The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography And Videography:
The MacGregor Transcriptions
by Iván Santiago Mercado

Generated on Oct 12, 2010

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Peggy Lee's MacGregor Sessions

Peggy Lee recorded a total of 17 masters for MacGregor, a company that specialized in making recordings for radio airplay only. The 17 masters were performed over four sessions and originally sent to radio stations in three transcription discs. Copies of those MacGregor discs are extant at the Library of Congress. For additional details about the company and about Lee's sessions, see this page's final note.


Date: ca. January, 1945 (1st MacGregor session)
Location: C. P. MacGregor Studios, 729 South Western Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: MACGREGOR

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Henry J. "Heinie" Beau (cl), Herbert "Herbie" Haymer (ts), Billy May (t), Dave Barbour (g), Phil Stephens (b), Edwin "Buddy" Cole (p), Tommy Romersa (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.MMo 677-E   MasterSugar (That Sugar Baby Of Mine) [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:39  (Sidney Mitchell, Edna Alexander Pinkard, Maceo Pinkard)
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
     zzz~ Musicrama / Actual CD: (England) 7 85118 2 [re-pressed 2001] — Gone With The Wind   (1995)
     zzz~ Great Voices Of The Century CD: (England) Gvc 2006 — Oh La La Lee    (1999)
     zzz~ Ground Floor CD: (England) Grfl 042 — Mañana ("Ground Floor" Series)   (2007)
b.MMo 677-E   MasterDon't Blame Me [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:47  (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields)
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
c.MMo 677-E   MasterBetween The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea [Transcription,MacGregor] - 1:33  (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)
     MACGREGOR radio transcription: Sh 1 — The Sextet From Hunger Show (Program No. 1)   
d.MMo 677-E   MasterI Get The Blues (When It Rains) [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:54  (Marcy Klauber, Harry Stoddard)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
e.MMo 677-E   MasterYou Can Depend On Me [Transcription,MacGregor] - 1:28  (Charlie Carpenter, Louis Dunlap, Earl 'Fatha' Hines) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
zzz~ Musicrama / Actual CD: (England) 7 85118 2 [re-pressed 2001] — Gone With The Wind   (1995)
All titles on:      MACGREGOR radio transcription: Cpm Lb 130   

Songs

1. "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea"
2. "I Get The Blues When It Rains"

Of Peggy Lee's 17 MacGregor transcription performances, 15 have been issued on CD. The remaining two performances are actually included among those listed above: "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" (known to be available only on the original 16" transcription disc) and "I Get The Blues" (available on the same transcription disc and also on a long-out-of-print cassette release). The Library of Congress owns a copy of the transcription disc in question (MacGregor Lb 130/131).

It is worth clarifying that other Peggy Lee performances of "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea" and "I Get The Blues" are commercially available. See World Transcriptions page. See also War & Government Transcriptions page (once it opens and is ready for viewing).


Issues

1. MacGregor Lb 130/131 [Transcription Disc]
MacGregor discs bear two numbers, one per side. All five titles listed above can be found on side #130 of MacGregor disc 130/131. For the titles found on side #131, see immediately below.


Date: ca. January, 1945 (2nd MacGregor session)
Location: C. P. MacGregor Studios, 729 South Western Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: MACGREGOR

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Henry J. "Heinie" Beau (cl), Herbert "Herbie" Haymer (ts), Billy May (t), Dave Barbour (g), Phil Stephens (b), Edwin "Buddy" Cole (p), Tommy Romersa (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.MMo 678-E   MasterSeptember In The Rain [Transcription,MacGregor] - 3:13  (Al Dubin, Harry Warren)
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
zzz~ Music International CS/CD: P 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
b.MMo 678-E   MasterYou Turned The Tables On Me [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:39  (Louis Alter, Sidney Mitchell)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     yyy~ Redmond Nostalgia commercial CDr: Cd 214 — [Henry King] The Henry King Show, Programs 37 And 46 {Les Paul Trio, Peggy Lee}   
c.MMo 678-E   MasterMy Last Affair [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:53  (Haven Johnson)
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
www~ Castle's [?] TrueTrax CD: (England) True Trax Cd 153/Castle Mat 257 (also 316)/Pulse Pls 214 — Let There Be Love; The Best Of Peggy Lee [n.b.: often reissued]   (1994)
d.MMo 678-E   MasterI've Had My Moments [Transcription,MacGregor] - 3:07  (Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson)
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
All titles on:      MACGREGOR radio transcription: Cpm Lb 131   
     Orthotone / United radio transcription: (Canada) UTS 491    

Songs

1. "September In The Rain"
On the label of MacGregor disc Lb 130/131, the title of Dubin and Warren's 1937 standard "September In The Rain" is incorrectly given as "That September In The Rain."


Issues And Sources

1. MacGregor Lb 130/131 [Transcription Disc]
MacGregor discs bear two numbers, one per side. All four titles listed above can be found on side #131 of MacGregor disc 130/131. For the titles found on side #130, see previous session.

2. Orthotone/United Uts 490/491 [Transcription Disc]
3. Ray Eberle
Orthotone discs also bear two numbers, one per side. Side #490 contains the Peggy Lee performances listed in this session. Side #491 features Ray Eberle vocals.

4. The Henry King Show [CD] And Peggy Lee's Guest Appearance(s)
5. King At Court [Radio Show]
Redmond Nostalgia's CD The Henry King Show contains two episodes of the titular show. King's guests are The Les Paul Trio (episode #37) and Peggy Lee (episode #46). The release, which has no liner notes, does not supply any further details about its couple of broadcasts.

I am not acquainted with Henry King's work, nor have I listened to any other episodes of his program. Officially known as King At Court, the show presumably had a connection with the similarly named King Cole At Court, hosted by Nat King Cole. Maybe the two were "brother versions" from the same franchise, or perhaps one was a later incarnation of the other.

Peggy Lee's participation in the broadcast starts off with pre-written patter which she reads aloud: "This is Peggy Lee, ladies and gentlemen, and may I say, it's nice of you all to invite me over for the show. I always enjoy singing and naturally welcome the opportunity of being a part of any program where good music is the ordered thing. By way of contribution, however small, I'd like to review one of the old favorites that always seem to bring pleasant memories for me. Hope it will for you, too. Goes like this."

After her recording of "I've Had My Moments" is played in full, Lee and Arlington have the following conversation:

Arlington: Peggy, Peggy Lee, come back here, Peggy. You know that was swell, and you know we just got to have more.
Lee: Well, alright, I'm ready, you just say when.
Arlington: Well, Peggy, we'd kind of like to know what's going on with you and Dave Barbour, your husband, in the realm of music nowadays. New records, television, and so on I suppose?
Lee: Well, Charles, Dave and I are pretty much on the active side of things these days and very happy about it all, too. Our records are still coming off the presses with a certain amount of regularity and every now and then there is a television show and there's been a lot of personal appearances to take out any spare time from radio, records, and TV, you know.
Arlington: Ha, ha, say, that does make for a right active existence, doesn't it, Peg!?
Lee: Yes, I almost forgot we have to squeeze a little time for songwriting, too!
Arlington: Ha, ha, ha, for songs like "Mañana," huh?
Lee: Um-h-umm.
Arlington: Well, say, with a busy schedule like that I guess we better go on the move if we ever expect another song right now.
Lee: Always gonna make time for a song, Charles. What's you wish?
Arlington: Well, anything that meets with your approval, Peggy.
Lee: Closer not said than done. If the maestro will make with a little music I'd like very much to move in with this.

After her recording of "You Turned The Tables On Me" finishes playing, Peggy Lee bids adieu: "Thank you ladies and gentlemen, I've enjoyed being here with all of you very much, and I hope that we can take up here in the hall soon. Until then, goodbye."

If we may rely on certain comments made by Arlington and Lee during their chat, this episode must have been taped at some point between 1948 (the year in which "Mañana" became a hit) and 1950 (Lee's last year of marriage with Barbour). To judge from data -- avialable online -- about some of the other episodes of The Henry King Show, the show was current from 1946 to at least 1948. (The original source for the online data is The Library of Congress, which holds the C.P. MacGregor masterbooks.)

At the end of the episode, announcer Charles Arlington states that King's shows are "produced and transcribed in Hollywood, the cinema's showplace of the nation, by C. P. MacGregor." In other words, The Henry King Show was a pre-recorded program that the MacGregor radio transcription service sent to participating radio stations. As for the vocals by Lee hearing during the broadcast, they come from pre-recorded MacGregor transcriptions, too. We are led to believe that the show's guest was present and performing on the spot, but in reality only her spoken exchanges with the announcer were brand new.

Since Lee's presence in the show is labeled a "return visit," some of her MacGregor transcriptions must have been played in previous episodes, during which she might have also "stopped by" to "chat" with the announcer. If such was the case, the disc(s) which contain(s) her previous appearance(s) have yet to be found by me.


Date: ca. January, 1945 (3rd MacGregor session)
Location: C. P. MacGregor Studios, 729 South Western Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: MACGREGOR

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Henry J. "Heinie" Beau (cl), Herbert "Herbie" Haymer (ts), Billy May (t), Dave Barbour (g), Phil Stephens (b), Edwin "Buddy" Cole (p), Tommy Romersa (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.MMo 694-E /MMo1198DS   MasterThat Old Gang Of Mine [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:35  (Billy Rose, Ray Henderson, Mort Dixon)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     zzz~ Music International CS/CD: P 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
zzz~ Fast Forward CD: (England) Ffcd 502 — Peggy Lee ("The Legends Collection" Series)   (1996)
b.MMo 694-E /MMo1198DS   MasterI'm Beginning To See The Light [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:34  (Duke Ellington, Harry James, Don George, Johnny Hodges)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     zzz~ Music International CS/CD: P 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
zzz~ Dana cassette: number unknown — Four Ladies Of Song {Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Dinah Shore}    (1994)
c.MMo 694-E /MMo1198DS   MasterBaby, Won't You Please Come Home [Transcription,MacGregor] - 1:51  (Charles Warfield, Clarence Williams)
     zzz~ Music International CS/CD: P 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
     zzz~ Gold/San Juan Music CD: (Holland) Gold 055 — Peggy Lee ("Gold" Series)   (1993)
     zzz~ Masters Music CS/CD: (Germany) Mam Cs 61078 4 / Cd 61078 — Golden Hits   (1996)
     zzz~ Snapper/Recall CD: (England) Smdcd 304 — Linger   (2000)
     zzz~ Forever Gold/Solo CD: (The Netherlands) Fg 080 — Peggy Lee    (2001)
     zzz~ Ground Floor CD: (England) Grfl 042 — Mañana ("Ground Floor" Series)   (2007)
d.MMo 694-E /MMo1198DS   MasterI'm Confessin' (That I Love You) [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:36  (Don Dougherty, Ellis Reynolds, Al J. Neiburg)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     zzz~ Hughes Leisure Group CD: (Australia/New Zealand) Stb 8849 — Peggy Lee ("20 Golden Greats / Starburst" Series)    (1994)
www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark CD: (England) 705462 — Peggy Lee Gold   (1995)
All titles on:      MACGREGOR radio transcription: Cpm Lb 144   
     MACGREGOR radio transcription: Cpm Lb 642   
yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)

Issues

1. MacGregor Lb 143/144 [Transcription Disc]
2. MacGregor Lb 641/642 [Transcription Disc]
Discs from transcription companies such as MacGregor were given two catalogue numbers -- one per each side. The four performances that I have listed under this date are all on side #144 of a disc whose other side (#143) contains performances by Thomas Peluso.

These exact same Peggy Lee performances were reissued in side #641 of MacGregor disc 641/642. The flip side (#642) contains recordings by Les Paul with Trudy Williams on vocals.


Masters

1. Matrix Numbers
This session's songs have two matrix numbers. MMo 694, the original master number, is connected to MacGregor disc 143/144, side #144. When the songs on side #144 were reissued on MacGregor disc 641/642, new matrix numbers (MMo 1198Ds) were assigned.


Date: ca. January, 1945 (4th MacGregor session)
Location: C. P. MacGregor Studios, 729 South Western Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: MACGREGOR

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Henry J. "Heinie" Beau (cl), Herbert "Herbie" Haymer (ts), Billy May (t), Dave Barbour (g), Phil Stephens (b), Edwin "Buddy" Cole (p), Tommy Romersa (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a.MMo 695-RE   MasterSomeday, Sweetheart [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:13  (Benjamin Spikes, John Spikes)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     zzz~ Musicrama / Actual CD: (England) 7 85118 2 [re-pressed 2001] — Gone With The Wind   (1995)
b.MMo 695-RE   MasterGone With The Wind [Transcription,MacGregor] - 1:56  (Allie Wrubel, Herb Magidson)
     zzz~ Music International CS/CD: P 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
     zzz~ Gold/San Juan Music CD: (Holland) Gold 055 — Peggy Lee ("Gold" Series)   (1993)
zzz~ Musicrama / Actual CD: (England) 7 85118 2 [re-pressed 2001] — Gone With The Wind   (1995)
c.MMo 695-RE   MasterI Should Care [Transcription,MacGregor] - 3:39  (Sammy Cahn, Axel Stordahl, Paul Weston)
     www~ Disky CD: (The Netherlands) 905191 — Peggy Lee ("Golden Greats" Series)   (2002)
     www~ Music Club CD: (England) Mccd 619 — Black Coffee; The Best Of Peggy Lee    (2007)
d.MMo 695-RE   MasterNice Work If You Can Get It [Transcription,MacGregor] - 2:19  (George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin)
     yyy~ Starline/Legend(distributor) cassette: Slc 61008 — I'VE HAD MY MOMENTS   (1987)
     www~ Pickwick International's Hallmark / Carlton CD: (England) 300862 [Reissue: 1999] — These Foolish Things & Other Great Standards [aka The Lady Is A Tramp; from box Ladies Of Song]   (1995)
zzz~ Fast Forward CD: (England) Ffcd 502 — Peggy Lee ("The Legends Collection" Series)   (1996)
All titles on:      MACGREGOR radio transcription: Cpm Lb 145   
     yyy~ Glendale/Legend(distributor) LP: Gl 6023 — You Can Depend On Me   (1981)
     www~ LaserLight/Delta CD: 15742 — PEGGY LEE WITH THE DAVE BARBOUR BAND ("Jazz Collector Edition" Series)   (1991)
     zzz~ Great Voices Of The Century CD: (England) Gvc 2006 — Oh La La Lee    (1999)
     zzz~ Proper CD: (England) Box 108 — Miss Wonderful    (2006)

Issues

1. MacGregor Lb 145/146 [Transcription Disc]
MacGregor discs bear different catalogue numbers on each side. All four performances listed under this date are on side #145 of a disc whose flip side (#146) contains numbers by Stan Kenton And His Orchestra.


GENERAL NOTES: MACGREGOR

The MacGregor Company And Studio

The MacGregor Company And Studio was in the business of producing radio transcriptions -- i.e., discs leased exclusively to radio stations, for a fee. (Sent out to participating stations on a monthly basis, such discs were intended for broadcasting only, and thus unavailable to the public. Since transcription discs were 16" in diameter, they could not be played in the audio equipment that was then available to general consumers.)

The following ad -- originally placed in a 1947 radio magazine -- lists the variety of material that MacGregor included in its transcriptions: "MacGregor Presents, for better programming, half hour presentations of – Drama / Mystery / Romance / Comedy, starring Hollywood personalities. Music library – Basic 2,500 selections; 50 new tunes monthly. Available now." All those types of transcriptions were recorded and produced in the company's facilities.


The C. P. MacGregor Studios

The MacGregor company's sources of revenue included not only its transcription service but also its studio facilities, which were available for leasing. According to Klaus Teubig, author of Straighten Up And Fly Right: A Chronology And Discography Of Nat King Cole, "MacGregor had Hollywood's largest and most modern recording studios during the early forties, which were used by many independent record producers such as Capitol Records, Exclusive, Dial, and AFRS (American Forces Radio Service)."

Further information about MacGregor's studio(s) can be found in the book Stan Kenton: The Studio Sessions, by Michael Sparke and Peter Venudor. The authors quote Audree Kenton, widow of Stan Kenton, who explains that "[w]e recorded in a very small studio, using the standard microphone set-up for those days. But [engineer] Vic Qu[o]n had great technical expertise, and had developed a system whereby everything sounded live when he recorded it, a sort of early echo chamber idea."


Chip MacGregor

The MacGregor Company and Studio was owned by Chick MacGregor (1897-1968), who spent much of his lifetime in the transcription business. After a few years of apprenticeship as a local manager for Brunswick Records in the San Francisco area, MacGregor became the co-owner of his first transcription company, named MacGregor & Ingram Recording Laboratories, in 1929. By 1932, he had apparently changed partners, forming as a result MacGregor & Sollie Recording Laboratories.

At some unknown time between 1937 and 1944, he founded The MacGregor Company And Studio, of which he apparently was sole owner. The entrepreneur appointed Paul Quon as the company's chief executive and Paul's brother Victor as the studio's recording engineer. (Victor Quon also worked, incidentally, as a musical director at CBS.)

The 1940s were the heyday of this enterprise. Due to its reputation as a state-of-the-art facility, the MacGregor Studio was in considerable demand during those years, and the MacGregor Company was reaping benefits from arrangements made with various record labels.

Although the popularity of transcriptions dwindled dramatically in the 1950s, MacGregor apparently continued making and distributing them until much later. (Some MacGregor transcriptions have been given an early 1970s dating, which would mean that they were released after the company's owner had passed away.) In the 1950s and 1960s, the current MacGregor library would have consisted mostly of serials and variety programming, rather than music per se. But he still pursued alternative ways to profit from his music catalogue: in 1959, the courts ruled in his favor when one artist tried to prevent him from selling some music masters to a budget record label (Tops).

In his last decade alive, MacGregor remained active in the transcription world, serving as the host of the Salvation Army's transcribed show Heartbeat Theatre.


Capitol Records And MacGregor Services

From 1944 to 1945, Capitol Records seems to have had a contractual agreement with MacGregor. Capitol's artists would come to C. P. MacGregor Studios to record not only commercial material (for Capitol) but also radio transcriptions (for MacGregor).

In his book Straighten Up And Fly Right: A Chronology And Discography Of Nat King Cole, Klaus Teubig quotes a relevant article from a Downbeat issue, published on February 1, 1945. The magazine reports that "Capitol Records, which has used the facilities of C. P. MacGregor sound studios exclusively for recording purposes and for a time had a deal under which the sound firm's commercial phonograph facilities were available only to Capitol, has 'split' with MacGregor for unrevealed reasons." A Billboard issue from later in the same month reveals that MacGregor had just begun to demand payment of a one cent royalty fee for any side recorded in his studio.

"With Capitol so rapidly increasing its recording activities the single studio at C.P. MacGregor had proved inadequate to meet the company's growing requirement for studio time. In 1945, Capitol moved to Radio Recorders, the West Coast's leading independent," add Michael Sparke and Peter Venudor, authors of Stan Kenton: The Studio Sessions.

Although the Capitol label stopped using the MacGregor studio for commercial recording, Capitol artists such as Nat King Cole and Stan Kenton still continued to record transcriptions for MacGregor during the entire year of 1945. (Cole recorded a few around July; Kenton did so as late as December 28, 1945.)

Capitol also set up its own transcription service, which began operations in May 1945. (During that first year, the service held only 10 transcription sessions, but thereafter it went into full swing.) From 1946 onwards, Capitol artists such as Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton, and Peggy Lee would record only for Capitol's transcription service. Meanwhile, MacGregor continued its transcription program with artists who were not affiliated to Capitol at the time -- artists such as Matt Dennis, The Milton DeLugg Quartet and, in 1947, Mel Tormé.


Types Of MacGregor Transcriptions: Music Library Versus Music Shows

MacGregor sent various types of music discs to the radio stations which subscribed to its service. One type of disc contains just songs, usually by one artist, and bears the prefix CPM LB, which probably stands for "C.P. MacGregor library" or "C.P. music library." That's the type of transcription disc most frequently listed in this page. Take, for instance, MacGregor disc #CPM LB-145. When participating radio stations played it, listeners would hear a full four-song segment by Peggy Lee, beginning with "I Should Care" and ending with "Gone With The Wind."

Another type of MacGregor disc consisted of a pre-recorded radio show. As explained by Nat King Cole discographer Klaus Teubig: "[i]n addition to the normal 16" transcription discs, MacGregor offered complete 15-minute programs called King Cole Court with full announcements by Cole and a studio host with (guest) cuts from other MacGregor productions as Peggy Lee, Larry Stewart or Ray Eberle." The musical selections heard during the program, whether by Cole or by his guests, were
not numbers originally meant for show, and they were not fresh. They were instead performances culled from the type of MacGregor discs which I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

To illustrate, let's take episode #2 of King Cole Court. The episode contained 8 songs, all taken from MacGregor's music library: seven songs from discs by The Nat King Cole Trio, and the remaining one a "guest cut" by Peggy Lee ("September In The Rain," from MacGregor transcription disc #CPM LB-131). Variations on this same procedure are evident in all other King Cole Court episodes listed by Teubig (a total of six episodes with one guest vocal by artists as diverse as Anita O'Day's and The Berrie Sisters).

In addition to King Cole At Court, other examples of MacGregor's transcribed music programs were The Sextet From Hunger Show and the aforementioned King At Court starring Henry King. There probably were others, although so far I have not come across information on them. [n.b.: I am curious to find out the date of all these transcribed radio shows. Klaubig does not give the airdate of the King Cole Court shows, but another source refers to it as a 1950s series. ]


The United (Orthotone) Transcribed System

According to a producer's note in the booklet of the CD The King Cole Trio: The MacGregor Years, 1941-1945 , "[m]any [MacGregor] transcriptions were licensed to a Canadian distributor, United Transcribed System [also known as Orthotone], which sometimes pressed direct from the original parts but which frequently dubbed the material onto new masters, sometimes changing the track sequence and invariably altering the sound quality, not for the better." Although that booklet's note refers specifically to Cole's transcription recordings, it probably applies to Peggy Lee's work for MacGregor, too. I assume that all of the singer's work for MacGregor was pressed anew by United, although so far I have located only one UTS transcription disc featuring Lee. (See above, 2nd MacGregor session.)


GENERAL NOTES: PEGGY LEE'S MACGREGOR OUTPUT

Personnel Of Peggy Lee's MacGregor Sessions

The personnel of Peggy Lee's MacGregor transcriptions is identified in only one of the sources consulted: the Starline cassette I've Had My Moments. A collective personnel is listed for the tracks, which come from all four MacGregor sessions. Since Lee seems to have recorded all her MacGregor numbers during the same month (see discussion about dating below), and since the musical backing sounds very similar throughout, this collective personnel may apply to the entire 17-song batch.


Recording Process And Alternate Takes

Sparke and Venudor explain the manner in which all MacGregor transcriptions were waxed: "titles were not recorded in separate acetates, but were cut a program at a time, directly onto a 16" transcription master. Matrix numbers, preceded by MM for MacGregor Music, were awarded to this block of titles at the time of recording." (The same basic method seems to have been used by most other transcription companies as well.)

Given the use of a direct-to-disc recording process, alternate takes may have never been attempted, or if they were, they may no longer exist. Although I have not come across indication that any Peggy Lee alternates exist, there is still a modicum of hope: a few alternates have been found in the master discs of another MacGregor artist (Stan Kenton).


Dating of Peggy Lee's MacGregor Sessions

I have consulted two texts that supply recording dates for some MacGregor transcriptions: Charles Garrod's MacGregor Radio Transcriptions and Stan Kenton: The Studio Sessions, by Michael Sparke and Peter Venudor. Peggy Lee's sessions are not among those for which dating is provided in the text by Garrod, unfortunately. (And naturally, the text by Sparke and Venudor does not cover Lee's work.)

Thankfully, the Library of Congress has identified 1945 as the correct year. Since the library owns MacGregor's master-books,
its information on this matter is highly reliable. The library's online database does not give the month or day.

I strongly believe that January is the correct month. My belief relies on an inspection of other acts' MacGregor sessions for which the date January 1945 has been corroborated through AFM reports. Those session's master numbers (e.g., #671 to #674, recorded January 8, 1945) are close to some of Lee's MacGregor session numbers (specially, #677 and #678). Furthermore, Garrod's text MacGregor Radio Transcriptions gives a January 1945 date to many discs that fall between #109 and #186. (In fact, January of 1945 is the only date that Garrod supplies; no month is given to any of the other MacGregor discs that fall between #109 and #186.)

Some conjectures can also be made about the number of days that took to record these MacGregor numbers. If a pattern found in Stan Kenton's MacGregor transcriptions holds true for Lee as well, then it is likely that her 17 transcriptions were recorded in a couple of days, at most. I am aware of this pattern thanks to Michael Sparke, who has inspected Kenton's AFM contracts: the bandleader recorded 16 songs on May 11, 1944, all of them intended for 4 MacGregor transcription sides, and 16 more on January 8, 1945, intended for 4 more sides.

In looking at the January 8 batch, Sparke notices that all the master numbers are sequential, too. In Lee's case, there is a sequential gap between the first 9 masters (MMo 67&-E, MMo 678-E) and the last 8 (MMo 694-E, MMo 695-E). This gap could be an indication that the first batch was recorded on one day, and the second batch on another day.


Commercial Issues Of Peggy Lee's MacGregor Transcriptions

Transcription discs were originally made for syndicated radio broadcast, not for retail. From their appearance in the 1920s to their decline in the 1950s, they were virtually unavailable to the general public, who would have needed special equipment to play them. Nevertheless, a few MacGregor transcriptions began to be transferred to commercial disc in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Peggy Lee's MacGregor recordings did not make their retail debut until the 1980s. During that decade, two mail order labels issued them to the public. Both labels had p.o. box addresses in Glendale, California. One of them, called Glendale Records, released 14 of the 17 numbers on a LP titled You Can Depend On Me in 1981. Glendale's LP includes the following statement in its record sleeve: "All selections released for the first time / Material licensed from the archives of C. P. MacGregor Library / Photos from the collection of Ron Towe." (Towe was the author of an unpublished bio-discography of Peggy Lee. He is said to have owned an extensive collection of Lee memorabilia.) The other company, Starline Records, released 10 of the 17 numbers in a cassette titled I've Had My Moments (1987).

In 1991, the record label Laserlight made Lee's MacGregor songs part of the compact disc era. Laserlight's CD Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band is actually a reissue of the aforementioned Glendale LP, with the same tracks but different title, artwork, and notes.

In the years that followed the Laserlight release, an ever-growing number of public domain labels appropriated and re-released the MacGregor material. Their CDs often mixed these transcriptions with Peggy Lee's studio recordings, and with performances taken from various radio sources.

During the ongoing twenty-first century, Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band still remains the most adequate choice for fans who want to own the bulk of Lee's MacGregor output. The CD contains 14 of her MacGregor transcriptions in unobjectionable sound quality. It is, nevertheless, an unattractive budget issue, and by now no longer in print. Despite the rapid shrinking of the CD market, I am still hoping for a future release of all 17 MacGregor numbers in a CD with informative liner notes and appealing artwork.


Statistics: Total Number Of Masters; Performances Not On CD

This discographical page shows a total of 17 masters, originally distributed over four transcription discs, meant for radio airplay one. Of those 17 performances, 14 have appeared on compact disc. The 3 numbers not yet on CD are:

"You Turned The Tables On Me"
Available only in two rare issues released by online mail order companies (as shown in the second session above).

"I Get The Blues (When It Rains)"
Issued in the cassette I've Had My Moments, which has been out of print for decades. (A different version of "I Get The Blues" is also commercially available. See page for War & Government Transcriptions, once it opens for viewing.)

"Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea"
Never commercially available. It can be heard only on MacGregor 16" transcription discs. (Numerous public domain CDs contain a Peggy Lee version of "Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea," but that's a different version, recorded by Lee for another transcription service, World Records.)


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