Peggy Lee – Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakota
Released Nov. 18 this CD isn’t only essential to fans but a fine introduction to an artist with class. If an aspiring female singer wonders about her own style she must start by studying Peggy Lee. Exciting without flamboyance, with a seductive tone that’s not vulgar. There’s a sassy intonation to her vocal with refined inflection on her lyrics added to her colorful phrasing & pitch.
I was a rock hoodlum when my Uncle showed me a 1943 live clip of a young Peggy Lee with Benny Goodman. “Why Don’t You Do Right” exuded coolness & it was amazing. “Get out of here…and get me some money too.” She captured the imagination with her technique & stood still with sexy authority. The song & how she pronounced her words — was impressive. Her lyrics came with a confident smoothness that let go from her lips like the controlled slow drip of honey off a spoon.
Cut 1 is the late English singer Lesley Duncan’s “Love Song,” — recorded well. How did Peggy find this? Crisp drums & Burt Bacharach-type horns (courtesy of Artie Butler). It’s relaxed, emotionally tinted vocally & Ms. Lee elevates it all. It’s called style. Ms. Lee brought it every time.
“Razor (Love Me As I Am)” is hot under a low flame. That’s professionalism. Peggy’s tone changes into a warmer approach. It’s a testament to Peggy Lee’s good taste to cover Leon Russell’s classic “A Song For You.” Not stopping there Peggy also covers Leon’s & Bonnie Bramlett’s “Superstar,” (a hit for both The Carpenters & Delaney & Bonnie). It sounds possibly out of her comfort zone with all the strings; overly dramatic – but the song was written dramatically. This was always a drama tune. Peggy keeps it tight without showboating.
A long-out-of-print fan favorite this deluxe digital edition features 7 bonuses to commemorate its 50th Anniversary. Christened Peggy Lee in 1937 the captivating music of Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakota – (Capitol/Universal/Peggy Lee Associates) is one of the Grammy Award-winning singer’s most beloved & acclaimed efforts.
The 17-cut/55-minute CD produced by Tom Catalano (Neil Diamond/Anne Murray) with arrangements by Artie Butler (Dionne Warwick) was coordinated by Lee’s manager Brian Panella.
This big band singer in 1972 still had potent finesse for both contemporary & classic tunes. Her segue from the Chris Montez oldie “The More I See You,” into the classic “I’ll Be Seeing You,” is beautiful. Elvis admired Ms. Lee too & covered her classic “Fever,” at his 1973 Hawaii Concert. If Sinatra had an equal as a vocal stylist Peggy Lee is that singer. She began in 1941 & was still charting in 1969 with a #1 “Is That All There Is?”
Highlights: Something here for everyone. A 23-page insert comes as well. Images of Peggy Lee courtesy of her website/estate. CD @ https://www.peggylee.com/
2 thoughts on “REVIEW: Peggy Lee “Norma Deloris Egstrom From Jamestown, North Dakota””
Thanks for reviewing this wonderful Peggy Lee album. One small thing…Chris Montez did have a hit with The More I See You, but the song was written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon and is an American songbook standard.
Yes it is. I used Montez only because most readers would remember it by him since it was a major hit. The songwriters names weren’t omitted because they weren’t important but simply because of lack of space. I’m only allowed so many words per review.
I’m sure anyone who needs to know who wrote the song can simply look it up. Yes, it’s an American songbook standard but I think many listeners of Peggy Lee know this. I was aware of the writers of the song but appreciate the heads up. Nice to know there are people who can still go that deep into a song. It’s always important. John