The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography And Videography:
The Capitol Years, Part 3
by Iván Santiago Mercado

Generated on Dec 6, 2010

Return to Table of Contents


Peggy Lee's Recording Career, 1948-1952

This period of Peggy Lee's artistic career is notable for her heightened involvement in both radio and television. Lee's radio appearances were especially frequent in 1948, when she was a semi-regular in two weekly shows and an occasional guest in many others. The artist's workload became heavier after she moved to New York (1951), where she hosted her own radio program, periodically held recording sessions under the musical direction of Sid Feller, and joined the regular cast of various TV shows -- a daily one included. For specifics about many of those television and radio appearances, consult this discography's section for Media Performances, once it opens for viewing.

From 1949 to 1952, Lee also continued working for Capitol Records at a steady pace. There were some changes, however, in the personnel that accompanied her. In 1951, Lee and Barbour separated, and he no longer directed her sessions. Billy May and Pete Rugolo were among the men who conducted for Lee during the post-divorce aftermath. Lee also severed ties with manager Carlos Gastel, who was good friends with Barbour. For additional details about Lee and about Capitol during these years, including a tabulation of this page's 74 masters, see note at the bottom of this page.


Date: December 14, 1948
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1104-B

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Unknown (acc), Peggy Lee, Dean Martin (v)

a.3566-2   MasterSomeone Like You - 2:07  (Ralph Blane, Harry Warren) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13164 — {Someone Like You / Hold Me} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1949)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1246 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [3 Peggy Lee, 1 Dinah Shore, 1 Doris Day, 1 The Satisfiers vocals]   
b.3587-4   MasterYou Was - 2:46  (Joseph F. "Sonny" Burke, Paul Francis Webster) / arr: Sonny Burke
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13058 — {You Was / Powder Your Face With Sunshine (Dean Martin solo)} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI's Music For Pleasure LP: (England) Mfp 1432 — [Dean Martin] Nat, Dean, And Friends    (1970)
CAPITOL©EMI's Music For Pleasure CD: (England) 7243 8 30296 2 4 — [Dean Martin] Singles   (1994)
Both titles on:      CAPITOL 78: 15349 — {You Was / Someone Like You}   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)

The 1948 Recording Ban: Peggy Lee' Stance

Almost a year had elapsed between this record session and Peggy Lee's previous one, held on December 26, 1947. The reason for the lapse was a recording ban that the American Federation Of Musicians had imposed on its members. Vocalists were not part of AFM's membership, and were thus free to continue working for record companies. Out of solidarity with the musicians, Peggy Lee abstained from any recording activity, however. Once the ban was officially over, she immediately came back to the studio.


Personnel

1. Dean Martin
"You Was" is a vocal duet featuring Dean Martin and Peggy Lee. Martin does not participate in the session's other Peggy Lee master, "Someone Like You."


Sessions And Masters

1. Pre-Recorded Band Tracks
2. A Shared Session
3. The Starlighters
During the eleven and a half months that the musicians' ban remained in effect, many Capitol sessions used pre-recorded band tracks. This practice carried over to sessions that were held immediately after the ban was lifted, such as this one.

Session #1104 actually consists of various dates that Capitol grouped together because they feature pre-recorded backing by the same instrumental band. Here are some further details found in The Capitol Label Discography, compiled by Michel Ruppli, Bill Daniels and Ed Novitsky (with assistance from Michael Cuscuna):

Session #1104
[No date given.]
Band tracks by unidentified orchestra.

Session #1104-A
LA, November 26, 1948
The Starlighters, overdubbed on band tracks from session #1104.
master #3564 - I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm
master #3565 - More Beer!

Session #1104-B
LA, December 14,1948
Peggy Lee, overdubbed on band track from session #1104.
master #3566 - Someone Like You
Peggy Lee & Dean Martin, overdubbed on band track from session #1104.
master #3587 - You Was


Arrangements

The arrangements for this session's two performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores, which is my source for the above-entered credits to Heinie Beau and Sonny Burke.


Date: December 29, 1948
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1123

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Peggy Lee and Her Dixieland Band (acc), Unknown (t, tb, b, p, d), Dave Barbour (g), Peggy Lee (v)

a.3824-2   MasterPlease, Love Me Tonight - 2:55  (Herman L. Watkins) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 608 / 54 608 — {(Ghost) Riders In The Sky / Please Love Me Tonight}   (1949)
     www~ Vocalion/Dutton CD: (England) Cdus 3008 — Rendezvous With Peggy Lee   (2000)
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) 45 P 1277 1280 — The Peggy Lee Story   (2002)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) Box 108 — Miss Wonderful    (2006)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1316 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
b.3825-3   MasterIf You Could See Me Now - 3:10  (Carl Sigman, Tadd Dameron)
     CAPITOL 78: 15371 — {Blum Blum (I Wonder Who I Am) / If You Could See Me Now}   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 82680 2 7 — The Best Of The Singles Collection    (2003)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1246 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [3 Peggy Lee, 1 Dinah Shore, 1 Doris Day, 1 The Satisfiers vocals]   
c.3826-3   MasterBlum Blum (I Wonder Who I Am) - 2:31  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78: 15371 — {Blum Blum (I Wonder Who I Am) / If You Could See Me Now}   (1949)
     CAPITOL CD: 72435 27564 2 1 — RARE GEMS AND HIDDEN TREASURES [aka Capitol's Collectors Series, Vol. 2]   (2000)
     zzz~ Rajon Music Group CD: (Australia) 2029 — It's A Good Day ("Sounds Of The 20th Century" Series)   (2002)
     zzz~ Rajon Music Group CD: (Australia) Cdrtv 0196 — The Definitive Collection 1942-1953   (2006)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1246 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [3 Peggy Lee, 1 Dinah Shore, 1 Doris Day, 1 The Satisfiers vocals]   

Personnel

1. Musicians From Woody Herman's Band?
"Peggy Lee and Her Dixieland Band" is the name that this session's personnel receives in Capitol's session files. Capitol 78 #15371 credits the performance on one side ("Blum Blum," a novelty with an absurdist bent) to Peggy Lee with Dave Barbour and his Pixieland Band, the performance on the other side ("If You Could See Me Now," then a relatively new jazz standard-to-be) to Peggy Lee with Dave Barbour and his Orchestra.

The identities of those so-called dixie or pixieland musicians remains unknown. Various secondary sources state that they are actually members of Woody Herman's Second Herd, aka The Four Brothers band. (Such secondary sources may be quoting in turn from Downbeat and Metronome reviews of Capitol #15371. I have not been able to track down the reviews.)

The participation of the Woody Herman band in this Peggy Lee session is indeed quite possible. From December 1948 to July 1949, Herman and his Second Herd (Al Cohn, Stan Getz, Lou Levy, Shorty Rogers, Zoot Sims, etc.) were recording for Capitol. In fact, their first Capitol session took place the day after this session, a detail which further strengthens the possibility of co-participation. Moreover, Woody Herman, Dave Barbour, and Peggy Lee had previously worked together for an extended period of time. During the summer of 1947, Herman and Lee had co-hosted a radio series whose musical backing was provided by Barbour and, presumably, by members of Herman's band. Barbour, Herman, and Lee also shared the same manager, Carlos Gastel. (For one additional point of interest, see comments below about the songwriter of "Please, Love Me Tonight.")

As already mentioned, The Woody Herman Orchestra did its first Capitol studio date on December 29, 1948. According to the The Capitol Label Discography, the personnel for session #1124 was

Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow, Stan Fishelson, Red Rodney (tp)
Shorty Rogers (tp, arr, vo)
Earl Swope, Bill Harris, Ollie Wilson (tb)
Bob Swift (bass tb)
Woody Herman (cl, as, vo)
Sam Marowitz (as)
Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Stan Getz (ts)
Serge Chaloff (bs)
Terry Gibbs (vb, vo)
Lou Levy (p)
Chubby Jackson (b,vo)
Don Lamond (dm)


Songs

1. "Blum Blum" In The Music Charts
Peggy Lee's "Blum Blum" entered the Billboard charts during the week of July 3, 1949 and peaked at #27. It was her 20th solo hit or, if the singer's work with The Benny Goodman Orchestra is taken into account, her 30th.

Of the compositions by the team of Barbour and Lee team which became Billboard hits, "Blum Blum" was the sixth and final one. (It was not, however, the last hit that Lee, sans Barbour, self-penned. For details about the next compositions of hers to enter the charts, see Decca session dated February 18, 1953.)


Songwriters

1. "Please, Love Me Tonight"
2. Watt Watkins
3. Woody Herman
Capitol 78 #57-608 lists Herman Watkins as the songwriter of "Please, Love Me Tonight," and so does BMI. Other sources print Watkins' first name as either Watt or Matt. After looking at additional copyright entries credited to Watkins, my impression is that Watt was just a nickname for H.L. Watkins (with the "H" standing for Herman), who was born in 1908 and passed away in 1983. "Matt" seems to be merely a typo.

Aside from his birth date, death date, and a few song credits at BMI, any biographical details about Mr. Watkins were completely unknown to me until very recently. It's no surprise, then, that I once wondered if "Herman Watkins" could be a pseudonym for Woody Herman, who -- as previously mentioned -- might have played in this session. I considered such a possibility because both names shared the same initials, and because "Herman" was part of the equation in both cases. Nevertheless, I now know that the similarities are just coincidental.

Watkins' existence was finally corroborated for me by Linda Shafer, who kindly sent me a message in September 2010. Linda describes Watkins as a family friend who she remembers from her childhood days, in the 1960s. Linda describes him as a gracious man and talented musician who lived in the San Francisco area with her wife Neysa and who indeed went by the nickname of Watt.

At BMI's website, "Please, Love Me Tonight" is actually credited to two songwriters: Herman L. Watkins and Ruth Oma Wilkinson. (Ruth Oma MackIntosh Wilkinson and Watt Walkins are also co-credited for other BMI songs. Other sources identify Watkins as the author of the music, Wilkinson as the lyricist.) Herein I have entered, however, the credit that was given in the original 78, where Wilkinson is not listed at all.


Masters

1. Take Numbers
In the Capitol Label Discography, all three released masters from this date are identified as #2 takes. That identification conflicts with information that was communicated to me: in Capitol's inventories, "If You Could See Me Now" and "Blum Blum" are listed as #3 takes.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the arranger credits indicated above. In the case of "If You Could See Me Now," the library arrangement does not have an author credit.


Date: February 8, 1949
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1185

Dave Barbour (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour's Afro Cubans (acc), Henry J. "Heinie" Beau (cl, ts), Ray Linn (t), Dave Barbour, George Van Eps (g), Phil Stevens (b), Nick Fatool, Iván López, Jackie Mills, Tommy Romersa (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.3953-6   MasterSimilau (See-me-lo) - 2:23  (Arden Clar, Harry Coleman, Leopoldo González) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78: 15416 — {Similau / While We're Young}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13111 — {(Ghost) Riders In The Sky / Similau (See-me-lo)} [different pairing than in USA singles]    (1949)
www~ Reader's Digest CS/CD: Rf7/Krf 140 [Emi 72434 99216] — The Legendary Peggy Lee: Her Greatest Hits & Finest Performances   (1999)

Songs

1. "Similau" In The Music Charts And In Its Original Context
The exotic-sounding tune "Similau" originated in a voodoo chant from the Caribbean -- an invocation to the spirit Similó. From a musical standpoint, this percussion-heavy track is a suitably frenzied version of that invocation.

"Similau" entered the charts during the week of April 23, 1949 and peaked at #17. It became Peggy Lee's 21st solo hit.


Personnel And Masters

1. Dave Barbour
Notice that this is a Dave Barbour session, featuring Peggy Lee on only one of the three resulting masters.

2. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded in this session were the following instrumentals:

#3938 - Ensenada
#3939 - Little Boy Bop, Go Blow Your Top

3. Background Vocals
The chanters that back 'priestess Peggy' in "Similau" are presumed to be the date's musicians.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangement for this session's performance is extant in Capitol's library of music scores. It is credited to Heinie Beau, as indicated above.


Date: March 11, 1949
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1223

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.4095-3   MasterBali Ha'i - 3:08  (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 543 / 54 547; also F 547 — {Bali Ha'i / There's Nothing Like A Dame [Dave Barbour instrumental]}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: Cd 162 (57 596-599) / Cdf 163 (54 600-603) /H 163 — [Various Artists] Songs From Rodgers And Hammerstein's South Pacific   (1949)
CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13571 — {Bali Ha'i / I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)

Songs

1. "Bali Ha'i" In The Music Charts
Peggy Lee's 22nd hit for Capitol Records entered Billboard's charts during the week of May 14, 1949 and peaked at #13. Fierce competition came from RCA Victor's Perry Como (#5), Capitol's own Paul Weston (#10; an instrumental version), Decca's Bing Crosby (#12), and Columbia's Frank Sinatra (#18).


Masters

1. Non-Lee Masters
Also recorded during this session was "There Is Nothin' Like A Dame" (master #4096), which is an instrumental by Dave Barbour And His Orchestra.


Issues And Cross-references

1. Songs From Rodgers And Hammerstein's South Pacific
Tracks.
The songs found in this album (and their interpreters) are:

(I'm In Love With) A Wonderful Guy - Margaret Whiting
Bali Ha'i - Peggy Lee
Younger Than Springtime - Gordon MacRae
Happy Talk / Honey Bun - Frank DeVol And His Orchestra
There Is Nothin' Like A Dame - Dave Barbour And His Orchestra
A Cock-eyed Optimist - Margaret Whiting
I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair - Peggy Lee
Some Enchanted Evening - Gordon MacRae

For details about the other Peggy Lee performance included in this album, see session dated April 18, 1949.

Configurations.
South Pacific originally came out in at least 3 configurations.

(a) A 78 album titled Songs From Rodgers And Hammerstein's South Pacific (catalogue number Cd 162). This album contains four 78s. "Bali Ha'i" can be found in the 78 numbered 57 597. (n.b.: Capitol's Peggy Lee session file erroneously lists the 78 that contains "Bali Ha'i" as 54 597 (alb. Cdf 162). Two errors: the 4 should be a 7, and there should not be a F in the album's prefix. These errors do not appear in other Capitol documentation.)
(b) A 45 album titled Songs From Rodgers And Hammerstein's South Pacific (catalogue number Cdf 163). This album contains four 45s. "Bali Ha'i" can be found in the 45 numbered 54 601.
(c) A 10" LP titled Songs From South Pacific (H 163).

A side note about configurations (a) and (b). Sellers of used records oftentimes offer those 78s and 45s as separate pieces. But they were originally sold as components of the albums, not separately.

In some online sites, I have also come across listings for a 4th original issue: Ebf 162. However, I have yet to find evidence of this issue's existence, and have thus abstained from entering it in the database at present time. (If it does exist, Ebf 162 should be a 45 album, just like #2 above. Their respective prefixes suggest that these two 45 albums differ in the number of 45s which each contains: two 45s in the case of Ebf 162, four 45s in the case of Cdf 163. Both albums should include a total of eight songs.

2. "Bali Ha'i" [45]
Capitol's own documentation lists two releases of "Bali Ha'i" on 45 single: #54-547 and #F547. The second release or pressing is actually the earliest Peggy Lee single with the F prefix, which Capitol started using in 1949, as a special designation for 45s only. Also in 1949, after only a brief period of use, the numerical prefix 54 seems to have been discontinued.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangement for this session's performance of "Bali Ha'i" is extant in Capitol's library of music scores. As I have indicated above, the library credits it to Heinie Beau.


Date: April 18, 1949
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1265

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour All-Stars (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v), The Jud Conlon Singers (bkv)

a.4193-3   MasterI'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair - 3:08  (Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 album/EP box/(10")LP: Cd 162 (57 596-599) / Cdf 163 (54 600-603) /H 163 — [Various Artists] Songs From Rodgers And Hammerstein's South Pacific   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13571 — {Bali Ha'i / I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     zzz~ Mastercuts CD: Mcutcd 27 — The Essential Peggy Lee   (2007)
     DRG CD: 19113 — [Various Artists] The Best Of Broadway, Vol. 1: South Pacific/ Kiss Me, Kate   (2008)
     CAPITOL©EMI LP: (England) Enc 136 — South Pacific And The King And I ("Encore" Series)   
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1321 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 songs from South Pacific album, 2 by Peggy Lee]   
b.4215-5   Master(Ghost) Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend) - 2:41  (Stan Jones) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 608 / 54 608 — {(Ghost) Riders In The Sky / Please Love Me Tonight}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13111 — {(Ghost) Riders In The Sky / Similau (See-me-lo)} [different pairing than in USA singles]    (1949)
CAPITOL©EMI LP/CD: (Australia) Sca 082/Cdmid 166224 — Peggy Lee ("20 Golden Greats" Series) [CD released at an unknown date]   (1982)
Both titles on:      CAPITOL CS/CD: C4 5/Cdp 7 93195 — THE EARLY YEARS (CAPITOL COLLECTORS SERIES, VOLUME 1)   (1990)
     CAPITOL©EMI Special Markets CD: Gsc 15453/7243 4 96336 2 9 — Peggy Lee ("36 All-Time Greatest Hits" Series)   (1999)
zzz~ Asv/Living Era CD: (England) Aja 266 — It's A Good Day; 50 Original Mono Recordings, 1941-1951   (2002)

Songs

1. "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" In The Music Charts
Sung by Gene Autry in the 1949 movie Riders In The Sky, this highly popular pseudo-western tune might have initially seemed an unlikely choice for a female vocalist to sing. Most record labels indeed assigned the number to male singers: Vaughan Monroe gave a huge #1 bestseller to RCA Victor, Decca's Bing Crosby took it to #14, and Columbia's Burl Ives to #21. At Capitol, Peggy Lee's feminine approach propelled the tune all the way to #2. She turns "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" into less of a happy cowboy novelty and more of a melancholic ghost story. (Fittingly, the original inspiration for this song's lyrics were legends that came, like Lee's own ancestors, from Scandinavia.)


Personnel

1. The Jud Conlon Singers
This group sings background vocals for "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" only.


Issues And Cross-references

1. South Pacific
For this album's full track listing and for details about the configurations in which it was originally issued, see notes under session dated March 11, 1949.

2. "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair" [78, 45]
Capitol's Peggy Lee session file lists the following catalogue numbers under her performance of "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair":

54 603 (alb. Cdf 163)
H 163

The first row's set of numbers belongs to a 45 album, the second to a 10" LP. Unaccountably left out (but reinstated in this discography) is the 78 album: 57-599 (alb. Cd 162).

Notice also that, at record auctions and in online listings, both the 45 (#57 599) and the 78 (#54 603) are sometimes described as singles. Nonetheless, neither was ever a single. They were originally part of (45, 78) albums, but as time has passed they have become detached from their original context, and have thus been misidentified and sold as separate pieces.


Arrangements

The arrangements for this session's performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. Heinie Beau is, as I have indicated above, the credited arranger.


Date: May 25, 1949
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1351

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour All-Stars (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.4508-rejected   MasterSunshine Cake  (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     unissued
b.4509   MasterYou Can Have Him - 3:14  (Irving Berlin) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 670 / F 670 — {You Can Have Him / At The Cafe Rendezvous}   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1372 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [4 Peggy Lee, 2 Pauline Byrne vocals]   
c.4510   MasterAt The Café Rendezvous - 3:07  (Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 670 / F 670 — {You Can Have Him / At The Cafe Rendezvous}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13280 — {Sunshine Cake / At The Café Rendezvous} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1950)
CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)

Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the above-indicated arranger credits.


Masters And Cross-references

1. "Sunshine Cake"
For an issued version of this song, see session dated October 7, 1949.


Date: June 3, 1949
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1361

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour (con), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v), The Jud Conlon Singers (bkv)

a.4541-4   MasterNeon Signs - 2:30  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 703 / 54 703 — {Neon Signs / Through A Long And Sleepless Night}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13458 — {Neon Signs / Run For The Roundhouse, Nellie} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1372 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [4 Peggy Lee, 2 Pauline Byrne vocals]   
b.4542-3   MasterGoodbye, John - 3:18  (Alec Wilder, Charles Eager) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78: 849 — {Sunshine Cake / Goodbye, John}   (1950)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13329 — {When You Speak With Your Eyes / Goodbye, John } [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1950)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
c.4543-2   MasterThrough A Long And Sleepless Night - 3:12  (Mack Gordon, Alfred Newman) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 703 / 54 703 — {Neon Signs / Through A Long And Sleepless Night}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13165 — {Through A Long And Sleepless Night / So Dear To My Heart} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1372 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [4 Peggy Lee, 2 Pauline Byrne vocals]   
d.4544-2   MasterThe Christmas Spell - 3:15  (Jack Palmer, Willard Robison) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 90035 / F 90035 — {Song At Midnight / The Christmas Spell} (Capitol's Holiday Series)   (1949)
     CAPITOL CS/CD: Cdp 7 94450 2 — CHRISTMAS CAROUSEL   (1990)
     CAPITOL©EMI Gold/Music For Pleasure CD: (England) Cdmfp 6149 (reissues 9753, 31067) — The Christmas Album   (1990)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Ch 877292 — Christmas   (1997)
     CAPITOL CD: 09463 63376 2 3 — CHRISTMAS WITH PEGGY LEE   (2006)
e.4545-1   MasterSong At Midnight - 3:09  (Newell Chase, Willard Robison) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 90035 / F 90035 — {Song At Midnight / The Christmas Spell} (Capitol's Holiday Series)   (1949)
     CAPITOL CD: 09463 63376 2 3 — CHRISTMAS WITH PEGGY LEE   (2006)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1603-1604 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [10 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Songs And Songwriters

1. "Goodbye, John"
2. Alec Wilder
In his 1975 book Letters I Never Mailed, Alec Wilder addresses one of the titular letters to Peggy Lee. He writes that, while visiting the apartment of a very courteous but alarming man, he happened to hear one of her recordings: It was yours and Dave's record of "Goodbye John." Dear Peggy, how absolutely dear and loving that record was! Every word you uttered I believed and every note you sang was definitive. Dave's section was a model of distillation and choice! Really a very special record for anyone, let alone the writer of the music.

Unfortunately, what initially looks like a eulogy eventually turns into chastisement, bestowed on Lee for transgressions that are rather vaguely stated. Wilder seems to resent the fact that Lee never got around to record another number which he had composed especially for her. (Titled "Is It Always Like This?," the song was meant to console Lee for the loss of a boyfriend. The number was written in 1942, which was a rather inconvenient time for her to record it. Back then, Lee was still under the employment of Benny Goodman, and hence she had very limited input in song choices. Then, after her time with Goodman, opportunities decreased even more, because Lee went into temporary retirement. (Another Wilder favorite, Mabel Mercer, picked up the song instead, and so did Lena Horne.)

Other lapses for which Wilder reprimands Lee are her alleged attempts at "com[ing] to grips with today's goblin society" and with the "bitterness or loneliness of age." In Wilder's opinion, such attempts have led Lee to lose her "belief[s] and sweet sadness, [her] genuine love and the gentle touch ... [her] age of innocence, joy and wonderment."

Insiders have revealed that, contrary to what Wilder's book would have its readers believe, his never-sent letters were not memories that he had kept from decades past. Instead, Wilder is said to have churned them out over a short period of time (weeks), usually while sitting in a booth at a club where his friend, pianist Marian MacPartland, played regularly.

If Lee ever read those partially unflattering comments (published in 1975), she must have not taken lasting offense to them. In her autobiography (1989), Lee refers to Wilder as a "superb composer and friend." She also describes him as "a lovable eccentric, and he and I would sit and talk about life for hours. Schmoozing, I think it's called. Which is talk with a lot of affection and closeness." Further corroboration of this portrait of the singer and the songwriter's closeness comes from Lee's daughter, Nicki Foster. In an essay written by Will Friedwald for Capitol's The Singles Collection, Foster shared the following reminiscence from her childhood: "I remember Alec. He had a mad crush on Mother. He was a very odd man, very tall and lanky, and he smoked incessantly, but I remember I always found him interesting. He was practically obsessed with Mother, and she loved his writing."

The exact reasons behind Wilder's dissatisfaction with Lee are open to debate. They might or might not be those that he mentions on the written page. People who knew the songwriter deemed him not only eccentric but also troubled. Due in part to a drinking problem, Wilder could be contentious and rude. He clearly did not take lightly to singers who took liberties with his compositions. (For an instance involving Lee, see notes under session dated November 27, 1947.) Even the ever friendly and amenable Ella Fitzgerald was once taken to task, in her case for not having recorded any of his songs. After the reprimand (admonished some time around 1969, when she caught her while both happened to take the same elevator), Fitzgerald went on to record Wilder's "Trouble Is A Man."


Personnel

1. Background Vocals
Background singing by The Jud Conlon Singers on "Neon Signs," "The Christmas Spell," and "Song At Midnight."


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. As indicated above, the library credits Heinie Beau for all five arrangements.

2. "The Christmas Spell"
Peggy Lee's sheet music library contains another arrangement of this song. That arrangement is by Dick Hazard, who worked with Lee during most of the 1960s but also seems to have occasionally arranged for Lee in the late 1940s and early 1950s.


Date: October 6, 1949
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1493

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Pete Rugolo (con), Pete Rugolo and His Orchestra (acc), Unknown (f, str, cel), Peggy Lee (v)

a.4943-3   MasterCrazy, He Calls Me - 3:07  (Sidney Keith Russell, Carl Sigman) / arr: Pete Rugolo
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 898 / F 898 — {Crazy He Calls Me / Them There Eyes}   (1950)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13437 — {Lover, Come Back To Me / Crazy, He Calls Me} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)
b.4944-3D2   MasterA Man Wrote A Song - 3:19  (Dave Franklin) / arr: Pete Rugolo
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 769 / 54 769 — {A Man Wrote A Song / Run For The Roundhouse, Nellie}   (1949)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
c.4945-4   MasterOne Day - 2:52  (Jerry Colonna) / arr: Pete Rugolo
     CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)
     zzz~ Tim International CD: (Germany) 220838 [220839-220843] — A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues ("Document" Series)   (2004)
zzz~ Weton-Wesgram CD: (The Netherlands) Mom 641 — Peggy Lee ("Masters Of Music" Series)   (2005)

Songs And Personnel

1. "One Day"
2. Pete Rugolo
In his track-by-track annotation for the Capitol set Miss Peggy Lee, Jim Pierson writes: "At the suggestion of famed conductor Pete Rugolo, this previously unissued gem from 1949 has been liberated from the Capitol vaults. Rugolo recorded several sides with Peggy and recalled that she was deeply disappointed that the whimsical One Day was not released."


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the above-indicated arranger credits.


Date: October 7, 1949
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1494

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Pete Rugolo (con), Pete Rugolo and His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.4946-3   MasterSave Your Sorrow For Tomorrow - 2:30  (Buddy DeSylva, Al Sherman)
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 810 / F 810 — {Save Your Sorrow For Tomorrow / Sugar (That Sugar Baby Of Mine)}   (1949)
     CAPITOL LP: (Japan) Ecp 88169 — Peggy Lee With Dave Barbour   (1974)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1603-1604 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [10 Peggy Lee vocals]   
b.4947-2   MasterSunshine Cake - 2:25  (Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen) / arr: Pete Rugolo
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13280 — {Sunshine Cake / At The Café Rendezvous} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1950)
     CAPITOL 78: 849 — {Sunshine Cake / Goodbye, John}   (1950)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
c.4948-3   MasterRun For The Roundhouse, Nellie - 3:16  (Willard Robison, Jack Palmer) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 769 / 54 769 — {A Man Wrote A Song / Run For The Roundhouse, Nellie}   (1949)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13458 — {Neon Signs / Run For The Roundhouse, Nellie} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)

Crossreferences

1. "Sunshine Cake"
For an earlier and unissued recording of this song, see session dated May 25, 1949.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the above-indicated arranger credits. In the case of "Save Your Sorrow For Tomorrow," credit is mysteriously given to a "Tommy" for whom no last name is included.


Date: ca. November 11, 1949
Location: Capitol Studios, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Sessions #1541, #1542, #1616, #1617

Mel Tormé (ldr), James Conkling, Lee Gillette (pdr), Mel Tormé (pdr, v), Harold "Hal" Mooney (con), Mel Tormé and The Meltones (acc), Skeets Herfurt aka Arthur Herfurt (cl, as), Jules Jacob[s], Jules Kinsler, Robert "Bob" Lawson (as, ts), Chuck Gentry (bar), Conrad Gozzo, Uan Rasey, George Seaberg, Joe Triscari (t), Joe Howard aka Francis Howard, Ed Kusby aka Edward Kuczborski, Si Zentner (tb), Allan Reuss (g), Phil Stephens (b), Buddy Neal (p), Ralph Hansell (x, vib), Irv Cottler (d), Les Baxter, Peggy Lee, Loulie Jean Norman, Ginny O'Connor, Bernie Parke (v)

a.5464   MasterWe Think The West Coast Is The Best Coast - 6:23  (Mel Torme)
b.5465   MasterConey Island - 0:35  (Mel Torme) / arr: Billy May
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) 45 P 1277 1280 — The Peggy Lee Story   (2002)
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) Box 108 — Miss Wonderful    (2006)
c.5465    MasterThe Miami Waltz - 1:40  (Mel Torme)
d.5468   MasterGot The Gate On The Golden Gate - 3:33  (Mel Torme) / arr: Neal Hefti
     www~ Rhino CS/CD: R2/R4 71589 — [Mel Tormé] The Mel Tormé Collection, 1944-1985   (1996)
     www~ Reader's Digest CD: Read RC7 012 1 — [Mel Tormé] The Legendary Mel Tormé   (1997)
     www~ A&E Biography CD: 7243 4 94749 0 1 — [Mel Tormé] A Musical Anthology   (1998)
     www~ Movieplay/Intermusic's A Jazz Hour CD: (Portugal) Jhr 73604 — [Mel Tormé] Again ("A Jazz Hour With" Series)   (2001)
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) 45 P 1277 1280 — The Peggy Lee Story   (2002)
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) Box 108 — Miss Wonderful    (2006)
e.5470   MasterWe Think The West Coast Is The Best Coast (Reprise) - 2:12  (Mel Torme)
All titles on:      CAPITOL 78 album/EP box/12" LP: Edd 200 [8 28004-28007]/Kcf 200 (6F 28004-28007)/P 200 — [Mel Tormé] California Suite   (1950)
     Discovery/Trend LP: Ds 910 — [Mel Tormé] Sings His California Suite   (1984)
yyy~ Jasmine CD: (England) Jascd 365 — [Mel Tormé] California Suite & The Velvet Fog   (2000)

Issues

1. Mel Tormé's California Suite
2. Gordon Jenkins' Manhattan Tower And California (The Golden State)

This session's masters are part of a musical suite composed by Mel Tormé. The suite is over 30 minutes long.

Tormé's model and inspiration was a work of the same genre that had been released a few years earlier. In September 1945, pianist, composer and arranger Gordon Jenkins recorded a 17-minute homage to New York City. The next year, Decca Records released it on an album titled Manhattan Tower: A Musical Narrative Composed By Gordon Jenkins (catalogue number 723), which consisted of two 78s and divided the piece into four suites. Jenkins' musical narrative seems to have been reissued in 1949, as either an EP album or a 10" LP, and again around 1954, as a 12" LP (Decca Dl 8011). Those post-78 album versions are actually twofers: they combine Manhattan Tower with California (The Golden State), a similar work that Jenkins had co-written with Tom Adair. (Both pieces mix music with dramatic narration, and each bears the sub-title "A Musical Narrative.") Next, in 1956, a newly recorded and expanded version of the New York suite was released by Jenkins, not on Decca but on Capitol, in EP and LP configurations, under the title Complete Manhattan Tower (catalogue number for the LP: T 766). "New York's My Home" has become the best-known song from Jenkins' homage to the Big Apple.

In Tormé own words, his California Suite was conceived as an "an alter ego" to Jenkins' Manhattan Tower. As its title implies, the suite celebrates the joys of California and the West Coast. The most noticeable difference between Tormé's and Jenkins' opuses is that Tormé includes no spoken narration; everything is sung, including the expository commentary. Also, some of the singers in Tormé's suite are well-defined dramatis personae (The Extra Girl, The Easterner), whereas those in Manhattan Tower are barely sketched characters of little dramatic import. Thus California Suite qualifies not just as a narrative in song but also as musical drama. Its best-known number is "Poor Little Extra Girl."

Peggy Lee sings the role of The Easterner, a character who functions as the chief antagonist throughout this musical drama. In a New York accent, she constantly extols the superiority of various East Coast locations and professes herself skeptical of the West Coast's alleged virtues. But after The Easterner hears all the eulogies to California that are sung by the other characters, she finally comes around: Miss Big Apple Dweller ends up acknowledging that the West Coast has, after all, plenty to recommend.

California Suite was originally issued in three configurations: as a 78 set (three discs: 8 28004 to 8 28007), as a 45 set (four discs: 6f 28004 to 6f 28007), and as an LP that was Capitol's first non-classical 12" vinyl. In those original configurations, there is no track listing. The album's contents are simply presented as one long-running unit, without any mention of song titles. Titles first appeared when EMI in England released the suite; thereafter, the titles were incorporated to both American and European reissues.

Capitol Records' California Suite is not to be confused with a reprise that Tormé recorded for Bethlehem Records. Though also titled California Suite and covering the same basic terrain, the second version differs significantly from the Capitol original. More importantly for the purposes of this discography, Peggy Lee does not participate in that 1957 reprise.


Personnel

1. "Susan Melton"
2. Mel Tormé
3. Peggy Lee And Mel Tormé: Collaborations
Notice that this is a Mel Tormé session, and that Peggy Lee is not listed by her own name in this date's paperwork. Instead, credit for her role as The Easterner is given to a pseudonym, Susan Melton. The reason why Peggy Lee used this assumed name is unknown. Chances are that she and those involved in the album's production were merely having tongue-in-cheek fun. The name "Melton" is obviously a play on the name of Mel's group (The Mel-Tones) and, by extension, on Tormé's first name.

Lee's adoption of such a pseudonym also suggests that she was not particularly interested in receiving public credit for her contribution, but participated in this project chiefly as a favor. Lee's and Tormé's common manager, Carlos Gastel, was largely responsible for orchestrating her involvement. In the liner notes for the Rhino set The Mel Tormé Collection, 1944-1985, Will Friedwald quotes Tormé himself as saying that "[w]hen we came to the point when we needed the voice of The Easterner, Carlos Gastel thought of Peggy. He went to her and said, Would you do this for Mel? and she said, Sure. She sings it with that sort of mock Eastern accent."

Other collaborations between Lee and Tormé ensued. Shortly after the completion of the California Suite, they met again for a duet session (November 16, 1949) in which a light-hearted song that the pair had co-written was among the attempted numbers. Another duet session took place two years later (July 10, 1951); at that point, they were also co-hosting a summer television show. Later on still, the twosome jointly worked on more television (1960s) and also in concerts (1990s). At the last of those concerts (1995), the two artists seem to have had a falling out, unfortunately. But throughout his long career Tormé consistently made appreciative comments about Lee's talents, both in interviews and in his self-written print (e.g., Tormé's 1994 book My Singing Teachers).

4. Female Vocalists Heard In The Suite
Various female voices are heard throughout Capitol's California Suite (Peggy Lee's, Loulie Jean Norman's, Ginny O'Connor's). The album does not identify the exact parts that each one sings, and neither are those parts credited in Capitol's in-house documents. For the purpose of Peggy Lee's discography, those omissions mean that there is no official identification of the segments that are sung by "Susan Melton," and that differentiation between her voice and those of the other female vocalists has to be made solely by listening.

In Mel Tormé: A Chronicle Of His Recordings, Books And Films, George Hulme does list who sings what in each of the album's tracks. The author relies on careful listening of the suite. After having also spent some time listening to the suite, I find myself concurring with Hulme's identification of the tracks sung by Lee.


Arrangers

1. Mel Tormé
2. Jud Conlon
3. Billy May
4. Neal Hefti
5. Dick Jones
6. Hal Mooney
7. Paul Villepigue
8. Source
Mel Tormé did the arrangements for the group vocals by The Mel-Tones. All other choral arrangements are by Jud Conlon.

Jack Mirtle's The Music Of Billy May: A Discography is the source for the arranging credits in the cases of "Coney Island" and "Got The Gate On The Golden Gate."

Also known to have contributed arrangements for the California Suite are Dick Jones, Hal Mooney, and Paul Villepigue. With the one exception noted in the paragraph immediately below, there is no knowledge of which arrangements each of these gentlemen contributed.

Among the parts arranged by Paul Villepigue is a segment of "We Think The West Coast Is The Best Coast" in which Peggy Lee has one line ("Yeah, what's that?"). The sub-title of the segment in question is "Dreary Days." My thanks to Desne Ahlers for sharing with me this bit of information, gleaned from a personal letter that Villepigue wrote to his mother.


Session(s) And Dating

Specific session information about these recordings has proven hard to come by. What's more, Billy May discographer Jack Mirtle reports that Capitol's master files for the California Suite contain neither dates nor song titles. Ultimately, convenience rather than accuracy has led me to group the five above-listed performances under one session.

The Capitol Label Discography by Michel Ruppli et al. gives a general November 1949 date to the original masters which, as noted before, were initially released on a 78 album. Ruppli's text also shows that Capitol created a second, separate entry for the suite's 45 album version, probably because such a release on 45 required remastering (e.g., editing and re-cutting) of the original 78 masters. That second entry is dated February 1950.

The date that I have given to these performances (November 11, 1949) is confirmed only for "Got The Gate On The Golden Gate." Rhino's The Mel Tormé Collection, 1944-1985 is my source. Rhino in turn obtained its information through the kind cooperation of the American Federation Of Musicians, Local 47, whose archives are deemed the most reliable for session data. Because "Got The Gate On The Golden Gate" is the only track from California Suite that was included in The Mel Tormé Collection, 1944-1985, Rhino gives no dating information about the suite's other tracks. Consequently, November the 11th qualifies only as an approximate date for the other four masters listed in this session.


Masters

1. Master Numbers
My initial acquaintance with the above-shown master numbers happened thanks to authors George Hulme and Jack Mirtle , who found them while they were researching their respective discographies of Mel Tormé and Billy May. The numbers were found in the log sheets for the suite's completed master. (That is to say, they do not come from the session's file, whose location eluded the authors and their assistants).

The more recently published Capitol Label Discography by Ruppli et al. offers additional details. This extensive CD-ROM document shows that, as Hulme had indicated in his Mel Tormé discography, master numbers were assigned not by individual song but by the parts or segments in which the suite was divided for 78 issue. Hence, for instance, "Coney Island" and "The Miami Waltz" are both parts of 78 master disc #5465.

To further complicate matters, California Suite actually has not one but two sets of master numbers. One set belongs to the 78 master discs, the other set to 45 master discs. Here is the set of numbers from the 78 master, as listed in the Capitol Label Discography:

Session #1541
November 1949
5463 California Suite, Part 1: Mountain Desert Theme / The Golden West / We Think The West Coast Is The Best Coast, Segment 1
5464 California Suite, Part 2: We Think The West Coast Is The Best Coast, Segment 2
5465 California Suite, Part 3: Coney Island / The Miami Waltz
5466 California Suite, Part 4: They Go To San Diego

Session #1542
November 1949
5667 California Suite, Part 5: Sunday Night In San Francisco
5468 California Suite, Part 6: Got The Gate On The Golden Gate
5469 California Suite, Part 7: Prelude To Poor Little Extra Girl
5470 California Suite, Part 8: Poor Little Extra Girl / We Think The West Coast Is The Best Coast, Reprise / Mountain Desert Theme

[A side note. I believe that Ruppli et. al have used two sources for the details shown above: Capitol's log sheets (which do not give the suite's song titles) and another source (from which the song titles were gathered). EMI in England seems to have been the first company to issue the album in a version that identified the songs by title. Hulme also identified them in his Tormé discography. Thereafter, song titles have appeared in various other sources: Jasmine Cd 365 (an issue which benefitted from Hulme's output), this discography, and some Public Domain issues.]

As already mentioned, a second set of master numbers was assigned to the suite's segments when they were re-cut for release as a 45 album. The Capitol Label Discography presents those numbers as follows:

Session #1616
ca. February, 1950
5471 Pt.1
5472 Pt.2
5473 Pt.3

Session #1617
ca. February 1950
5474 Pt.4
5475 Pt.5
5470 Pt.6

Because I do not own a copy of the suite's 45 album version, and because I do not know which songs are included in each of the 45 masters, I have entered in this discography only the 78 master disc numbers.


Date: November 16, 1949
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1547

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Lou Busch and His Orchestra (acc), Lou Busch (p), Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé (v), Bob Hamlin As Member Of The Mellomen, Bill Lee As Member Of The Mellomen, The Mellomen, Thurl Ravenscroft As Member Of The Mellomen, Max Smith As Member Of The Mellomen (bkv)

a.5217-4D   MasterBless You (For The Good That Is In You) - 2:49  (Peggy Lee, Mel Torme)
     CAPITOL©EMI Electrola CD: (Germany) 94635 9779 2 9 — Essential Peggy Lee   (2006)
b.5218-3D1   MasterThe Old Master Painter - 2:46  (Haven Gillespie, Beasley Smith)
     CAPITOL CS/CD: C4 5/Cdp 7 93195 — THE EARLY YEARS (CAPITOL COLLECTORS SERIES, VOLUME 1)   (1990)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: (England) 0777 7 9 9426 2 6 — [Mel Tormé] Mel Tormé ("The Best Of The Capitol Years" Series)   (1995)
www~ A&E Biography CD: 7243 4 94749 0 1 — [Mel Tormé] A Musical Anthology   (1998)
Both titles on:      CAPITOL 78 & 45: 57 791 / 54 791; also F 791 — {The Old Master Painter / Bless You (For The Good That Is In You)}   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     zzz~ Delta's Xtra CD: (England) 20050501 — Blues In The Night   (2005)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1603-1604 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [10 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Songs

1. "The Old Master Painter" In The Music Charts
Peggy Lee's and Mel Tormé's duet version of "The Old Master Painter" made its chart debut during the week of January 7, 1950, and went on to peak at #9. It was Lee's 24th solo hit and Tormé's 8th. A highly popular song at recording time, five other recordings of "The Old Master Painter" successfully competed on the charts as well: Frank Sinatra's (#13), Snooky Lanson's (#12), Phil Harris' (#10), Dick Haymes' (#4), and Richard Hayes' (#2).


Personnel

1. The Mellomen
This edition of The Mellomen featured Thurl Ravenscroft, Max Smith, Bill Lee and Bob Hamlin.

2. Lou Busch
3. Joe "Fingers" Carr
The Lou Busch who participated in this 1949 session was the same man who would soon become popular as a ragtime, honky tonk pianist, under the pseudonym of Joe "Fingers" Carr. Aural inspection of the piano playing heard through "The Old Master Painter" certainly suggests that the hands tickling the ivory are Carr's.

4. Accompaniment: Dave Barbour Versus Lou Busch
Extant information about this session's accompaniment is conflictive. Lee's session files credit Dave Barbour as the orchestra leader, and do not list Lou Busch. On the other hand, and according to Mel Tormé discographer George Hulme, "[t]he orchestra leader is given as Lou Busch on [Tormé's] Capitol log sheets. The notes for [EMI CD] 077779942626 credit Lou Busch as the orchestra leader but the notes for Capitol [CD] 7 93195-2 mistakenly give the leader as Dave Barbour." In private communication with me, Hulme also made a sensible point about Capitol's occasional practice of listing an accompaniment other than the actual one -- especially when the actual conductor was not a brand name.

Hulme's assertion that Busch directed this date strikes me as probably correct. The Capitol Label Discography, published after Hulme did his research, backs him up. (The text by Ruppli et al. states: "Peggy Lee,Mel Torme[vo] & The Mellomen[vo] with Lou Busch and his Orchestra.") Since there is no prominent guitar in either of this session's two songs, Barbour's participation is highly questionable. Piano is the main instrument. (There also seems to be clarinet, organ, and in "Bless You," perhaps a sax.)

Of course, there is room for the possibility that Barbour was somehow involved, even if not as heavily as Busch, who was actually an in-house producer at Capitol. After all, Barbour and Lee tended to work as a two-person "package" during these years. Although it would have been unusual, Busch could have ceded the direction of one of the tracks to Barbour. The matter needs to be fully settled by consulting more reliable documentation which is not accessible to me, unfortunately -- i.e., the date's AFM reports.


Acknowledgments

1. George Hulme
My thanks to Mr. Hulme for the very helpful and instructive details that he shared with me (about both Capitol and Tormé) during various email exchanges, and for his superior work Mel Tormé: A Chronicle Of His Recordings, Books And Films.


Masters And Arrangements

1. "Crime And Punishment"
Capitol's library of music scores lists an arrangement for a duet by Peggy Lee and Mel Tormé, for a song titled "Crime And Punishment." Presumably, this "Crime And Punishment" was the 1920s number composed by Ferre and Jacobs, the same team responsible for another composition that Peggy Lee recorded for Capitol on June 16, 1950, "The Cannonball Express." As interpreted by artists such as Hoagy Carmichael, "Crime And Punishment" resembles "The Old Master Painter" in its canteen-piano musical atmosphere.

However, no Lee-Tormé master of "Crime And Punishment" is known to exist. Unless it is unlisted in the official paperwork and lost in the vaults, it doesn't seem to have been recorded. For another master whose situation is similar, see session dated September 13, 1950, notes included.


Date: December 2, 1949
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1560

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour (con), The Gualadajara Boys (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.5262-3D1   MasterWhen You Speak With Your Eyes - 2:59  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee, Rene Touzet)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13329 — {When You Speak With Your Eyes / Goodbye, John } [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1950)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: (Korea) 8806344820326 — The Very Best Of Peggy Lee; The Capitol Years   (2006)
b.5263-3D1   MasterMy Small Señor (With The Sonriente Eyes) - 2:52  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13471 — {Ay, Ay, Chug A Chug / My Small Señor} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
Both titles on:      CAPITOL 78 & 45: 801 / F 801 — {My Small Señor (With The Sonriente Eyes) / When You Speak With Your Eyes}   (1949)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1603-1604 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [10 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Masters And Studio Chatter

1. "My Small Señor (With The Sonriente Eyes)"
The Capitol set The Singles Collection includes a very brief (:12) spoken bit from this session. Right before Lee sings take #3 of "My Small Señor," she is heard practicing her pronunciation of the Spanish word "sonriente," which translates into "smiling" or "flirty."


Date: March 13, 1950
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1659

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour (con), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.5639-6D3   MasterOnce Around The Moon - 2:26  (Carl Sigman, Bob Hilliard) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 961 / F 961 — {Cry, Cry, Cry / Once Around The Moon}   (1950)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 82680 2 7 — The Best Of The Singles Collection    (2003)
     zzz~ Mastercuts CD: Mcutcd 27 — The Essential Peggy Lee   (2007)
     www~ Hear Music (Starbucks) CD: 509996 — Come Rain Or Come Shine ("Opus Collection" Series)   (2010)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1603-1604 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [10 Peggy Lee vocals]   
b.5640-4D4   MasterCry, Cry, Cry - 2:49  (Wilton Moore aka Vaughn Monroe, Sunny Skylar) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 961 / F 961 — {Cry, Cry, Cry / Once Around The Moon}   (1950)
     zzz~ Mastercuts CD: Mcutcd 27 — The Essential Peggy Lee   (2007)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1603-1604 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [10 Peggy Lee vocals]   
c.5667-3   MasterHelpless - 2:22  (Roy Wells) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1161 / F 1161 — {Helpless / Lover Come Back To Me}   (1950)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1725 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
d.5668-3   MasterThey Can't Take That Away From Me - 2:29  (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)
     CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)
     zzz~ Tim International CD: (Germany) 220838 [220839-220843] — A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues ("Document" Series)   (2004)
     zzz~ Weton-Wesgram CD: Vow 209 — Peggy Lee ("Voices Of The World" Series)   (2005)
     zzz~ Tim International CD: (Germany) 222455 — While We're Young ("Quadromania" Series)   (2005)
     zzz~ Membran CD: (Germany) 222796 3872 [Set 40, CD 3] — The Ultimate Jazz Archive; The Vocalists {Anita O'Day, Billy Eckstine, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole}   (2005)
     zzz~ Delta's Xtra CD: (England) 20050501 — Blues In The Night   (2005)
All titles on:      CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)

Masters And Studio Chatter

1. "Helpless"
The Capitol set The Singles Collection includes a very brief spoken bit (:15) from this date. Peggy Lee is heard saying that "Helpless" is a tune that jumps.


Arrangements

1. Source
With the exception of "They Can't Take That Away From Me," arrangements for this session's performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the above-indicated credits to Heinie Beau.


Date: June 16, 1950
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1782

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.6139-3   MasterThe Cannonball Express - 2:19  (Clifford F. Ferre, Al Jacobs, Jack K. Pleiss) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1450 / F 1450 — {The Cannonball Express/ That Ol' Devil (Won't Get Me)}   (1951)
     CAPITOL (10") LP: (England) Lc 6584 — Capitol Presents ... Peggy Lee   (1953)
www~ World Record Club reel/LP: (England) Ttp/Tp 352 — The Fabulous Miss Lee [=Capitol Presents Peggy Lee -1/+ 5 tracks]   (1963)
b.6140-5   MasterShow Me The Way To Get Out Of This World - 2:05  (Matt Dennis, Les Clark) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1105 / F 1105 — {Show Me The Way To Get Out Of This World / Happy Music}   (1950)
     CAPITOL CS/CD: C4 5/Cdp 7 93195 — THE EARLY YEARS (CAPITOL COLLECTORS SERIES, VOLUME 1)   (1990)
CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)
c.6141-4   MasterHappy Music - 2:29  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee)
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1105 / F 1105 — {Show Me The Way To Get Out Of This World / Happy Music}   (1950)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1785 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1725 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
d.6142-3   MasterDon't Give Me A Ring On The Telephone (Until You Give Me A Ring On My Hand) - 1:37  (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
e.6148-2   MasterLover, Come Back To Me - 2:48  (Oscar Hammerstein II, Sigmund Romberg)
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1161 / F 1161 — {Helpless / Lover Come Back To Me}   (1950)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13437 — {Lover, Come Back To Me / Crazy, He Calls Me} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)

Songs

1. "Show Me The Way Out Of This World" In The Music Charts
Peggy Lee's 25th solo hit entered the charts during the week of August 26, 1950 and reached a #28 position. No other versions of this Matt Dennis composition are known to have made the charts.


Masters

1. Total Of Masters
2. "Lover, Come Back To Me"
Curiously, this date has a total of five masters, instead of the customary three or four. I am left to wonder if the fifth performance was not originally planned.

I imagine that this lively, exciting rendition of "Lover, Come Back To Me" reflects the manner in which Lee was regularly performing the song in concerts at the time. Perhaps the live rendition had been so enthusiastically received that Barbour and Lee decided to recreate it in the studio.

3. Masters' Sequence
Moreover, the fifth master (#6148) breaks the sequential order of the other masters (#6139 - #6142). The simplest possible explanation for this sequential jump to 6148 is that numbers 6143 to 6147 had already been reserved. And indeed: The Capitol Label Discography shows that numbers 6144 to 6146 were given to an Earl Grant date that was recorded on the same day as Lee's. (As for masters #6143 and #6147, the latter was assigned to a performance from a Paris-recorded session by Guy Luypaerts And His Orchestra. The former was left unused -- or, if it was used, the song that it contained must have been erased).


Arrangements

1. Source
For all but one of this session's five performances, the arrangements are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The one exception is "Lover, Come Back To Me," which might have a head arrangement. In the cases of "Happy Music" and "Don't Give Me A Ring On The Telephone," the library's scores do not identify the arranger.


Date: September 13, 1950
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1907

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.6589-2   MasterIf I Could Steal You From Somebody Else - 1:57  (Redd Evans) / arr: Richard "Dick" Hazard
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
b.6590-5   MasterLife Is So Peculiar - 2:35  (Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Burke) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1244 / F 1244 — {Life Is So Peculiar / Once In A Lifetime}   (1950)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13416 — {'Deed I Do [not released as a single in the USA] / Life Is So Peculiar}   (1950)
CAPITOL EP: (England) Eap 1 20074 — Peggy Lee Favourites   (1964)
c.6591-7   MasterAy, Ay, Chug A Chug - 3:14  (Leon Pober) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1298 / F 1298 — {Ay, Ay, Chug A Chug / Where Are You?}   (1950)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13471 — {Ay, Ay, Chug A Chug / My Small Señor} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1785 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Masters And Issues

1. "If I Could Steal You From Somebody Else"
2. The Lost '40's & 50's Capitol Masters
"If I Could Steal You From Somebody Else" made its debut in 2008, as part of the excellent 2CD set The Lost '40's & 50's Capitol Masters. Unfortunately, this particular track suffers from a significant problem. The performance cuts a few lines before it ends. It is not known if this is a master tape defect or an error made by the set's master engineer.


Songs And Arrangements

1. "The One I Love"
2. "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else"
3. "If I Could Still You From Somebody Else" And "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else"
Capitol's library of music scores lists an arrangement of a song titled "The One I Love." The arrangement was made by Richard Hazard for Peggy Lee, but no Lee master of it is listed anywhere, and nothing else is known about the prospective performance. Unless it was left unlisted and is currently lost in the vaults, it might have never been recorded.

Since no performance exists, I can only speculate about the identity of the song in question.

"The One I Love" is the title of a Jurmann-Kahn-Kaper number that was sung by Allan Jones in the 1938 movie Everybody Sing, co-starring Judy Garland. ("The one I love is coming along someday / And I'll have none except the one I love / He may be near or ever so far away / But I'll have none except the one I love ...... And through the night I pray to the moon above / To please be kind and find the one I love.")

This title could also be an abbreviation of the well-known standard "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else," by Isham Jones and Gus Khan. ("... He means her tender songs for somebody else / And even when I have my arms around him / I know his thoughts are strong for somebody else ...")

Notice that this session features a song whose title is partially similar to "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else": "If I Could Steal You From Somebody Else." The similarity leads me to ponder if the original plan was to create a two-song medley. Such a possibility could explain why the master of "If I Could Steal You From Somebody Else" cuts abruptly.

Then again, this possibility seems far-fetched because Lee did not record any other medleys during these years. Moreover, I have no knowledge of when the arrangement was made. Given the credit to Hazard, plans to record it could have been made as early as this session and as late as the mid-1960s.

Still, the title similarity could hint, if not at a medley, at an intent to also record "The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else" during this date, which generated three instead of the maximum of four songs.

For another arrangement that, like "The One I Love," resulted in no extant master, see notes under session dated November 16, 1949.

4. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the above-indicated arranger credits.


Date: September 14, 1950
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #1912

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Unknown (b, str, p, d), Peggy Lee (v), The Jud Conlon Choir (bkv)

a.6607-7   MasterWhere Are You? - 3:01  (Harold Adamson, Jimmy McHugh) / arr: Richard "Dick" Hazard
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1298 / F 1298 — {Ay, Ay, Chug A Chug / Where Are You?}   (1950)
     CAPITOL (10") LP: (England) Lc 6584 — Capitol Presents ... Peggy Lee   (1953)
www~ World Record Club reel/LP: (England) Ttp/Tp 352 — The Fabulous Miss Lee [=Capitol Presents Peggy Lee -1/+ 5 tracks]   (1963)
b.6608-8   MasterOnce In A Lifetime - 2:46  (Mel Torme, Robert Wells) / arr: Richard "Dick" Hazard
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1244 / F 1244 — {Life Is So Peculiar / Once In A Lifetime}   (1950)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: (Korea) 8806344820326 — The Very Best Of Peggy Lee; The Capitol Years   (2006)
     zzz~ Global Records CD: (England) Gj 2303 — Peggy Lee ("Unique" Series)   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1725 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
c.6609-3   MasterSomething To Remember You By - 2:51  (Harold Dietz, Arthur Schwartz) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)

Songs And Songwriters

1. "Once In A Lifetime"
2. Ambroise Thomas
The melody of "Once In A Lifetime" is strongly reminiscent of a theme by the French composer Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896), best remembered for his opera Mignon. (My thanks to Michael J. White for first alerting me to the similarity.) See also notes about the song "I Hear The Music Now," under Decca session dated December 16, 1952.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for each of the above-indicated credits to Heinie Beau and Dick Hazard.


Date: December 26, 1950
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2008

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.6916-10   MasterThe Mill On The Floss - 2:26  (Mack David, Jay Livingston) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1366 / F 1366 — {Climb Up The Mountain / The Mill On The Floss}   (1951)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13489 — {The Mill On The Floss / Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1868 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
b.6937-9   MasterClimb Up The Mountain - 2:45  (Cole Porter) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1366 / F 1366 — {Climb Up The Mountain / The Mill On The Floss}   (1951)
     zzz~ Asv/Living Era CD: (England) Aja 266 — It's A Good Day; 50 Original Mono Recordings, 1941-1951   (2002)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1868 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
c.6938-5   MasterPick Up Your Marbles And Go Home - 2:37  (Roy Alfred, Steve Nelson) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)

Masters

1. Sequential Order
This session's first master bears a number (6916) which is significantly lower than the other two master numbers (6937 and 6938). When I first noticed it, I suspected that a typo accounted for the discrepancy (i.e., #6936 had been inadvertently turned into #6916). But, after double-checking Capitol's files and, more recently, the Capitol Label Discography, I have corroborated that 6916 is indeed the correct number. A look at other Capitol sessions from the last months of 1950 show that the case under discussion is not exceptional: quite a few master numbers from that period are out of sequential order.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the credit to Heinie Beau.


Date: February 8, 1951
Location: Capitol Recording Studio, 5515 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, CA
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2053

Peggy Lee (ldr), Louis Prima and His Orchestra (acc), Jim Wynn (sax), Benny Carter, Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.7121-12   MasterYeah! Yeah! Yeah! - 2:14  (Louis Prima, Milton Kabak) / arr: Benny Carter
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1428 / F 1428 — {Yeah, Yeah, Yeah / Rock Me To Sleep}   (1951)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13489 — {The Mill On The Floss / Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) 905191 — Peggy Lee ("Golden Greats" Series)   (2002)
b.7122-4   MasterRock Me To Sleep - 2:16  (Benny Carter, Paul Vandervoort II) / arr: Benny Carter
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1428 / F 1428 — {Yeah, Yeah, Yeah / Rock Me To Sleep}   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
     CAPITOL 78: (Germany) C 80164 — {Rock Me To Sleep / Come On A-Ma House [vocal by Kay Starr]} [different pairing that in USA and UK singles]   
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1785 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
c.7123-5   MasterThat Ol' Devil Won't Get Me - 2:29  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1450 / F 1450 — {The Cannonball Express/ That Ol' Devil (Won't Get Me)}   (1951)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
All titles on:      USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1868 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Personnel

1. Louis Prima
2. Benny Carter
3. Jim Wynn
There is conflicting data about the backing of this session. Whereas Peggy Lee's Capitol session file identifies the band as "Louis Prima and His Orchestra," The Capitol Label Discography states that "artist file lists backing band as Benny Carter and his orchestra." (Curiously, one of the songs recorded at the date was written by Prima, and another by Carter.)

Yet a third alternative can be found in a review published on the April 6, 1951 issue of Downbeat magazine. The review states that Capitol single #1428 ("Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" / "Rock Me To Sleep") features "backing by a mixed crew headed by Jim Wynn, local saxman & leader".

Since I have no official personnel data for this date, I can only speculate about the reasons for such variety of proposed personnel. Perhaps Prima was unable to participate in the session, momentarily leaving the members of his orchestra in the hands of another leading musician, such as Carter or Wynn.

Until further official documentation comes forward, Prima's presence in this session must be deemed tentative. It's worth adding, in passing, that Prima and Lee definitely worked together around this time, if not at this session, then on the radio: he was a guest in her radio show.

Until further official documentation comes forward, Carter's presence in this session must be deemed tentative as well. It's worth noting that Ed Berger's discography of Benny Carter does not list this Peggy Lee session among those which Carter conducted.


Masters

1. "That Ol' Devil Won't Get Me"
2. Double-tracking
In some parts of master #7123, Lee's voice is double-tracked, thereby creating the effect that she is singing and speaking with herself.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the above-given credits to Heinie Beau and Benny Carter.


Date: April 5, 1951
Location: Capitol Studio, 46th St., New York
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2076

Peggy Lee (ldr), Sid Feller (con), Sid Feller and His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.6283-6-D2   MasterIf You Turn Me Down (Dee-own, Down, Down) - 2:20  (Peter DeRose, Carl Sigman) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1544 / F1544 — {If You Turn Me Down / Boulevard Cafe}   (1951)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13592 — {If You Turn Me Down / It Never Happen'd To Me} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1907 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
b.6284-6-D1   MasterHe's Only Wonderful - 3:14  (Erwin 'Yip' Harburg, Sammy Fain) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1513 / F1513 — {He's Only Wonderful / It Never Happen'd To Me}   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
c.6285-5-D1   MasterBoulevard Cafe - 2:36  (Ray Noble) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1544 / F1544 — {If You Turn Me Down / Boulevard Cafe}   (1951)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1907 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
d.6286-4-D2   MasterIt Never Happen'd To Me - 2:26  (Joe Elly) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1513 / F1513 — {He's Only Wonderful / It Never Happen'd To Me}   (1951)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13592 — {If You Turn Me Down / It Never Happen'd To Me} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)

Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's four performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. The library is the source for the arranging credits to Sid Feller that are given above.


Date: May 16, 1951 (5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; First Of Two Sessions)
Location: Capitol Melrose Studios, 5515 Melrose, Hollywood
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2172

Peggy Lee (ldr), Billy May and his Orchestra (acc), Ed Kusby aka Edward Kuczborski (tb), Vincent Terri (g), Don Whitaker (b), Paul Smith (p), Tommy Romersa (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.7564-15-D2   MasterSo Far, So Good - 3:02  (Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jule Styne) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1586 / F 1586 — {My Magic Heart / So Far, So Good}   (1951)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
b.7565-9-D1   MasterTonight You Belong To Me - 3:06  (Lee David, Billy Rose) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1573 / F 1573 — {(When I Dance With You) I Get Ideas / Tonight You Belong To Me}   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     zzz~ Delta's Xtra CD: (England) 20050501 — Blues In The Night   (2005)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
Both titles on:      USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1907 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Arrangements

My two sources for this session's arranging credits are in discrepancy. Capitol's library of music scores gives authorship to Billy May, yet Jack Mirtle's The Music Of Billy May: A Discography identifies Sid Feller instead. Since Mirtle worked closely with Billy May, I suspect that May might have explained that he was only the nominal arranger, and that Feller was the actual arranger. Whichever the case may be, arranging credits for this session must be deemed tentative.


Masters And Dating

1. Suffixes After Take Numbers
Billy May discographer Jack Mirtle lists master suffixes which are different from those that I found in Peggy Lee's session files. For "So Far So Good," the suffix in Mirtle's text is D1 instead of D2. For "Tonight You Belong To Me," Mirtle has N2.

The exact meaning of those suffixes is unclear to me. I have been told that they can be found etched on the original 78 shellac, along with the rest of the master number (but not the take number). I'm further told that the etched suffix may vary from one 78 disc to another. In other words, some 78 copies of "Tonight You Belong To Me" might bear the number 7565-D1 on the shellac, whereas other copies of the same 78 might instead show the number 7565-N2. Ultimately, such suffixes do not seem to be of major relevance for discographical purposes.


2. Dating
Peggy Lee's Capitol file erroneously gives May 17 as this session's date. May 16 is the correct date. The error was first pointed out by Billy May discographer Jack Mirtle, after he checked the session's contract report at the American Federation of Musicians.


Date: May 16, 1951 (8:30 p.m.- 12:30 a.m.; Second Of Two Sessions)
Location: Capitol Melrose Studios, 5515 Melrose, Hollywood
Label: CAPITOL

Peggy Lee (ldr), Billy May and his Orchestra (acc), John Hacker, Jules Jacob[s], Jules Kinsler (r), John Graas (frh), Laurindo Almeida, Jose Oliveira (g), Meyer Rubin (b), Don Ferris (p), Kathryn Thompson (hrp), Joe Guerrero (d), Harry Bluestone, Ben Gill, Henry Hill, Lou Raderman, Mischa Russell, Felix Slatkin (vn), Cy Bernard, Eleanor Slatkin (vc), Peggy Lee (v), The Jud Conlon Singers (bkv)

a.7566-11-N2   Master(When I Dance With You) I Get Ideas - 2:08  (Dorcas Cochran, Lenny Sanders) / arr: Billy May
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1573 / F 1573 — {(When I Dance With You) I Get Ideas / Tonight You Belong To Me}   (1951)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13609 — {(When I Dance With You) I Get Ideas / Don't Fan The Flame} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
CAPITOL (10") LP: H 9101 — [Various Artists] Today's Top Hits By Today's Top Artists, Volume 1   (1951)
b.7567-2-D2   MasterI Love You But I Don't Like You - 2:29  (Henry J. "Heinie" Beau, Peggy Lee) / arr: Harold "Hal" Mooney
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1749 / F 1749 — {Wandering Swallow / I Love You But I Don't Like You}   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     zzz~ Delta's Xtra CD: (England) 20050501 — Blues In The Night   (2005)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 2103 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
c.7572-5-D2   MasterMy Magic Heart - 2:10  (Don Marcotte, Abner Spector) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1586 / F 1586 — {My Magic Heart / So Far, So Good}   (1951)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1907 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   
d.7573-10-D1   MasterWandering Swallow - 2:52  (Irving Taylor) / arr: Billy May
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1749 / F 1749 — {Wandering Swallow / I Love You But I Don't Like You}   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: (Korea) 8806344820326 — The Very Best Of Peggy Lee; The Capitol Years   (2006)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 2103 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Peggy Lee vocals]   

Songs

1. "(When I Dance With You) I Get Ideas" In The Music Charts
This suggestive bolero was adapted from the Argentine tango "Adiós, muchachos." Peggy Lee's version entered Billboard's charts during the week of September 8, 1951 and peaked at #8. Lee's competition (all-male, as it had been on various previous occasions) did better than her this time around. RCA's Tony Martin had a sizable hit with his version, which came out before hers, and went on to spend 30 weeks in the chart, peaking at #3. And Louis Armstrong's saucy-sounding combination of "(When We Are Dancing) I Get Ideas and "A Kiss To Build A Dream On" resulted in a double-charting Decca hit, with Satchmo's "Ideas" peaking at #10.

"I Get Ideas" was Lee's 26th hit for Capitol Records. It was also her last hit before she moved to Decca Records. (She would, however, return to Capitol five years later, and would henceforth generate more hits for the record label.)


Masters And Takes

1. Suffixes In Master Numbers
Billy May discographer Jack Mirtle lists the suffix of "I Love You But I Don't Like You" as 2D4 and the suffix of "Wandering Swallow" as 10D4. See also related notes under previous session.


Arrangements

1. Sources
2. Billy May
3. Harold Mooney
3. Sid Feller
There is partial disagreement among the various sources for this session's arranging credits. The disagreement is over two of the arrangements.

In Capitol's library of music scores, "I Love You But I Don't Like You" is credited to Harold Mooney and "My Magic Heart" is credited to Sid Feller. Those two credits are reversed in Jack Mirtle's The Music Of Billy May: A Discography.

To further complicate matters, an extant arrangement of "I Love You But I Don't Like You" credits neither Mooney nor Feller. The arrangement, kept at Peggy Lee's sheet music library, credits Billy May.

Faced with the need to choose among those options, I have tentatively favored the credits given by Capitol's library. Readers must bear in mind that, should additional date come forth, there might be changes in the future.

All my sources agree that Billy May did the session's other arrangements ("I Get Ideas," "Wandering Swallow").


Date: July 10, 1951
Location: Capitol Studio, 46th St., New York
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2202

Peggy Lee (ldr), Sid Feller (con), Sid Feller and His Orchestra (acc), Buck Clayton, Bernie Privin (t), Warren Covington, Lou McGarity, Buddy Morrow (tb), Barry Galbraith (g), Joe Shulman (b), Joe Lewis (p), William Exiner (d), Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé (v)

a.7294-N8   MasterDon't Fan The Flame - 2:26  (Harold H. Dickinson, Jr., John M. "Jack" Elliot) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13609 — {(When I Dance With You) I Get Ideas / Don't Fan The Flame} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1951)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: (England) 0777 7 9 9426 2 6 — [Mel Tormé] Mel Tormé ("The Best Of The Capitol Years" Series)   (1995)
www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) 88573 — [Mel Tormé] Mel Tormé ("A Touch Of Class" Series)   (1998)
b.7295-N4   MasterTelling Me Yes, Telling Me No - 3:03  (Frank Barbaro, John M. "Jack" Elliot, Larry Shayne) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78: (Philippines) 1712 (Phil 3) — {Telling Me Yes, Telling Me No / The One For Me (Mel Tormé solo)}   (1951)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
Both titles on:      CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1738 / F 1738 — {Don't Fan The Flame / Telling Me Yes, Telling Me No}   (1951)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 1962 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [6 Mel Tormé vocals, 2 with Peggy Lee]   

Personnel

1. Peggy Lee with Mel Tormé
This was one of two Capitol sessions in which singers Peggy Lee and Mel Tormé got together to record duets. For the other one, see session dated November 16, 1949. See also November 11, 1949 session.


Songs And Songwriters

1. "Telling Me Yes, Telling Me No"
This song's title can be found in print not only as "Telling Me Yes, Telling Me No" but also as "Telling Me Yes And Telling Me No." A listening of Lee's and Tormé's vocal supports the use of comma, and the exclusion of the conjunction.

2. Sources
3. Larry Shayne
4. "Joseph"
I have not been able to inspect any copies of the 78 issue on which Capitol initially issued "Telling Me Yes, Telling Me No." Hence my source for the songwriters' names is not the 78 but ASCAP.

However, a blurry photo seen online leads me to believe that the label of the 78 contains credits that are partially different from those given by ASCAP. Both ASCAP and the 78 list the names Barbaro and Elliot but the third name in the online reproduction seems to be "Joseph," not Shayne. I would appreciate hearing from any readers who own a copy of the 78, and who can verify or deny the third name in question.


Date: December 17, 1951
Location: Capitol Studio, 46th St., New York
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2226

Peggy Lee (ldr), Sid Feller and His Orchestra (acc), Other Individuals Unknown (unk), Peggy Lee (v)

a.7773-11   MasterI Love The Way You're Breaking My Heart - 3:03  (Louis Alter, Milton Drake)
     CAPITOL CD: 72435 27564 2 1 — RARE GEMS AND HIDDEN TREASURES [aka Capitol's Collectors Series, Vol. 2]   (2000)
b.7774-9-D2   MasterShame On You - 2:33  (Donnell C. "Spade" Cooley) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1926 / F 1926 — {Shame On You / Would You Dance With A Stranger?}   (1952)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 2327 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [4 Peggy Lee, 2 Mindy Carson vocals]   
c.7775-10-D2   MasterWould You Dance With A Stranger? - 2:13  (Giovanni D'Anzi, Ray Miller) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 1926 / F 1926 — {Shame On You / Would You Dance With A Stranger?}   (1952)
     CAPITOL 78: (England) Cl 13685 — {Would You Dance With A Stranger? / While We're Young} [different pairing than in USA singles]   (1952)
CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)

Songwriters

1. "Would You Dance With A Stranger?"
2. Alfredo Bracchi
Capitol single #1926 credits "Would You Dance With A Stranger?" to Ray Miller and Giovanni D'Anzi only. ASCAP credits a third person, lyricist Alfredo Bracchi. I assume that Bracchi, known for his partnership with D'Anzi in Italy, was responsible for an original set of Italian lyrics, and thus has no claim to the version with English lyrics.


Songs

1. "It Feels So Good"
2. "I Love The Way You Are Breaking My Heart"
I am told that a Capitol master inventory lists master #7773 as "It Feels So Good," which is merely one of the lines in the song, not its official title.


Arrangements

1. Source
Arrangements for two of this session's three performances are extant in Capitol's library of music scores and are credited to Sid Feller. The library has no arrangement of "I Love The Way You Are Breaking My Heart."


Date: February 18, 1952
Location: Capitol Studio, 46th St., New York
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #2240

Peggy Lee (ldr), Sid Feller and His Orchestra (acc), Unknown (t, g, b, p, d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.9426-16-D2   MasterGoin' On A Hayride - 2:01  (Ralph Blane) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 2025 / F 2025 — {Ev'rytime / Goin' On A Hayride}   (1952)
     yyy~ Sepia CD: (England) 1055 — Songs From The Jazz Singer {Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee}   (2005)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 2327 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [4 Peggy Lee, 2 Mindy Carson vocals]   
b.9427-9-D2   MasterEv'rytime - 3:03  (Tony Iavello, Mel Leven)
     CAPITOL 78 & 45: 2025 / F 2025 — {Ev'rytime / Goin' On A Hayride}   (1952)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1)   (2006)
     USA Government's "Basic Music Library" AFRS Series radio transcription: P 2327 — [AFRS] Basic Music Library [4 Peggy Lee, 2 Mindy Carson vocals]   
c.9428-6   MasterLet's Call It A Day - 2:56  (Lew Brown, Ray Henderson) / arr: Sid Feller
     CAPITOL's Starline reel/LP: T 1366 — All Aglow Again!    (1960)
     CAPITOL EP: (England/France) Eap 4 1366 — All Aglow Again!   (1960)
CAPITOL©EMI's Pathé Marconi CS/LP: (France Pm 156 554 4/1) & (England Eg 26 0605 4/1) — All Aglow Again! ("Retrospect" & "Nostalgia" Reissue Series)   (1985)
d.9429-5   MasterOh, Baby, Come Home - 2:56  (Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee)
     CAPITOL CD: 72435 27564 2 1 — RARE GEMS AND HIDDEN TREASURES [aka Capitol's Collectors Series, Vol. 2]   (2000)
e.9430-5   MasterWhee, Baby - 2:23  (Alice Larson, Peggy Lee)
     CAPITOL's Starline reel/LP: T 1366 — All Aglow Again!    (1960)
     CAPITOL©EMI's Pathé Marconi CS/LP: (France Pm 156 554 4/1) & (England Eg 26 0605 4/1) — All Aglow Again! ("Retrospect" & "Nostalgia" Reissue Series)   (1985)
CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)
f.9431-7   MasterLouisville Lou - 2:20  (Jack Yellen, Milton Ager)
     CAPITOL's Starline reel/LP: T 1366 — All Aglow Again!    (1960)
     CAPITOL©EMI's Pathé Marconi CS/LP: (France Pm 156 554 4/1) & (England Eg 26 0605 4/1) — All Aglow Again! ("Retrospect" & "Nostalgia" Reissue Series)   (1985)
     CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
     www~ Collectors' Choice CD: Ccm 921 2 — ALL AGLOW AGAIN!   (2008)
     www~ World Record Club reel/LP: (England) Tt/T 606 — All Aglow Again!   

Masters

1. Contractual Obligations
The relatively high number of masters recorded during this session could be an indication that Peggy Lee was trying to fulfill a contractual quota before her imminent departure from Capitol Records.


Issues And Dating

1. The Singles Collection [CD] At The Grammys
Four of the six songs from this session were included in The Singles Collection, a 4CD set that was nominated for two Grammys in 2004. One of the nominations, for Best Historical Album, was bestowed on producers Cy Godfrey and Steve Woof. The other nomination, for Best Album Notes, went to music writer Will Friedwald. The winner in both categories was Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey.

2. "Goin' On A Hayride"
Sepia's CD Songs From The Jazz Singer inadvertently assigns the recording date December 17, 1951 to both "Shame On You" and "Goin' On A Hayride." That date belongs to "Shame On You" only.


Arrangements

From this session, only two are arrangements extant in Capitol's library of music scores. Sid Feller is credited as the arranger of both; they are for "Goin' On A Hayride" and "Let's Call It A Day").


Masters And Songs

1. "Crime And Punishement"
2. "The One I Love"
Capitol's library of music scores lists arrangements, both made for Peggy Lee, of these two songs. However, there are no extant masters in either case. For more details, see notes under sessions dated November 16, 1949 and September 13, 1950.


GENERAL NOTES

Capitol Records And Peggy Lee, 1948-1952

The Record Ban
This period of Peggy Lee's career started with a musicians' ban that prevented recording activity for nearly a year and ended with her departure from Capitol, the company at which she had been recording for eight consecutive years.

Imposed by the American Federation of Musicians primarily as a protest against 1947 legislation that freed music labels and radio broadcast companies from having to pay record royalties to the union, the ban went into effect on January 1, 1948. (This was actually the second time that AFM had gone on strike during the years covered by this sessionography. For details about the first time, see notes at the end of this discography's 1941-1943 page.) According to music historian David Ewen, the record ban forbade the participation of AFM musicians in any commercial sessions, and sought the payment of a royalty "to be used for the benefit of unemployed members." Ewen adds that, "[t]o meet this new crisis, the major record companies had spent the preceding six months on a feverish twenty-four-hour-a-day recording schedule to create a huge stockpile ... to satisfy the market until a new compromise was finally arrived at fifteen months later." (Serving as a clear example of this heightened schedule is Lee's own recording activity at Capitol during the last two months of 1947.)

The recording ban applied to instrumentalists only -- specifically to the 216,000 musicians who were members of the American Federation of Musicians at the time. Because singers were not AFM members, they were exempt from the ban. Hence vocalists continued to go into the studios, and their record companied circumvented the absence of instrumentalists in a variety of ways. Both Columbia and Decca resorted to an a cappella strategy: vocal groups were enlisted not only to back up the singers but also to hum the melodies. Acts such as Columbia's Frank Sinatra (with The Jeff Alexander Choir), and Decca's Dick Haymes (with The Song Spinners) recorded in this manner, and went on to have hits. At Capitol, producer Alan Livingston chose a different strategy: overdubbing. Livingston traveled to Paris, where he recorded foreign bands whose music he then dubbed to vocals recorded by Capitol's artists.

The ban lasted nearly a full year. Peggy Lee was among the very few vocalists who, out of solidarity with the musicians, abstained from any studio recording during the entire period. A settlement was formally signed on December 13, 1948. On the very next day, Peggy Lee was back in the recording studio. (Her vocals seem to have been recorded on that day, but the backing music may have been pre-recorded abroad. See session dated December 14, 1948, at the top of this page. )

Technical Innovations
During the post-ban period, Capitol distinguished itself for innovative, forward thinking in the realm of recording technology. While the ban was still in place, the company had bought and installed an Ampex tape recorder. In December 1948, Capitol became the first label to do its masters on magnetic tape on a regular basis. (Decca might have recorded the odd session on tape as early as 1947, but Capitol made it a consistent practice before any other record company.)

Capitol did not content itself with using just one recording method, but actually recorded many of its masters on all three available procedures to them ("live" to 78 disc, onto 16" transcription disc, and on Ampex tape) until about 1952, when it permanently settled on tape. The entire music industry soon turn magnetic tape into its standard for both studio and concert recordings.

Moreover, in 1949 Capitol became the first label to release records in all three speeds: 78, 45, and the then-emerging 33.3 rpm. Serving as an early instance of multiple-configuration marketing is Capitol's South Pacific "cast" album, which is listed in this page. (See sessions dated March 11 and April 18, 1949; see also session dated November 11, 1949).

Another significant event during this period was Capitol's acquisition of its own recording studio. Previously, the company had been leasing space. From 1942 to 1945, the primary location had been MacGregor Studios; from 1945 to 1947, Radio Recorders. In 1949, Capitol bought the facilities of KHJ Radio Studio on Melrose Avenue, and turned it into Melrose Capitol Studios. The Melrose space is described by Capitol engineer John Palladino in Charles Granata's excellent book Sessions With Sinatra (which is my main source for these paragraphs): "Studio A was on the upper story and was the original radio theater with audience and stage facilities. Downstairs there were two smaller studios and the control room. For a long time, Studio C was the key studio and was perfect for smaller groups ... [...] .... studio A ... was better suited for larger orchestras." Palladino further mentions another area for which Capitol was earning a good reputation at the time: audio equipment. The company made a point of acquiring state-of-the art microphones, speakers and, as previously mentioned, tape machines.

Financial Success
Operationally, the record company had significantly grown, too. According to Geoffrey Wheeler in his book Jazz by Mail, Capitol released 630 singles and 130 albums in 1951. Compare such figures to those from 1944 (39 singles, 6 albums) and 1945 (48 singles, 14 albums).

Worldwide Expansion
These were also the years in which Capitol Records went international. In November and December of 1948, Glenn Wallichs signed contracts with Telefunken in Germany and with Decca in England. The contracts were for the manufacturing and release of Capitol product in Europe and Africa. The following year, Capitol's Canadian branch was established, too.

Commercialization And "Catalogue Control Quality"
A less savory aspect of this period pertains to Capitol's catalogue. As Lee's sessions amply show, by this point in time the label was pushing a steady diet of brand new ditties on its artists. The company's predilection for commercial material is understandable, of course. Capitol was, after all, a business. But in hindsight, the label's reputation would have benefitted more from maintaining the approach that had served them so well in the previous years (1946-1947): a balance between the everlasting American songbook standards and the new commercial tunes whose impact tended to be ephemeral. Instead, the standards were relegated, for the most part, to the radio transcription format.

Even the few superior numbers that grace this discographical page were actually brand new at the time. They came mostly from then-current, in-vogue Broadway shows, whose songs all record companies were eager to cover. Incidentally, such numbers were not easily accessible to every singer in the label. According to Lee's label mate Kay Starr, Capitol had a pecking order which granted its senior artists precedence when it came to song choice. (Among the female singers who were members of Capitol's roster, such an order would have favored Margaret Whiting and Jo Stafford in particular.) In Lee's case, most of the lesser material that she recorded during this period enjoyed the advantage of her interpretative gifts -- e.g., her sense of humor, care for lyrics reading, and innate musicality.

Throughout this four-year period, Peggy Lee also continued to record self-penned compositions, adjusting her material to suit the music trends of this period. Although not as frequently as she had from 1946 to the first half of 1948, she still had a fair share of chart hits, including a number 2 single and a couple of top 10 numbers.

For commentary about the reasons why Peggy Lee departed from Capitol to Decca in 1952, see notes at the bottom of this discography's Decca Records page.


Popularity: Peggy In The Polls

In the two years that preceded those covered by this discographical page, Peggy Lee's placement in Downbeat's female singers poll reached its apex: she was at #1 in 1946 and at #2 in 1947. From 1948 to 1952, she placed lower but still remained in the top 10.

In 1948's end-of-the-year poll, Peggy Lee's name could be found at #4, with 495 votes. Previous n#4 holder Ella Fitzgerald was at #7 this year. Below Fitzgerald were erstwhile chart-toppers Jo Stafford (#8) and Billie Holiday (#10). Ahead of Peggy Lee by only 16 more votes was Doris Day, who had made her chart debut the previous year at #10. Dinah Shore occupied the #2 slot, climbing from her previous year's #7 position. The top spot was kept by Sarah Vaughan, who remained at the peak of this poll from 1947 to 1952.

In 1949, Ella Fitzgerald climbed back all the way to #2, where she became ensconced until 1952, bested only by Sarah Vaughan. Dropping a few notches this year were not only Peggy Lee (from #4 to #8) but also Anita O'Day (from #5 to #9) and Dinah Shore (from #2 to #10). Ahead of them were Doris Day (holding steady at #3), Kay Starr, Fran Warren and, also climbing back, Billie Holiday and Jo Stafford.

In 1950, Peggy Lee was the only one of the formerly dropping singers who climbed the charts. She went up from the #8 to the #6 position. She kept this #6 slot in 1951.

In 1952, Peggy Lee fell down two notches, going back to the same position that she had had in 1949 (#8). Behind her but still in the top 10 were Jo Stafford and Billie Holiday. Among those ahead of them: Rosemary Clooney (#3), Patti Page, Kay Starr, Doris Day, and June Christy (#7).

During her upcoming years on Decca, Peggy Lee's name would rise in this countdown once more.


Statistics: Total Number Of Masters

This discographical page shows a total of 74 masters, all of them recorded for Capitol Records between late 1948 and early 1952. Only one master is listed in Capitol's files as rejected: "Sunshine Cake," from May 25, 1949 (re-recorded on October 7, 1949). All other 73 masters have been commercially issued during the digital era. Five of the 74 masters are actually guest vocals done, under a pseudonym, for another singer's project (see session dated November 11, 1949). There are also various duet vocals, one with Dean Martin (December 14, 1948), the other four with Mel Tormé (November 16, 1949 and July 10, 1951).


Return to Table of Contents