He gives general praise for the resulting master and alternate takes. In his estimation, Not Mine features a "[g]reat Benny in the first run-through [i.e., alternate 31944-"A"], excellent Peggy, and marvelously emotional trombone playing." As for Not A Care In The World, "Eddie Sauter's score is blithe and airy, the band executes well, and Peggy Lee's vocal is harmoniously degagé, perhaps more so on th[e] alternate take [i.e., 31945-1] than on [master 31945-2]."

Two other vocals by Art Lund precede the ones by Lee, and start the session. To Connor's ears, Lund's first take on Somebody's Rocking My Dreamboat sounds "flat, unsure, and off-key." The singer's first take on Let's Give Love A Chance also leaves, in the opinion of the Goodman expert, plenty to be desired. The bio-discographer attributes these difficulties to the complexity of Eddie Sauter's charts and, in Lund's case, to his own learning curve, which made him "more comfortable as succeeding takes were recorded."


Masters (And Alternate Takes)

1. "Not A Care In The World"
Though very similar, the two extant takes of "Not A Care In The World" can be easily distinguished thanks to a piano riff heard in take #2 only. The riff is heard 6 seconds into the performance, and lasts less than a second. My thanks to music collector Bill "Mr. Alternate Take" Brooks for pointing out this difference.

2. Non-Lee Masters (Art London)
This session was entirely dedicated to vocals; no instrumentals were recorded. In addition to Peggy Lee's two entries, there were three ballads sung by Art Lund: "Someone's Rocking My Boat" (master #31942), "Let's Give Love A Chance" (master #31943) and "You Don't Know What Love Is" (master #31946).

3. Breakdowns
Of this session's various extant breakdowns, only one happened during a Lee number -- "Not A Care In The World."


Issues

1. "Not A Care In The World" And Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
This 1999 Columbia Legacy set misidentifies its take of "Not A Care In The World" as #1. Instead, the take heard in the set is the master (#2).

2. "Not A Care In The World" And Benny Goodman, Featuring Peggy Lee [CD]
This 1993 Columbia Legacy CD includes take #1 of "Not A Care In The World," which is inaccurately described by the CD's annotator as a "previously unissued alternate take." Whereas it is true that Columbia had not issued this alternate before, the collector's label Phontastic certainly had. (Columbia was obviously unwilling to recognize or legitimize unauthorized issuing of the masters that it owned.)

3. Benny Goodman Presents Eddie Sauter Arrangements [EP, LP]
4. "Not A Care In The World" / "That's The Way It Goes" [45]
Of all the issues included in this discography, Benny Goodman Presents Eddie Sauter Arrangements ranks among my most time-consuming research subjects. Worried about various suspicious details that the data at my reach showed, I embarked on a search for additional information that have led at present time (February 2010), to various changes in the previously supplied information about this issue. The points that need(ed) clarification and modification are as follows:

a) Catalogue number. The LP appears listed as CL 523 in some sources, as GL 523 in other sources. One possible reason for such confusion: the LP belonged to a Columbia series that started with GL 500 and which continued using the prefix "GL" until issue number 524, but which shifted to CL from 525 onwards. (In addition to the prefix, the label on the vinyl changed as well, from black to red.)

However, my more recent findings suggest that the series' above-explained shift of prefix is not the reason for the album's "double identity." The album may truly exist in two prefix versions. According to a couple of internet sources, GL 523 was actually reissued as CL 523.

Please note that, until I have official corroboration of its existence, CL 523 must be considered a tentative entry.

b) Year of release. The LP is dated 1953 in some sources, 1955 in others. I originally assumed that 1953 was a bit too early for a 12" jazz or pop LP. I also theorized that perhaps such a mistake pointed to an EP or a 10" LP released that year (though no such EP or 10" LP is listed in my sources). But my assumptions were off the mark. Data about the history of Columbia Records reveals that the company began releasing cast and popular 12" LPs early in the 1950s. (The GL series seems to have begun in late 1951.) Moreover, an ad from a 1953 Billboard magazine corroborates that the LP was indeed released at that time. (Therefore, the 1955 date found in some sources is either the correct -- and unknown to me -- release year of the reissue CL 523, or otherwise, it is incorrect. Notice also that, at least in England, the LP was definitely issued in 1955 -- another possible reason for the later date.)

c) Configurations: LP. My main source, D. Russell Connor's exhaustive Benny Goodman: Listen To the Legacy, lists only the 12" LP version of this album. Thanks to internet auctions and to other sources on the net, I now believe that an EP was indeed released, presumably in 1953.

d) Configurations: 45. Russell Connor also indicates that the two Peggy Lee songs included in Benny Goodman Presents Eddie Sauter Arrangements ("Not A Care In The World" and "That's The Way It Goes") were issued on a 45 that he identifies as Columbia Co #7-1502. I have found no further corroboration for the existence of that 45. It seems that, instead of a 45 single, #1502 is part of the aforementioned EP. (In a related note, the numbers that I have entered for that EP's parts should be deemed tentative; I'm still trying to corroborate that said numbers are correct.)

Point (d) is in particular needs further corroboration and/or correction. I am hoping that more helpful data will turn up in the near future.


Date: December 24, 1941
Location: Liederkranz Hall, 115 East 58th Street, New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Sextet (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Cutty Cutshall (tb), Lou McGarity (tb, v), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p, cel), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 32051-1   MasterBlues In The Night - 3:15  (Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6553 — {Blues In The Night / Where or When}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 38821 — {Blues In The Night / Bewitched [Benny Goodman instrumental]}   (1949)
COLUMBIA's Harmony 78: Ha 1012 — {Blues In The Night / [title unknown]}   (1949)
b.CO 32052-1   MasterWhere Or When - 3:21  (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) / arr: {Head Arrangement}, Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6553 — {Blues In The Night / Where or When}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
COLUMBIA EP: B 2556 — The Benny Goodman Sextet With Peggy Lee ("Hall of Fame" Series)   (1958)
c.CO 32052-"A"   AlternateWhere Or When - 3:18  (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers) / arr: {Head Arrangement}, Mel Powell
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1002 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 1; The Small Groups   (1981)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7620 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VII; Royal Flush   (1982)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
d.CO 32053-"A"   AlternateOn The Sunny Side Of The Street - 3:15  (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) / arr: {Head Arrangement}, Mel Powell
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1002 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 1; The Small Groups   (1981)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7620 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VII; Royal Flush   (1982)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
e.CO 32053-1   MasterOn The Sunny Side Of The Street - 3:11  (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) / arr: {Head Arrangement}, Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36617 — {On The Sunny Side Of The Street / All I Need Is You}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 37514 — {On The Sunny Side Of The Street / Serenade In Blue [vocal by Dick Haymes]}   (1947)
COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
f.CO 32053-"B"   AlternateOn The Sunny Side Of The Street - 3:22  (Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh) / arr: {Head Arrangement}, Mel Powell
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1004 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 2; The Big Band/The Small Groups   (1981)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7659-61 — [Benny Goodman] The Permanent Goodman; A Portrait In Music of the King of Swing, 1926-1945   (1986)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 7660 — [Benny Goodman] The Permanent Goodman; A Portrait In Music Of The King of Swing; Volume 2, 1939-1945   (1999)

At The Recording Session

In her autobiography, Peggy Lee writes: "We did some sextette numbers -- Where Or When, and The Way You Look Tonight -- at the Liederkranz Hall. Benny wanted to use one microphone for all musicians as well as the singer, which called for more gymnastics. [The microphone was hanging high, quite a few feet away from the floor.] Lou McGarity, playing trombone, would first crawl up in the air (on boxes), then we somehow managed to remain relatively silent and hold our breath in passing each other as I crawled up for my vocal and he crawled down. Those recordings may seem rather moody, and somehow they were, but it was also, after all, a little dangerous ... either of us could have crashed to the floor. But if Benny said do it, we did it."


Songs

1. "Where Or When" [And "The Way You Look Tonight"] As Part Of The Peggy Lee Canon
In a radio interview conducted by Fred Hall, Peggy Lee named both "Where Or When" (recorded during this session) and "The Way You Look Tonight" (recorded on March 10, 1942) among her personal favorites from her years of recording with Benny Goodman. And with good reason. She thoroughly imbues both ballads with an emotional fervor and a mellow warmth that she was probably discouraged from conveying in the ballad tracks that featured full orchestra -- and which were geared toward dance-oriented audiences.

"Where Or When" and "The Way You Look Tonight" probably exemplify the intimate style of singing that Lee had cultivated earlier, during her days as a solo act -- a style which she had needed to put on hold in order to adjust to the dance tempo of the big bands. Lee continued to develop this bluesy and melodic style right after leaving Goodman, through her interpretations of numbers such as "That Old Feeling" (recorded January 7, 1944) "Baby Is What He Calls Me" (December 27, 1944) and "Waitin' For The Train To Come In" (July 30, 1945).

2. "Blues In The Night" In The Music Charts
In his book Pop Memories 1890-1954, Joel Whitburn identifies "Blues In The Night" as Peggy Lee's third chart hit. After entering the charts during the week of February 14, 1942, it peaked at #20. Five other versions of the song are shown as also charting, including one by Woody Herman And His Orchestra, who took the standard-to-be to the top spot.


Personnel And Musical Instruments

1. Celeste
Celeste is heard on "Where Or When" only.

2. Yodeling
Lou McGarity (not Peggy Lee) does the yodeling on "Blues In The Night."

3. Cutty Cutshall
4. Lou McGarity
Cutty Cutshall and his trombone join The Benny Goodman Sextet for "Blues In The Night." The need for a second trombone player was probably due to the fact that regular trombonist Lou McGarity was busy, since he had been assigned the yodeling segment of the performance.

Russell Connor's text suggests that McGarity was the only trombonist during "On The Sunny Side Of The Street."

Somewhat oddly, the text further suggests that both trombonists are heard during "Where Or When." Since this is a performance for which the use of two trombones would seem unnecessary, this suggestion is questionable. Taking into account Lee's above-quoted comment, I'd be more inclined to believe that only McGarity played. (Then again, an alternation between trombonists could have eased the motional and acoustic challenges to which Lee referred.)


Arrangements

1. Mel Powell
2. Head Arrangements
With the possible exception of "Blues In The Night," this session's sextet numbers seem to have actually used head arrangements, presumably routined by Mel Powell. Indeed, the Columbia Legacy CD set Peggy Lee And Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings lists Mel Powell as this session's "pianist/arranger."

3. Eddie Sauter
4. "Blues In The Night"
The arranger of "Blues In The Night" is not officially known. According to collector (and Benny Goodman expert) Dave Weiner, Goodman's live versions of "Blues In The Night" feature full-band charts in a style strongly reminiscent of Sauter's. This session's master of "Blues In The Night" strikes Weiner as a cut-down version of the aforementioned live versions. The credit to Eddie Sauter should thus be deemed likely, but still tentative.


Issues

1. "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" On V-Disc?
An unissued V-disc pressing of "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" is listed in Richard Sears' V-Discs: A History And Discography. Sears identifies Dave Barbour's Orchestra as the accompaniment. He further pinpoints Capitol 78 #810 as the original source from which the V-disc was re-pressed.

Sears' information on this matter is confusing and, at the very least, partially erroneous. For starters, Peggy Lee did not record "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" for Capitol. The 78 to which Sears refers contains instead her Capitol versions of "Sugar" and "Save Your Sorrow For Tomorrow."

Furthermore, the 78 in question was actually issued in 1950, whereas the V-Disc program ceased general disc production in 1949. (Notice, however, that this commercial 78 contained one performance that had been recorded in 1947 and another in the first half of 1949. Hence, even if the 78 was too late to qualify for V-Disc pressing, the two performances themselves were not.)

The main question, then: is "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" really the song heard in the unissued V-disc, or does the V-disc contain instead one of the songs from the 78 ("Sugar," "Save Your Sorrow For Tomorrow")? Since I have not listened to the V-disc described by Sears, I can only offer an educated guess. "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" is the likelier answer. (Should this guess ever be proven correct, it would then be necessary to determine whether the master or one of the alternates was used.)

There is some lateral support for the likelihood that the V-disc contains "On The Sunny Side Of The Street." The American Forces Radio Service pressed "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" on transcription disc, for use at their radio stations. If AFRS found this Benny Goodman Orchestra performance popular and suitable enough for radio airplay on their stations, there is a good chance that the V-Disc program felt the same way. Certainly, the song's optimistic lyrics must have seemed very appropriate as a morale booster for the troops, and the fact that Goodman's version was among the charting ones should have provided further incentive.

2. Columbia #38281 [78]
3. Columbia #38821 [78]
4. Benny Goodman And Peggy Lee [aka Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee] [78 Album]
In the 1988 edition of his Benny Goodman bio-discography, D. Russell Connor partially (mis)identifies "Where Or When" and "Blues In The Night" as the two songs found in Columbia 78 #38821. In his 1996 update of that text, Connor corrects the error: "Where Or When" is not on single #38821, but on single #38281, whose flip side features "Let's Do It." Although I have not been able to see the actual, physical 78s, I can corroborate (thanks to pictures found online) that the label of #38281 indeed lists "Let's Do It" and "Where Or When."

Notice also that, although nowadays sold as single pieces by record sellers, the four Columbia 78s that bear the numbers 38280, 382281, 38282 and 38283 were originally parts of the album Benny Goodman And Peggy Lee (set A 70 or, in its reissue version, C 70).


Masters

1. "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" (Additional Lyrics)
In the master of "On The Sunny Of The Street" (32053-1) Peggy Lee sings the following lyrics, which are common to most versions of the song:

I used to walk in the shade
With those blues on parade
Now I'm not afraid
This rover's crossed over.

But in one of the alternate takes, she sings the following chorus instead :

I used to walk in the shade
Blues on parade
My blue days over
Now I walk in the sun
Having my fun
- This rover's crossed over.

I have been able to listen to those special lyrics thanks to a non-commercial tape supplied by a friend. Unfortunately, the non-commercial tape does not reveal the number of the take in question.

Which take is it, then? At present time, I can only give a preliminary answer, at which I am arriving by process of elimination. As already made clear, it is not the master take.

After having listened to take "A" as issued in a couple of collector-label LPs (specifically, Blu-Disc #1002 and Nostalgia LP #7620), I can confidently assert that take "A" does not contain those lyrics, either.

As for take "B," unfortunately I do not own any of the commercial issues that contain it. But, by process of elimination, "B" is presumed to be the take in question -- unless, unbeknownst to Russell Connor and to me, a fourth take exists.

Thanks to online samples, I can definitely assert that the take with the additional lyrics was included in the Phontastic CD The Permanent Goodman, Volume II. Such is the reason why herein I have tentatively entered that CD under take "B" of "On The Sunny Side Of The Street."

2. "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" (Takes' Order)
In this session and also elsewhere in this page, I have listed all takes in the same order in which Russell Connor's Benny Goodman: Listen To His Legacy shows them. I have reason to suspect, however, that during the actual December 24, 1941 session the chronological order was take "B," take "A," and then take #1 of "On The Sunny Of The Street."

3. The Correct Alternate Take Numbers For "Where Or When" And "On The Sunny Side Of The Street"
A more technical commentary. As I have also explained in this page's very last note, Columbia did not assign numbers to those takes that it left unreleased. Thus, in the case of "On The Sunny Side Of The Street," Columbia's paperwork lists the released take as Co 32053-1 but the two alternates just as Co 32053, with no take number to distinguish between them. In this page, I have attempted to differentiate such alternates from one another by assigning them a letter within quotation marks: e.g., "A" or "B" or "C."

Another, more obvious differentiation system was enforced by the Blu-Disc Record Company, which released numerous alternate takes from Benny Goodman's discography. Blu-Disc simply gave a number to each take. As a result, this discography's takes "A" of "Where Or When" and "On The Sunny Side Of The Street" are the exact same takes that are identified in Blu-Disc albums as #2 takes.

For the pros and cons of my decision to identify alternate takes by letter, see note at the bottom of this page.

4. Non-Lee Masters
There were no additional masters recorded at the present date. This sextet session was actually an all-vocals session, with Peggy Lee singing on every master (and the addition of Cutty Cutshall's trombone in some performances).

5. Breakdowns
From this date, there is only one extant breakdown. It preceded the first master take of "Where Or When."


Date: January 15, 1942
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Sol Kane, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Bernie Privin (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee, Art London aka Art Lund (v)

a.CO 32239-1   MasterThe Lamp Of Memory (Incertidumbre) - 3:17  (Gonzalo Curiel, Al Stillman) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6580 — {The Lamp Of Memory / When The Roses Bloom Again [vocal version by Art London, sans Peggy Lee]}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1303 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1941-1942   (2003)
     zzz~ Acrobat CD: (England) Addcd 3047 — Where Or When   (2008)
     yyy~ Jazum LP: Jaz 67 — [Benny Goodman] title unknown   
b.CO 32239-2   AlternateThe Lamp Of Memory (Incertidumbre) - 3:17  (Gonzalo Curiel, Al Stillman) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: C2k 65686 — PEGGY LEE & BENNY GOODMAN: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, 1941-1947   (1999)
c.CO 32240-2   AlternateIf You Build A Better Mousetrap - 3:02  (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: C2k 65686 — PEGGY LEE & BENNY GOODMAN: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, 1941-1947   (1999)
     yyy~ Joyce Record Club LP: 6015 — [Art Lund] "The Big Bands' Greatest Vocalists" Series   
d.CO 32240-1   MasterIf You Build A Better Mousetrap - 3:04  (Johnny Mercer, Victor Schertzinger) / arr: Eddie Sauter
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36580 — {Not Mine / If You Build A Better Mousetrap}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA©Sony Special Products CD: 28427 — [Benny Goodman] Rarities, 1940-1942   (1997)
www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 153 2 / A 31705 — [Art Lund] Band Singer; The Best Of Art Lund    (2000)
e.CO 32242-1   MasterWhen The Roses Bloom Again - 2:52  (Nat Burton, Walter Kent)
     COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
     COLUMBIA©Sony Special Products CD: 28427 — [Benny Goodman] Rarities, 1940-1942   (1997)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: C2k 65686 — PEGGY LEE & BENNY GOODMAN: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, 1941-1947   (1999)
     COLUMBIA©CBS Sony CD: (Japan) Sip 124 — A Portrait Of Peggy Lee 1941-1942 [24-track edition]    (2002)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1324 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1942   (2003)
     zzz~ Acrobat CD: (England) Addcd 3047 — Where Or When   (2008)

Personnel

1. Art London (Lund)
Art London shares vocal duties with Peggy Lee on "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" only.


Masters And Issues

1. "When The Roses Bloom Again" (Additional Take)
Columbia's database lists a second complete take of "When The Roses Bloom Again," numbered 32342, no take number indicated. Discographer D. Russell Connor clarifies that this is not an alternate take but merely a safety copy of take #1. I have trusted his judgment, and have therefore excluded the alleged second take #32342 from this discography.

2. "The Lamp of Memory" (Additional Take)
Take #2 of "The Lamp of Memory" made its first appearance on Columbia Legacy's CD Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947, released in 1999. Previously, its existence was not stated in any of the documents that I have consulted -- not even in D. Russell Connor's bio-discography.

3. "If You Build A Better Mousetrap", "When The Roses Bloom Again" And Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
The 1997 Columbia Legacy CD misidentifies its takes of "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" and "When The Roses Bloom Again" as previously unissued. (The CD's annotator used an asterisk to signify that a given track had not been previously issued. Asterisks can be found next to both tracks.) These takes had been formerly released by Sony itself in Japan, on vinyl. Both takes had also been previously issued domestically: by Sony in the case of "When The Roses Bloom Again" and by the (non-official) collectors' label Joyce in the case of "If You Build A Better Mousetrap." (Most likely, this error stems from consulting Columbia logs that have not been updated.)

4. "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" And Art Lund ("The Big Bands' Greatest Vocalists" Series) [LP]
In his book Benny Goodman: Listen To His Legacy, D. Russsell Connor erroneously listed the Joyce LP Art Lund ("The Big Bands' Greatest Vocalists" Series) under take #1. He acknowledged and rectified the error in Wrappin' It Up, where the LP's version of "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" is correctly listed as #2.

5. "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" And The Chronogical Benny Goodman, 1942 [CD]
My placement of this CD from the Classics series under take #1 of "If You Build A Better Mousetrap" is tentative: I have not been able to listen to this CD -- nor is this recent disc listed in Russell's Connor's bio-discography.

6. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session were the instrumentals "Jersey Bounce" (alternate to master #32238; other takes, including the master, recorded on January 23, 1942) and "At The Darktown Strutters' Ball" (master #32241).

7. "When The Roses Bloom Again" (Non Lee-Vocal)
During a later date (January 23, 1942), Benny Goodman And His Orchestra recorded a second master of "When The Roses Bloom Again." That second master features Art London, not Peggy Lee, on vocals. The Lund vocal was the one chosen for release on 78 (Okeh #6580), leaving the Lee version unreleased until its issue in Japan in the 1970s.

8. Breakdowns
There are no extant breakdowns from this date.


Date: February 5, 1942
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Sol Kane, Clint Neagley (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Art Ralston (bar), Al Davis, Jimmy Maxwell, Bernie Privin (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 32384-"A"   AlternateMy Little Cousin - 3:23  (Eli Basse, Sam Braverman, Cy Coben, Happy Lewis) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA LP: Pg 33405 — [Benny Goodman] Solid Gold Instrumental Hits   (1975)
     www~ Collectables CD: Col Cd 7859 / Sony A 702918 — [Benny Goodman] Solid Gold Instrumental Hits   (2007)
b.CO 32384-"B"   AlternateMy Little Cousin - 3:15  (Eli Basse, Sam Braverman, Cy Coben, Happy Lewis) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7620 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VII; Royal Flush   (1982)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
c.CO 32384-1   MasterMy Little Cousin - 3:17  (Eli Basse, Sam Braverman, Cy Coben, Happy Lewis) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6606 — {My Little Cousin / A Zoot Suit [instrumental]}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)

Songs

1. "My Little Cousin" In The Music Charts
"My Little Cousin" was Peggy Lee's fifth chart hit. (For her fourth, see session dated November 13, 1941.) After making its debut during the week of April 11, 1942, it went on to peak at #14. Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954 does not list any other charting versions of the song.


Masters

1. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session were the instrumentals "A String Of Pearls" (master #32383) and "Ramona" (master #32385).

2. Breakdowns
Four of this date's eight extant breakdowns happened during the recording of "My Little Cousin." (The remainder happened during the recording of the instrumental "Ramona.")


Issues And Masters

1. "My Little Cousin" And Solid Gold Instrumental Hits [LP]
A double album that otherwise comprises instrumentals, Solid Gold Instrumental Hits curiously includes Peggy Lee's vocal of "My Little Cousin." A plausible explanation for the inclusion of "My Little Cousin" in an album of instrumentals is the undeniable appeal or catchiness of its melody, which was taken from a Yiddish original.


Date: March 10, 1942
Location: Liederkranz Hall, 115 East 58th Street, New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Sextet (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p, cel), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 32595-1   MasterThe Way You Look Tonight - 3:21  (Dorothy Fields, Jerome Kern) / arr: {Head Arrangement}, Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36594 — {The Way You Look Tonight / The Wang Wang Blues}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: A 70 (38280-38283) [reissue: C 170, rel. Aug. 1948] / B 406/ Cl 6033 [rel. 1949] — Benny Goodman And/With Peggy Lee (Benny Goodman, Vocals By Peggy Lee)   (1947)
COLUMBIA EP: B 2556 — The Benny Goodman Sextet With Peggy Lee ("Hall of Fame" Series)   (1958)

Songs

1. "The Way You Look Tonight" [And "Where Or When"] As Part Of The Peggy Lee Canon
Under session dated December 24, 1941, see first note about Songs.

2. "The Way You Look Tonight" In The Music Charts
This classic from the Great American Songbook made its first appearance in the 1936 movie Swing Time. Fred Astaire sang it in the film and also took it to the top of the 1936 charts. Other versions were recorded that year; some of them made the charts as well.

Six years later, Peggy Lee and The Benny Goodman Sextet were responsible for the return of the tune to the charts. Their version made its debut during the week of June 27, 1942, peaking at #21. "The Way You Look Tonight" thereby became Lee's eighth vocal to make the Billboard charts. (For details about her sixth and seventh entries, see next session.)

Nearly twenty years elapsed before The Lettermen proved the song's perennial appeal: their version peaked at #13 in 1961. Later yet (1971), Edward Woodward's version made the British chart, too.


Arrangements

1. "The Way You Look Tonight"
The arrangement of "The Way You Look Tonight" is credited to Mel Powell in the track listing of Columbia Legacy CD #65686. Aurally, the number sounds like a head arrangement, presumably routined by Powell. D. Russell Connor lists no arranger in his discography.


Personnel

1. Peggy Lee's Prominent Participation With The Sextet
2. Benny Goodman's Non-Participation
This date marked Lee's second reunion with the prestigious small group ensemble that was known as The Benny Goodman Sextet. Critic Leonard Feather has brought attention to the highly unusual fact that "virtually nothing is heard from Benny [during The Way You Look Tonight]; it's basically a showcase for [Peggy Lee's] vocal, with a brief intro by McGarity and with Mel [Powell] on celeste."


Masters

1. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this sextet session were the instrumentals "The Wang Wang Blues" (master #32593), "The World Is Waiting For A Sunrise" (master #32594) and "St. Louis Blues," which was not assigned a matrix number.

2. Breakdowns
There are no extant breakdowns from this date.


Date: March 12, 1942
Location: Liederkranz Hall, 115 East 58th Street, New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Sol Kane, Bud Shiffman (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Art Ralston (bar), Jimmy Maxwell, John Napton, Bernie Privin (t), Cutty Cutshall, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Ralph Collier (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 32601-"A"   AlternateI Threw A Kiss In The Ocean - 3:00  (Irving Berlin)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
b.CO 32601-"B"   AlternateI Threw A Kiss In The Ocean  (Irving Berlin)
     unissued
c.CO 32601-"C"   AlternateI Threw A Kiss In The Ocean  (Irving Berlin)
     unissued
d.CO 32601-1   MasterI Threw A Kiss In The Ocean - 3:00  (Irving Berlin)
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6652 — {Full Moon / I Threw A Kiss On The Ocean}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36590 — {Full Moon / I Threw A Kiss On The Ocean}   (1942)
COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
e.CO 32602-"A"   AlternateWe'll Meet Again - 3:10  (Hugh Charles, Ross Parker Clarke) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
f.CO 32602-1   MasterWe'll Meet Again - 3:17  (Hugh Charles, Ross Parker Clarke) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6644 — {We'll Meet Again / Before (Rachmaninoff Special) [instrumental]}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark LP: (England) Hm 503 — We'll Meet Again [Reissue Of Columbia's Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman]   (1967)
g.CO 32603-"A"   AlternateFull Moon (Noche De Luna) - 3:05  (Gonzalo Curiel, Marcelen Odette, Bob Russell)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8823 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME III, 1 & 2   (1994)
h.CO 32603-1   MasterFull Moon (Noche De Luna) - 3:17  (Gonzalo Curiel, Marcelen Odette, Bob Russell)
     COLUMBIA's Okeh 78: Ok 6652 — {Full Moon / I Threw A Kiss On The Ocean}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36590 — {Full Moon / I Threw A Kiss On The Ocean}   (1942)
COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
i.CO 32604-2   AlternateThere Won't Be A Shortage Of Love - 2:40  (John Jacob Loeb, Carmen Lombardo)
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1004 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 2; The Big Band/The Small Groups   (1981)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8824 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME IV, 1 & 2   (1994)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 1004 — [Benny Goodman] title unknown   
j.CO 32604-1   MasterThere Won't Be A Shortage Of Love - 2:40  (John Jacob Loeb, Carmen Lombardo)
     COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
     COLUMBIA's Columbia House LP: Co alb P3 13618 — [Various Artists] Rare Big Band Gems, 1932-1947   (1976)
COLUMBIA's Columbia House LP: Co alb P5 15536 — [Benny Goodman] The Legendary Benny Goodman   (1981)

Songs

1. "We'll Meet Again" In The Music Charts
2. "Full Moon" In The Music Charts
This session generated two hits for Peggy Lee and The Benny Goodman Orchestra. According to Joel Whitburn's estimates in his book Pop Memories, 1890-1954, "We'll Meet Again" made its debut during the week of May 23, 1942, and "Full Moon" did so a few weeks later, on the week of June 13, 1942. Lee's summer chart streak continued with yet a third song, which reached its peak at the end of June ("The Way You Look Tonight," recorded on March 10, 1942).

A popular warhorse, "We'll Meet Again" enjoyed a fair number of hit versions. Two of them, one by Kay Kyser and the other by Guy Lombardo, had actually been released a year earlier than Goodman's. Both 1941 versions had peaked at #24. Contemporaneous with the Goodman-Lee recording (1942) was a Victor 78 by Sammy Kaye with vocal by Allan Foster, which made a small dent in the charts. (From the vague data at hand, I gather that it peaked somewhere below the top 30.) Twelve years later, Vera Lynn (the so-called World War Sweetheart) and members of Her Majesty's Forces took their version on London Records to #29. Goodman and Lee charted higher than all of those versions: #16.

Goodman and Lee's "Full Moon" also had contemporaneous competition in the charts. A Decca recording by The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, with vocal by Bob Eberly, peaked at #19. Reaching #22, Goodman and his canary peaked three notches below Dorsey and his crooner.


Masters

1. "Full Moon"
In the estimation of bio-discographer D. Russell Connor, the playing throughout this session's takes of Full Moon illustrates "the competence attainable by a stable personnel." He gives "[p]osies to Peggy Lee, too, quite professional by now, and exhibiting a distinctive style."

2. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session were the instrumentals "Before (Rachmaninoff Special)" (master #32600) and "Peter And The Wolf" (no master number assigned).

3. Breakdowns
Breakdowns are extant from all but one of this session's six performances ("There Won't Be A Shortage Of Love"). One breakdown happened during "I Threw A Kiss In The Ocean," one during "We'll Meet Again," two during "Full Moon," and the others during the instrumental performances.


Songs And Issues

1. "Full Moon" And Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [LP]
2. "Full Moon" And Miss Peggy Lee [LP]
3. "Full Moon" And We'll Meet Again [LP]
Discographer D. Russell Connor notes that the the intro and the first chorus of "Full Moon" is missing from the above-listed releases, on the Harmony and Hallmark labels.


Arrangements

1. "We'll Meet Again"
2. Mel Powell
3. Salvatore "Tutti" ("Toots") Camarata
Mel Powell arranged at least two numbers from this session: the vocal "We'll Meet Again" and the instrumental "Peter And The Wolf." Tutti Camarata arranged the instrumental "Before (Rachmaninoff Special)." Powell and Camarata are identified as the authors in the actual arrangements, which are currently kept in the New York Public Library, as part of the Benny Goodman Collection of Musical Arrangements. The collection does not include any arrangements for "I Threw A Kiss On The Ocean," "Full Moon" or "There Won't Be A Shortage Of Love."


Date: May 14, 1942
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Sol Kane, Bud Shiffman (as), George Berg, Vido Musso (ts), Art Ralston (bar), Jimmy Maxwell, John Napton, Bernie Privin (t), Charlie Castaldo, Lou McGarity (tb), Tom "Tommy" Morgan (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Alvin Stoller (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 32793-"A"   AlternateYou're Easy To Dance With - 3:34  (Irving Berlin)
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1014 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 7; 1941-1942   (1985)
b.CO 32793-1   MasterYou're Easy To Dance With - 3:18  (Irving Berlin)
     COLUMBIA©CBS Sony LP: (Japan) Sopj 22-23 — Elmer's Tune   (1972)
     COLUMBIA's Columbia House LP: Co alb P5 15536 — [Benny Goodman] The Legendary Benny Goodman   (1981)
yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
c.CO 32794-"A"   AlternateAll I Need Is You - 3:20  (Benny Davis, Peter DeRose, Mitchell Parish) / arr: Dave Matthews
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8824 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME IV, 1 & 2   (1994)
d.CO 32794-1   MasterAll I Need Is You - 3:22  (Benny Davis, Peter DeRose, Mitchell Parish) / arr: Dave Matthews
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36617 — {On The Sunny Side Of The Street / All I Need Is You}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA's Harmony LP/CS/CD: Hl 7005/Reissued as (CBS Ct/Ck 7005)&(Sony Bt/A 13584) — Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman [CD released in 1984]   (1956)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark LP: (England) Hm 503 — We'll Meet Again [Reissue Of Columbia's Peggy Lee Sings With Benny Goodman]   (1967)

Personnel & Cross-references (Biography)

1. Vido Musso
2. Lou McGarrity
This was saxophonist Vido Musso's last session with The Benny Goodman Orchestra. Goodman bio-discographer D. Russell Connor shares a personal, tongue-in-cheek recollection that involves Musso, trombone player Lou McGarity and Peggy Lee: "The author recalls a one-nighter in the Sunnybrook Ballroom, Pottstown, Pa., probably in May ... He also remembers Lou McGarity introducing him to Peggy Lee during an intermission [at the Sunnybrook] with a tentative date in the offing; and that Vido Musso, who acted as Peggy's unofficial bodyguard, talked her out of it."


Arrangements

1. Dave Matthews
In D. Russell Connor's expert opinion, Dave Matthews might have been the arranger of "All I Need Is You." This identification should be considered tentative, not definitive.


Masters

1. "All I Need Is You"
Originally, D. Russell Connor and other Goodman experts presumed that all existent takes of "All I Need Is You" had been recorded during this date. Russell Connor eventually changed his mind, however. He re-assigned one of the takes ("B") to July 17, 1942. The re-assignment was motivated by the substantially different instrumental intro on take "B." In this discography, I have followed Russell Connor's lead, thereby accepting his re-assignment.

2. Non-Lee Masters
3. Non-Lee Vocals: Art London (Lund)
No instrumentals were recorded during this session. In addition to Lee's two numbers, the date also generated two vocals by Art London: "I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo" (master #32795) and "Take Me" (master #32796).

4. Breakdowns
The only extant breakdown from this date happened right before the first completed take of "All I Need Is You."


Date: July 17, 1942
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Hymie Schertzer, Bud Shiffman (as), George Berg, Jerry Jerome (ts), Johnny McAfee (bar), Tony Faso, Bernie Privin, Cootie Williams (t), Charlie Castaldo, Lou McGarity (tb), Dave Barbour (g), Sid Weiss (b), Mel Powell (p), Alvin Stoller (d), Dick Haymes, Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 32794-"B"   AlternateAll I Need Is You - 3:15  (Benny Davis, Peter DeRose, Mitchell Parish) / arr: Dave Matthews
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7644 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume VIII; St. Louis Blues   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8824 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME IV, 1 & 2   (1994)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1335 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1942-1944   (2004)

Personnel

1. Personnel Changes
During this mid-1942 period, the amount of personnel changes in Goodman's orchestra is higher than usual, due primarily (though not exclusively) to war drafting.

2. Dave Barbour
This session introduces guitarist Dave Barbour, the man who would become Peggy Lee's first husband. By this time, Barbour was already a seasoned studio player, with about a decade of work as accompanist to the likes of Louis Armstrong, Charlie Barnet, Glenn Miller, Red Norvo and Mildred Bailey, among others. In comments that she made during the later years of her career, Lee misidentified the next session (July 27, 1942) as Barbour's studio debut with The Benny Goodman Orchestra.


Masters

1. Numerical Sequence
For other takes of "All I Need Is You," see session dated May 14, 1942, including notes.

2. Non-Lee Masters
This all-vocals session was partially dedicated to remakes. In addition to "All I Need Is You," two vocals that Art London had tried on May 14, 1942 were remade as well. London could not be present at the session because he had just been drafted for military service. Hence the two London vocals were assigned to his replacement, Dick Haymes, who also sang two fresh numbers during this session: "Serenade In Blue" (master #32923) and "Idaho" (master #32924).

3. Breakdowns
The only extant breakdown from this date happened during the recording of one of the Dick Haymes vocals.


Date: July 27, 1942
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Clint Neagley, Hymie Schertzer (as), Leonard Sims, Zoot Sims, Jon Walton (ts), Robert Poland (bar), Benny Baker, Tony Faso, Jimmy Maxwell, Lawrence Stearns, aka Alfred Sculco (t), Charlie Castaldo, Lou McGarity (tb), Dave Barbour (g), Cliff Hill (b), Mel Powell (p), Howard "Hud" Davies (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 33048-"A"   AlternateWhy Don't You Do Right?  (Joe McCoy) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1014 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 7; 1941-1942   (1985)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7659-61 — [Benny Goodman] The Permanent Goodman; A Portrait In Music of the King of Swing, 1926-1945   (1986)
b.CO 33048-"B"   AlternateWhy Don't You Do Right? - 3:15  (Joe McCoy) / arr: Mel Powell
     yyy~ Blu-Disc / The Meritt Record Society LP: T 1015 — [Benny Goodman] The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume 8; 1936-1955   (1986)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8824 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME IV, 1 & 2   (1994)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 7660 — [Benny Goodman] The Permanent Goodman; A Portrait In Music Of The King of Swing; Volume 2, 1939-1945   (1999)
c.CO 33048-1   MasterWhy Don't You Do Right? - 3:12  (Joe McCoy) / arr: Mel Powell
     COLUMBIA 78: Co 36652 — {Why Don't You Do Right? / Six Flats Unfurnished [instrumental]}   (1942)
     COLUMBIA 78 album: C 122 (37243-37246) — [Benny Goodman] Benny's Best   (1947)
COLUMBIA 78: Co 38198 — {Why Don't You Do Right? / Somebody Else Is Taking My Place}   (1948)
d.CO 33048-2   AlternateWhy Don't You Do Right? - 3:14  (Joe McCoy) / arr: Mel Powell
     USA Government's War Department radio transcription: 117 — Jazz in America [Program's topic: blues numbers]   (1943)
     USA Government's War Department, Army V-Disc: 233 — {Why Don't You Do Right? / Body And Soul, by Coleman Hawkins}   (1944)
USA Government's War Department, Army-Navy V-Disc: 233 — {Why Don't You Do Right? / Perfidia, by Benny Goodman with vocal by Helen Forrest}   (1944)

Songs

1. Early Versions Of "Why Don't You Do Right?"
In 1936, the Harlem Hamfats recorded for Decca Records a tune titled "Weed Smoker's Dream (Why Don't You Do Now?)." The author of the tune was the group's guitarist and vocalist, Joe McCoy. At some point between 1936 and 1940, McCoy attached to the same melody another set of lyrics -- one fashioned in the tradition of the woman blues genre. That second incarnation of the song eventually received, as its official title, "Why Don't You Do Right? (Get Me Some Money, Too)."

On April 23, 1941, blues singer Lil Green recorded the rewriting for Victor's Bluebird label. Green and her record company promptly found themselves with a second hit in their hands, following on the heels of her own Romance In The Dark (1940). "For the next ten years," states Barry Lee Pearson in a short but well-written biographical sketch about the singer, "she enjoyed a successful career touring theaters and clubs and recording for RCA, Aladdin and Atlantic." Unfortunately, pneumonia claimed Green's life in 1954, at the ripe age of 34.

(n.b., in connection with the song's authorship: Although a few secondary accounts credit the lyrics of "Why Don't You Do Right?" to Lil Green herself, the label on her original 78 clearly identifies McCoy as the number's sole songwriter. ASCAP and other authoritative sources also list only McCoy as writer of both the lyrics and the music.)

By the time that The Benny Goodman Orchestra recorded this song for Columbia (i.e., more than a year later), Lil Green's Victor recording of "Why Don't You Do Right?" was no longer current as a hit. Initially, Columbia and Goodman showed no particular interest in releasing the Peggy Lee vocal. As will be explained in more detail below, initially the number was perceived as little more than a whim. But its hit potential became readily apparent when Peggy Lee and The Benny Goodman Orchestra performed the song in concerts, at which dancing audiences enthusiastically embraced it.

2. The Goodman-Lee Version Of "Why Don't You Do Right?"
According to Brian Peerless in his notes for the Columbia LP All The Cats Join In, Peggy Lee first became acquainted with "Why Don't You Do Right?" when trumpeter Jimmy Maxwell gave her a copy of the Victor 78 recording. A bona fide fan of the blues genre, she promptly became fascinated with the number and with Green, of whom Lee continued to speak admiringly well into her elderly years.

The Goodman-Lee version of "Why Don't You Do Right?" (and its subsequent success) happened as a fluke. In a 1995 interview for Goldmine, Lee explained that the possibility of recording this number had not even occurred to her until Goodman asked about it.

In various other interviews, Peggy Lee detailed the exact circumstances that prompted the recording of a piece so uncharacteristic of the bandleader's repertoire. "I used to play that record over and over in my dressing room, which was next door to Benny's," she said in 1984. (The shellac received repeated playing not only because Lee "just liked to hear it" but also because she "didn't carry very many records." She couldn't have. Touring and bus traveling forced band members to limit the weight and quantity of belongings that they brought with them.) Continued Lee, during her 1984 interview: "Finally he said, You obviously like that song. I said, Oh, I love it. He said. Would you like me to have an arrangement made of it? I said, I'd love that, and he did."

Although the same essential details can be found in other accounts that Lee gave to the press over the years, some of those accounts are more telling than others. Goodman's "dressing room was right next to mine and I drove him mad with it," she good-naturedly confessed during a 1988 interview. This perspective is also echoed in an earlier article for People magazine: "I listened to this blues record by Lil Green all the time and I think it made Benny nervous. He finally agreed to have an arrangement of it done" (1984). Still earlier, in 1969, Lee made the following statement, in which she obliquely alluded to Goodman's humorous absent-mindedness: "I used to play her record over and over backstage at the Paramount. After a week, Benny finally noticed and made some profound remark like, I guess you like that."

Columbia and Goodman seem to have thought of "Why Don't You Do Right?" as a mere indulgence. At recording time (July 27), bandleader and label were probably willing to record just about anything, due to the Petrillo record ban that was about to go into effect (August 1). Lee told to an interviewer that the number was "thrown into the record date. There was a record ban, so they were recording everything they could find in the library. It didn't make anything of an impression on anyone really, until that point, which I think is kind of an interesting thing, considering the success it did have later, fortunately, for all of us." Goodman might have also wanted to keep a pleased and inspired canary under his grasp. After all, Lee had accounted for much of the band's success on radio airplay during the previous months, when she had not only placed various numbers in the charts but had also taken one song to the top spot of the best-selling lists ("Somebody Else Is Taking My Place"). Over the months which followed the band's recording of "Why Don't You Do Right?," Lee would notice that Columbia was releasing just about everything else that Goodman had recently waxed. In December 1942, when the master was finally picked for release on 78, Lee assumed that Columbia had just run out of any other suitable alternatives. Indeed, contemporaneous reviews in magazines such as Billboard and Gramophone suggest that "Why Don't You Do Right?" was considered the 78's lesser side, and that the performance under actual promotion was the instrumental "Six Flats Unfurnished."

Once "Why Don't You Do Right" was chosen for issue on record, the band probably started performing it live. In article published by Downbeat many years later (1959), George Hoefer asserted that "[w]hen the Goodman band recorded the tune with Peggy’s vocal early [sic] in 1942, no one thought there would be much interest in it outside the trade. And nothing much did happen -– at first. But when the band got to California in the fall of ‘42, Peggy and Benny were amazed to hear that more than 200,000 copies of the record were on order in Southern California alone." (n.b.: both herein and in a few other sections, Mr. Hoefer's article is slightly off both chronologically and factually.) Goodman and Lee's earliest extant concert performance of the tune dates from December 2, 1942, at the New Yorker Hotel. (Of course, there might have been earlier performances that remain undocumented.) Response from concert audiences probably led to the decision to film a performance of the number for the then-upcoming movie Stage Door Canteen. The filming took place in December 1942, too. The eventual release of the movie further boosted and extended the song's popularity.

Lee's recording of "Why Don't You Do Right?" evinces her avowed admiration for the Lil Green version to which she so obsessively listened. As Larry Kart mused in a 1983 article about Lee, "the reason her version of the tune was so popular had a lot to do with the honest ease with which Lee borrowed Green's salty, rhythm-and-blues mannerisms and turned them to her own ends." Critic Gunther Schuller has made a similar point, saying that despite the stylistic borrowing, the young Lee "still somehow turn[ed] it into her own unique manner." For her part, Peggy Lee consistently gave credit to Lil Green whenever Lee's recording of "Why Don't You Do Right?" came up for discussion in interviews. Lee also expressed great affection for Green's singing, even if stylistically the influence of the blues singer on the classic pop/jazz singer is hardly discernible beyond the couple of Joe McCoy songs that both recorded. (In the estimation of a fellow fan, Green' influence is also noticeable in another early Peggy Lee master, "Ain't Goin' No Place." However, Lee's version of that number precedes Green's by two years. The Peggy Lee recording was made for Capitol on January 7, 1944. The Lil Green version was waxed for Victor on July 31, 1946.)

3. The Goodman-Lee Version Of"Why Don't You Do Right?" In The Music Charts
The Billboard debut of "Why Don't You Do Right?" took place during the week of January 2, 1943. According to Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories, 1890-1954, the Goodman-and-Lee recording peaked at #4 and spent a total of 19 weeks in the charts. (For Lee's next and last Columbia hit with Goodman -- her tenth -- see session above, dated October 8, 1941.)

4. The Club Version Of "Why Don't You" In The Charts
In 2010, "Why Don't You Do Right?" returned to the charts under the guise of a club house version simply titled "Why Don't You." For additional details, see Issues notes under session dated November 19, 1947, in this page.


Cross-references

1. "Why Don't You Do Right?"
For other studio recordings of "Why Don't You Do Right?," see sessions dated November 19, 1947 and September 8, 1992. See also sessions dated February 8, 1961; April 24, 1968; March 13 and 20, 1977.


Masters

1. "Why Don't You Do Right?"
When heard sequentially, this session's takes of "Why Don't You Do Right?" convey a general mood of enthusiasm amidst participating musicians. Also noticeable is the singer's game experimentation with various vocal approaches. To my ears, the overall effect is that of a music gathering at which the players are having a good time because they have been allowed to perform in a variety of tempos and styles.

Of the four extant takes, two have been officially issued by Columbia. They are fairly different in approach. The most widely disseminated take (#1) spotlights a Peggy Lee who intentionally sings in the style of Lil Green yet still adds her own ironic, skeptical stance to the song's message. In take #2, singer and orchestra are apparently having a lot more fun. Lee is purposefully singing the number in the style of Billie Holiday, and the band is playing at a faster clip.

2. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session were the instrumentals "Six Flats Unfurnished" (master #33047) and "After You've Gone" (master #33049).

3. Breakdowns
Of the three extant breakdowns from this date, one happened before the second completed take of "Why Don't You Do Right?," the others during the waxing of the instrumentals.


Personnel

1. Benny Baker
2. Lawrence Stearns
Columbia's logs for this session does not list trumpet player Benny Baker as part of its personnel, but D. Russell Connor's book Benny Goodman: Listen To His Legacy does. "Jimmy Maxwell," explains Russell Connor, "is adamant that his teacher, trumpeter Benny Baker, who regularly played with the New York Philarmonic, recorded with the band on this session." Hence the bio-discographer has added Baker to the personnel.

As a corollary to this addition, Russell Connor deems the participation of one of Goodman's regular trumpet players (Lawrence Stearns) "questionable." Since Stearns is listed in Columbia's logs (and since Russell Connor and/or Jimmy Maxwell could be mistaken in their claim that Baker was present) I have not excluded Stearns' name from the personnel, however.

In short, my own addition of Benny Baker to this sessionography should be deemed tentative.


Issues

1. "Why Don't You Do Right?" And Benny Goodman, The Different Version, Volume IV [CD]
2. Why Don't You Do Right? And The Unheard Benny Goodman, Volume Seven [LP]
According to D. Russell Connor, the notes for the fourth volume in Phontastic's Different Version CD series contain one bit of erroneous information about an earlier issue. The CD's notes state that Blu-Disc LP T 1014 (volume 7 in the Unheard series) contains take "B" of Why Don't You Do Right?, when in truth the take that it contains is "A." (As for take "B," it can actually be found in Blu-Disc T 1015, which is the next album from the series).


Date: July 30, 1942
Location: New York
Label: COLUMBIA

Benny Goodman (ldr), The Benny Goodman Orchestra (acc), Benny Goodman (cl), Clint Neagley, Hymie Schertzer (as), Leonard Sims, Jon Walton (ts), Robert Poland (bar), Tony Faso, Jimmy Maxwell, Lawrence Stearns, aka Alfred Sculco (t), Charlie Castaldo, Lou McGarity (tb), Dave Barbour (g), Cliff Hill (b), Mel Powell (p), Howard "Hud" Davies (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.CO 33069-"A"   AlternateLet's Say A Prayer - 3:17  (Charles Farrow)
     unissued
b.CO 33069-1   MasterLet's Say A Prayer - 3:10  (Charles Farrow)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia LP: (Sweden) Nost 7648 — [Benny Goodman] The Alternate Goodman, Volume IX; After You've Gone   (1983)
     yyy~ Phontastic Nostalgia CD: (Sweden) Phon Ncd 8824 [re-pressed 1999?] — [Benny Goodman] THE DIFFERENT VERSION, VOLUME IV, 1 & 2   (1994)
     COLUMBIA's Legacy CD: C2k 65686 — PEGGY LEE & BENNY GOODMAN: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS, 1941-1947   (1999)
     yyy~ Classics CD: (France) 1335 — [Benny Goodman] THE CHRONOGICAL BENNY GOODMAN, 1942-1944   (2004)
     zzz~ Acrobat CD: (England) Addcd 3047 — Where Or When   (2008)

Songwriters

1. Charles Farrow
2. Merrill Tonning - Bud Williams
Various sources credit Merrill Tonning and Bud Williams as the songwriters of "Let's Say A Prayer." However, the sheet music identifies Charles Farrow as sole author of both music and lyrics.


Personnel (And Issues)

1. Zoot Sims
2. Leonard Sims
3. Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947 [CD]
A tenor saxophonist by the last name of Sims plays on this and on the July 27 session that precedes this one. His first name is given as Leonard in all but one of the sources known to me. The dissenting source is the 1999 Columbia Legacy CD set Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings, 1941-1947, which identifies the saxophonist not just as Leonard Sims but as Leonard "Zoot" Sims. Since Zoot Sims' birth name was John Haley Sims, I assume that Columbia Legacy made a mistake. Elsewhere, I have not seen any indication that Zoot Sims played for Goodman during these 1941-1942 sessions.


Masters

1. Non-Lee Masters
2. Non-Lee Vocals: Philip "Buzz" Aston
Also recorded during this session were the instrumental "Mission To Moscow" (master #33070) and two vocals by the band's then-new male vocalist, Philip "Buzz" Aston: "Dearly Beloved" (master #32067) and "I'm Old Fashioned" (master #32068).

3. Breakdowns
There is one extant breakdown from each of this date's performances, including "Let's Say A Prayer."


Arrangements

1. Eddie Sauter
The arranger of "Let's Say A Prayer" and of this session's other vocals remains unknown. Only the arranger of the instrumental "Mission To Moscow" is known (Eddie Sauter, according to D. Russell Connor.)


GENERAL NOTES

Peggy Lee's Career As Canary With The Benny Goodman Orchestra, 1941-1943

Peggy Lee joined The Benny Goodman Orchestra about halfway through August 1941, in Chicago. From July 25 to August 28, 1941, the leader and his band played a month-long engagement at The Sherman Hotel's College Inn - Panther Room. Mindful of the crowds and the publicity hounds, Goodman stayed not at the Sherman but at another hotel with the same management, The Ambassador East. Across the street from the Ambassador East was The Ambassador West and its Buttery Room, where resident thrush Peggy Lee could be heard during evenings.

Also staying at The Ambassador hotels was the soon-to-be Mrs. Benny Goodman (née Alice Hammond, though known then as Lady Alice Duckworth, due to her previous marriage). Soon after seeing Peggy Lee performing at The Buttery Room, Alice Hammond told Goodman to go and see Lee, too. The couple came back together with a party that included the band's young pianist, Mel Powell. Decades later, Lee remembered singing "These Foolish Things" on that evening. While dining with his fiancée and associates, and listening to the singer with a preoccupied look, Goodman was heard to mumble the words "I guess we've got to get somebody for Helen."

On August 1, 1941, Goodman had received a resignation notice from his current canary, Helen Forrest. A very unhappy Forrest was adamant about leaving the band as soon as possible, and stipulated that her resignation was effective immediately. (Or so says the singer, whose autobiography goes at length about her profound dislike of Goodman's personality.) However, Forrest's contract forced her to stay until the end of this engagement, which had barely started. Resistant to doing any further singing under Goodman's leadership, Forrest opted for fulfilling her contractual obligation by attending the concerts at the Sherman, without actively participating in them. She silently sat next to her replacement, Peggy Lee, and to the band's male vocalist, Tommy Taylor. Patrons of course asked why she, a hugely popular canary, was not singing. According to Forrest, the patrons were told that she was suffering from a bad cold, or from laryngitis -- a lie.

Normally, a bandleader in need of a new canary would have held auditions. Goodman certainly did so on many other occasions, but not this time. Granted that he was on the road and thus away from the capitols of the music industry (New York & Hollywood), such a large and musically rich city as Chicago would have still been a viable location to hold auditions. But perhaps the lack of female vocals during the Sherman engagement became an issue in urgent need of a solution. Since the very popular Forrest was no longer willing to sing with the orchestra, the bandleader might have felt that, to appease audience demand, the next best option was to require "sick" Forrest's attendance onstage while simultaneously supplying a vocal replacement, at least for the duration of this engagement.

The next morning after Goodman had come to see her at The Buttery Room, Peggy Lee received a phone call from The King Of Swing himself. He asked her to join the band. On the phone, Goodman asked Lee to show up right away, on the next evening, ready to sing with the band at The Sherman's Panther Room. Such short notice could be taken as a vote of confidence from Goodman, based on what he had just seen her do at the Buttery Room. For Lee, the prospect was a dream come true. She was to perform with an act that she had long admired and which, even more importantly, ranked among the top bands in the nation.

From a professional standpoint, the situation was not an ideal one, however: Lee was being asked to sing without rehearsal, and was expected to handle arrangements in Helen Forrest's key. Unbeknownst to her, Lee would also be facing a sometimes disappointed, sometimes hostile audience, who had come with the expectation of listening to the highly praised stylings of Helen Forrest. To make matters worse, Forrest herself, in the flesh, would be sitting right next to Lee. Not surprisingly, Goodman's new canary was struck with stage fright and with what she later described as a psychosomatic cold. She still went on, performing various songs on that debut evening, including "My Old Flame."

Feeling that she had done a poor job, an embarrassed and tearful Lee asked Goodman to let her go. He refused. (The exact day on which she made her request is unclear. I am inclined to believe that it happened on the first night, or in one of the earliest nights.)

About a week after hiring time, Lee was asked to participate in what became her debut recording session -- and, just a few more days later, on her sophomore session. Those first two sessions (August 15 and 20, 1941) were marred by the singer's high state of anxiety, yet they still produced recordings good enough to be deemed worth releasing.

Despite the (temporarily) adverse reception that the nervous singer met from audiences, critics, band members and even from the sessions' producer (see notes under aforementioned Chicago sessions), Benny Goodman stuck to his guns and took the singer on the road with the band -- at a pay cut -- as they moved from Chicago to the New York - New Jersey area.

In her new East Coast setting, Benny Goodman's new canary flourished in the recording studio and, more gradually, in front of live audiences. (For specifics, see notes under New York sessions, starting with Lee's third recording date, held on September 25, 1941.)


Dating: Peggy Lee's Working Period With Benny Goodman And His Orchestra

Peggy Lee worked as the female vocalist of The Benny Goodman Orchestra for over a year and a half (mid-August 1941 to mid-March, 1943). Lee's debut performance with Goodman's band obviously took place some time during the first half of August. The exact day in which Lee joined the band is unknown, but in this section I will attempt to arrive at an approximate estimate. (Also unclear is the date of Lee's final concert with the orchestra; see next section.)

Lee's documented appearances with the band can be traced back to

- Sunday, August 24, 1941. Earliest extant live performance (radio broadcast).
and
- Friday, August 15, 1941. Debut recording session.

Lee's autobiography does not give any clues about her first date with the band, but the singer's narration of events strongly suggests that it was a live engagement -- not the recording session from August 15. The autobiography also contains a direct quote from pianist Mel Powell in which he declares, in passing, that Lee had spent only one or two days with the band when she went to her debut recording session. It is not clear, however, if this bit is meant to be taken as a precise, accurate bit of information, or as more of a loose estimation on Powell's part.

As previously mentioned, Helen Forrest had given notice of resignation in or around August 1, 1941. Her last recording session with Goodman had taken place in June. Bio-discographer D. Russell Connor elaborates: "Although Helen does not again record with Benny, she continues to appear with him, both in the Sherman [Hotel] and on the House Warming [radio] programs and sustaining broadcasts. According to a program log, she did so as late as August 17, two days after Peggy Lee had made her first record with the band. That is her last logged performance, but she claims Benny had her sit on the bandstand until the end of the Sherman engagement [August 28], but did not permit her to sing. Benny says he does not remember it that way." Forrest is also heard in August 8 and 10 broadcasts from the Sherman.

Since Forrest was still being heard in (presumably live) broadcasts from August 8 and 10, I am inclined to believe that, at least until the 10th, she was the only one female vocalist on the bandstand. (As for the sustaining broadcast from August 17 that features Forrest, no songs are listed in the program log that Russell Connor consulted. The lack of specifics allows for speculation as to the accuracy of the information provided. Could it be that Forrest's name was mistakenly entered when Lee was the female onstage instead? ... Or perchance Forrest was included in the list of names merely because she was present, though no longer singing, whereas Lee was erroneously ommitted? ...)

In my estimation, Lee is likely to have debuted with the band on one of four days, between Monday, August 11 and Thursday, August 14, 1941.


Peggy Lee's Departure From The Benny Goodman Orchestra

Over the years, the reasons given for Lee's departure from the Goodman ensemble have varied. After Goodman passed away, Lee more overtly shared what seems to have been the main reason. Goodman had established a strict policy that forbade band members to become romantically involved with the band's canary. Due to that policy, he had fired Lee's then-boyfriend (and soon-to-be-husband) Dave Barbour. His last-known date with the band seems to have taken place in January, or perhaps in February 1943. The couple got married on March 8 of that year. According to discographer D. Russell Connor: "[w]ith her (first) husband, Dave Barbour, out of the band, [Peggy Lee had] given Benny three weeks' notice in March." In a radio broadcast from an unknown March day in 1943, Goodman himself publicly announces that Lee, who sings various numbers during the show, has just gotten married.

According to the unsubstantiated claim of another vocalist whose work also goes back to the big band era, Goodman and Lee had been romantically involved. This claim has no backing, and is also suspect: the singer in question, once friends with Lee, had a falling out with her, and is known to have made this claim years after the falling out. For her part, Peggy Lee always denied that she was ever romantically involved with Goodman. (From the start of Lee's working period with the band, Benny Goodman had been engaged. On March 21, 1942, he married his fiancée, the former Lady Alice Duckworth, who was producer John Hammond's sister.)

Adds bio-discographer D. Russell Connor: "For some 20 months Peggy had been a stalwart performer and the band's foremost popular attraction; now it was time for her to capitalize personally on the public's acceptance." Her last known live performance as The Benny Goodman Orchestra's canary took place on a March 20, 1943 radio broadcast. (See page for Radio Broadcasts with Goodman, once that page opens for viewing.)

That 1943 broadcast was by no means the end of Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman's professional partnership, however. Over the ensuing years, they occasionally performed together on radio, on television, and even jointly in concert. More studio recording work took place as well, though not at Columbia, but at Capitol. (See the 1947 Capitol sessions dated March 28, September 12, and December 2 in this page; see also this page, specifically the note under the ca. June 1944 session that resulted in "Two Silhouettes" and "Johnny Fedora & Alice Blue Bonnet." Search as well for their joint performances in this discography's pages for radio, film, television, and live appearances, once they open for full viewing.) In the autumnal years of their respective careers, they would further be seen in events that paid tribute to either one or the other.


Statistics: Number Of Songs Recorded, As Benny Goodman's Canary, By Peggy Lee

This discographical page lists 32 masters featuring vocals by Peggy Lee, recorded over 18 sessions, between August 1941 and July 1942. Also listed are 58 alternate takes, including 4 to which I have given the special designation secondary master, explained at the bottom of this page.

The number of masters with Peggy Lee's canary vocals would have been substantially higher, had it not been for an industry ban which prevented recording activity during the last third of Lee's employment as Goodman's canary. See explanatory section below.

Not included as entries in this discography are the many breakdowns, also extant, from those 19 sessions. However, I have made mention of them in the Masters notes under each session. I have also made an exception for just one breakdown of "That Did It Marie." Because of its potential interest to Lee fans, I've felt that it deserved to have its own entry in this sessionography. See session dated November 13, 1941.


The AFM Recording Ban

The Benny Goodman Orchestra made no studio recordings during Peggy Lee's last eight months as their vocalist (August 1942 - March 1943). Effective August 1, 1942, The American Federation of Musicians (AFM) had declared a ban over recording activity by union musicians.

Exempt from this ban were recordings made for The Armed Radio Forces Service and for film soundtracks. Also exempt from the musicians' ban: solo vocalists. However, in the absence of backing musicians, their companies were reduced to have them do a cappella recordings, or otherwise with foreign or non-unionized musicians.

Though there were no studio recordings, Goodman's and the other orchestras did continue playing -- in concert, on the radio and for films. Thus Lee's vocals from the ban period have been preserved in sources other than studio recordings -- specifically, in live performances that were broadcast over radio, and in a couple of film soundtracks. See this discography's pages for Radio Broadcasts, once those pages open for viewing.

The ban was not officially lifted until November 11, 1944. The industry in general, including Columbia's (Benny Goodman's label at this time) settled with AFM on that date, but a few labels had settled earlier: Decca (on August of 1943) and Capitol (on September of 1943). Capitol's early settlement allowed Peggy Lee to record, on January of 1944, her earliest known post-Goodman recordings. Peggy Lee thus began her transition from band canary to solo vocalist as the ban period neared its end.


Popularity: Peggy In The Polls

After joining the nationally famous Benny Goodman Orchestra, Peggy Lee's name promptly made an appearance in Downbeat's popularity polls.

In 1941, she debuted at #14 in the twenty-five-slot poll for female singers. Lee had received 114 votes. Among the names below hers were Lee Wiley and Maxine Sullivan (tied with 40 votes, and placing at the very end of the poll, in the #24 and #25 positions), Helen Humes (at #19, with 60 votes), and Jo Stafford (at #23, with 50 votes, and like Lee, also a debuting artist this year). Among those above Lee were Ivie Anderson (# 8), Mildred Bailey (#7), and Dinah Shore (#5). The top four consisted of Anita O'Day (making a huge debut on the poll, with 1670 votes), Billie Holiday (1871 votes), Helen Forrest (2236 votes) and, at the very peak with 3226 votes, Helen O'Connell.

On the following year (1942), Forrest and O'Connell switched places at the top of the Band, Female poll. Forrest had received 2226 votes. O'Day, the poll's highest debut in the previous year, climbed one more spot, causing Holiday to drop to #4. The two other debutants from the previous year shot up to positions #5 (Jo Stafford, with 654 votes) and #6 (Peggy Lee, with 609 votes).

In 1943, the two debutants continued their fast climb: Peggy Lee reached #2 with 2710 votes and Jo Stafford earned the #1 position with 2815 votes. The previous two chart toppers fell to #3 (Helen Forrest, with 2276 votes) and #6 (Helen O'Connell). Anita O'Day and Billie Holiday also dropped one place each, respectively landing at #4 and #5.


The Frank Sinatra Event And The Rising Popularity Of Vocalists

Peggy Lee happened to be present, in the sidelines, during an important event in the history of popular music.

Starting on Wednesday, December 30, 1942, The Benny Goodman Orchestra was the main musical attraction in New York City's Paramount Theatre. The orchestra's canary was, of course, Peggy Lee. The bill also included screenings of the movie Star Spangled Rhythm, and comedy from the team of Moke and Poke, with The Radio Rogues.

Billed as an "extra-added attraction" was Frank Sinatra. At a time when the big bands remained the most popular acts in the nation, he was a burgeoning artist who had left The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra just three months earlier. Encouraged by ever-increasing success as a crooner on radio and record, he had been performing solo at small venues in his native state, New Jersey, and was now making his first major appearance as a solo act in New York.

Unfortunately, there is no extant audio from this Paramount engagement. Moreover, only Sinatra's repertoire is known in full. (Accompanied by Jess Stacy on piano, he sang a thoroughly romantic program: "For Me And My Gal," "Where Or When," "I Had The Craziest Dream," "There Are Such Things," "She's Funny That Way" and "When The Lights Go On Again.") As for the repertoire played by The Benny Goodman Orchestra, few titles are known. The sextet played a version of "Paradise," possibly with a guest vocal by Sinatra. Peggy Lee is said to have sung "Where Or When" and "Why Don't You Do Right?," the former with the sextet and the latter with full orchestra. Lee might or might have not sung other numbers. (At other Goodman engagements during the period of November 1942 to February 1943, Peggy Lee was singing "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "That Soldier Of Mine" and "As Time Goes By.") In passing, it should be noted that "Why Don't You Do Right?" was not yet a hit at this point in time. On the contrary, New York audiences were possibly hearing it for the first time. Although recorded some six months earlier, the song had been rescued from oblivion during this very month of December 1942, when The Benny Goodman Orchestra and Peggy Lee had filmed a performance of it for the upcoming movie Stage Door Canteen.

The Paramount engagement became Sinatra's apotheosis as a singer. With the help of his savvy press agent George Evans (who, at this early stage, might have hired teenagers to publicly swoon for the crooner, thereby starting the Bobbysoxers craze), the bill's "added" attraction became not only the main event, but also a nationally touted phenomenon. Initially hired to sing for two weeks, Sinatra's contract was extended for the full month and, when those four weeks were over, the crooner was retained for an additional month. (For his part, Goodman moved on to a pre-scheduled engagement at The Chicago Theatre.)

In her autobiography, Peggy Lee refers to the Paramount events as follows: "the bobby soxers were storming the Paramount Theatre in Times Square. I was there with Benny Goodman. Frank Sinatra was the 'Extra Added Attraction,' and he certainly was! [...] We used to lean out the windows of the dressing room to see the crowds of swooners, like swarms of bees down there in the street, just waiting for the sight of Frank. [...] Everything that led up to Frank's performance seemed not quite so important. Benny played as great as ever, I sang my songs and got some attention, but it was electric when Frank came out on stage. One day I had the flu and became violently ill. [...] That's when Frank discovered I was really having a bad time in my dressing room, and, from that time until I was well, he was my special nurse. First he brought me blankets to stop the shivering. Then, when it was possible, a little tea; later a piece of toast. Meantime, he was out there singing from six to eight shows a day in that huge theatre with the cheering crowds [...] I'll especially never forget what he did for me in the middle of his first great triumph."

This Paramount engagement is generally perceived as a turning point in the history of American music: the moment in which vocalists took over the world of pop music, thereby pushing the big bands down the path to oblivion. Such a perception of the event is a simplification, of course. The process in question had been long in the making, and would still continue to evolve. (For one, other vocalists had been hugely popular before Sinatra -- most notably, Sinatra's own idol, Bing Crosby. The fan swooning that sensationalized this and other Sinatra appearances was nothing new, either. It had been widely reported in the case of matinee idols such as Rudolph Valentino and, from the music world, Russ Columbo.) Ultimately, the Paramount engagement is just a symbolic marker -- though a fascinating and suitably dramatic one.

More fundamental to the vocalists' increase in popularity was the war and its effect on music listening. Brought about by drafting for military service, the separation from loved ones created a nationwide yearning for heartfelt, personalized messages-in-song -- i.e., a demand for the type of intimate singing favored by vocalists such as Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra. In Lee's case, her way with ballads came in vogue toward the end of the war, when she became a solo act. No longer hindered by the dance-oriented charts of Goodman's orchestra, she freely sang in the same bluesy, slow and lyrical manner which she had cultivated before she had joined the band, and which Goodman had allowed her to bring only to her two ballads with the sextet ("Where Or When" and "The Way You Look Tonight").


Main Sources And Acknowledgments: D. Russell Connor, Benny Goodman's Bio-discographer

Throughout this (ac)count of Benny Goodman's recordings with vocals by Peggy Lee, my primary source has been the research of Goodman's foremost discographer, Donald Russell Connor. Not only is Russell Connor the expert in all things Goodman but he is also credited with originating and developing the concept of a "bio-discography."

Russell Connor's earliest discographical publications were Benny Goodman: Off The Record (1958) and Benny Goodman: On The Record (1969), the latter co-written with Warren W. Hicks. Those initial texts saw heavy expansion when Russell Connor updated their combined contents, publishing them as Benny Goodman: The Record Of A Legend (1984), and later on, as Benny Goodman: Listen To His Legacy (1988), which ranks as his definitive book. In 1996, the indefatigable discographer stroke back with Benny Goodman: Wrappin' It Up (1996), a text exclusively dedicated to additions and corrections of his 1988 opus.

And it is not over. Scheduled for release in the summer of 2010 is what promises to be a significant continuation of Russell Connor's work: Benny Goodman: A Supplemental Discography, written by David Jessup, another renowned expert in all things Goodman who has previously worked in tandem with Russell Connor.


Discographical Technicalities

1. "Secondary Masters"
Throughout this page, I use the term "secondary master" to identify takes that have received significant issuing from Columbia despite the fact that they are not the designated master takes. Here is a list of all 4 secondary masters found above, along with an explanation of my rationale:

CO 31743-1; "How Long Has This Been Going On?"
During the 78 era, the only commercially available take of "How Long Has This Been Going On?" was #2, which is the master. But after Columbia issued take #1 early during the vinyl era, the company has seldom gone back to take #2, picking instead take #1 for issue in most of its LPs and CDs. See session dated November 13, 1941.

CO 31367-2; "Let's Do It"
"Let's Do It" was originally released by Columbia on Okeh #6474. A mistake was made in the case of one pressing -- or perhaps more than one pressing -- of Okeh #6474: take #2 was included. (All other pressings of that 78 do contain take #4, which is the master.) Take #2 has also appeared in various Sony-Columbia LPs and CDs, where the inclusion has been made by design, not by mistake. However, in at least one of those issues, take #2 has been misidentified as the master take. Also, in a Peggy Lee release that was meant to be definitive (The Singles Collection), the producers chose this take over the master. (Personally, the master strikes me as the better choice of the two.) For more details, see Issues notes under session dated September 25, 1941.

CO 31426-1; "Shady Lady Bird"
Another case in which Columbia issued 78 pressings that contained different takes of the same performance. For more details, see Issues notes under session dated October 8, 1941.

CCO 3981-1; "My Old Flame"
Although Columbia has issued this take only once, and although the company has correctly identified it, I have decided to call it a secondary master because there is potential for confusion. Instead of one #1 take of "My Old Flame," two exist. The one under discussion was recorded earlier, on August 20, 1941, and it bears the matrix number 3981. Its designation as #1 suggests that Columbia treated it as a master take. However, the real master take (i.e., the one that was originally issued on a 78, and that Columbia kept reissuing) is CO 31392-1, recorded in New York on October 2, 1941. The likelier reason for the different matrices of these takes is that they were recorded in different cities (one in Chicago, the other in New York).

2. Take Numbers Versus Take Letters ["A," "B," "C," Etc.]
Some of the alternate takes listed in this page are not extant in Columbia's vaults. Instead, they have been discovered in reference tapes, kept by Benny Goodman and by other session participants. Naturally, Columbia's logs do not list those takes. They are accounted for, however, in the books of D. Russell Connor, who had access to Goodman's personal tape collection.

For my own discographical purposes, listing such unissued alternate takes has posed a minor difficulty: they lack an identifying number, and thus cannot be visually differentiated from other takes. For instance, all three unissued alternate takes of "I See A Million People" (recorded on August 20, 1941), bear only their matrix identification (CCO 3982), with no additional number to distinguish one from the other. I have solved this problematic lack of identification by adding a letter ("A," "B," "C," etc.) to the takes in question. I have placed each letter between quotation marks to reinforce the fact that this device is not found in official sources, but is instead of my own creation.

[A marginal note on my decision to assign letters to alternate takes. Essentially, by using letters instead of numbers, and by placing those letters in quotation marks -- which are meant to suggest their "non-official" status -- I am hoping to keep unissued alternates easily identifiable from issued takes. Although I realize that my letter system can be an added source of confusion for some collectors, I am nonetheless reticent to newly assign numbers to unissued takes, or to re-use numbers already found in some non-official, collectors' albums. I simply fear that doing so could create even greater confusion in the future. Were Sony to release any of the currently unissued alternates, there is a chance that Sony would assign them numbers different from those that Blu-Disc created on its own. As a result, collectors and discographers would end up with two different numbers for the same take. This duplication would of course lead to confusion and to further misinformation ... Although my use of letters can bring confusion into the equation, it should allow for an easier untangling. Should any of the unissued takes be released, the lettering system will also make it easier for me to do a number re-assignation.]

3. (Non)Sequential Order Of Masters And Takes
As for this page's numbered alternate takes (1, 2, 3), Columbia itself gave them their identifying number. Columbia's practice was to number each take in the order in which they were released. For example, the number 1 was assigned to the take of "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" that was originally chosen for (78) release. Later on, when another take was picked for (LP) release, that take received the number 2. Therefore, take numbers have nothing to do with the sequence or order in which they were recorded during any given session. For instance: in the session where "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place" appears (November 13, 1941), take #2 precedes take #1 because it was recorded first.

In various instances, Russell Connor's discographical work is at odds with Columbia's logs. The reason, generally: the bio-discographer has listened to the session's actual tapes, and thanks to the tapes he has discovered log errors.

Finally, it should be noted that Benny Goodman did not always record all takes of a given song in a consecutive, neatly ordered sequence. "On occasion," Russell Connor explains," Benny would first record one or more takes of [a] tune, switch to one or more takes of [another] tune, then eventually return to additional takes of the [initial] tune." It is also worth noting that, in a concession to the general reader's need for order and simplicity, Connor himself has generally grouped together all takes of the same tune, even in those cases when he knew that the real-time sequence had involved alternation between songs. (In any case, his wording suggests that such shifting between songs was not a frequent occurrence.) As already intimated, the order chosen by Russell Connor is the one that I am presenting in this page.


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