The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography And Videography:
Research And Inquiry Into The Basin Street East Dates
by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Generated on Feb 5, 2016


I. Scope And Contents


Peggy Lee's Basin Street East sessions took place in February and March 1961. The amount of extant information about them is actually substantial, yet confusing and, in many areas, inconclusive. This supplementary page features an overview of the sessions and a date-by-date discussion of the data's complexities. The points discussed throughout are, for the most part, technical or research-related. For more basic details, such as personnel and issues, consult the 1960-1962 page of the sessionography.


II. Peggy Lee At The Basin Street East Club


Described by music reviewers as "strictly a music room," the Basin Street East Club was Peggy Lee's New York venue of choice from March 1960 to February 1965. After the initial smash stay in early 1960, Lee would return to the club twice a year, for engagements that usually lasted from three weeks to a month. Multiple offers from other New York clubs finally led to modification of this schedule. In both 1964 and 1965, she split her annual visits between Basin Street East and two other clubs, The Americana and The Copacabana. (The latter lured her away for good. From 1966 to 1968, The Copacabana became her performing home in the Big Apple. Next, from 1969 to the mid-1970s, she moved on to the Waldorf-Astoria.)

Lee's initial engagement at Basin Street East (1960) had generated raves from both music critics and general audiences. The raves grew louder for her second engagement, which began on Thursday, January 12, 1961 and lasted until Wednesday, February 8, 1961. Lee's success at Basin St. East brought particular joy to Phoebe Jacobs, who was in charge of the club's Public Relations. (She would become a life-long friend of Lee's.) Jacobs called Capitol producer Dave Cavanaugh in California and enthused not just about Lee's ongoing hit appearances at her uncle's club. Furthermore, Jacobs urged Cavanaugh to make arrangements to record the singer live at the venue.


III. The Concert Tapings
(February 5 and 8, 1961)


Cavanaugh flew in from California at a fairly late time within Lee's concert schedule. The producer appears to have been present only for the last week of Lee's engagement.

If Capitol's session files are complete and accurate, Cavanaugh's first taping of a Basin Street East show took place on Sunday, February 5. Unfortunately, the singer had just caught a cold; its effect on her voice can be clearly heard in the released numbers from that Sunday evening.

I do not know if Cavanaugh taped her next two concert nights (Monday the 6th and Tuesday the 7th). If he did, those tapings are now lost or, more likely, were scrapped: there's no evidence of their existence in the vaults. Perhaps Cavanaugh and Lee simply decided to just wait for Lee's cold to subside.

The producer definitely taped the artist's two shows on closing night (Wednesday the 8th). Although her cold had not gone away, by that time her voice had noticeably improved. One of those two February 8 concerts is now available in an album entitled Peggy At Basin Street East, released by Collectors' Choice on CD and re-released by Capitol Records on MP3 format. Incidentally, that album should not be confused with Capitol's similarly titled Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee, which was the company's original album release (LP, jukebox EP), and which Capitol has also reissued on CD and MP3. Whereas the Collectors' Choice album contains a complete show, the Capitol item is a combination of live numbers from various concert nights and tracks that were recorded in the studio.


IV. The Post-Engagement Taping, Featuring An Invited Audience
(February 9, 1961)


After closing night, an additional day of taping was scheduled on February 9. This was a special event with an invited audience that probably included fellow artists and celebrities. The exact motivation behind this post-engagement date is unknown. The most logical assumption would be that Cavanaugh and/or Lee wanted to have more recorded material from which to choose for the prospective album. They might have not been completely satisfied with the sound quality of what had been taped so far, or with the quality of Lee's cold-riddled voice. This February 9 taping was treated as a hybrid of a concert and a recording session; Cavanaugh is known to have requested many stops and re-takes.


V. Safety Copies, Mixes, And Other Non-Original Tapes
(February 15, 16, 20, and 21; March 2 and 8, 1961)


The Capitol vaults contain a relatively large number of Basin Street East tapes. A few of them bear the aforementioned early February dates, in which the live concerts are known to have been held.

Other Basin Street East tapes are variously dated February 15, 16, 20, and 21, plus March 2 and 8. As was generally the norm, the titles of the songs which they contain tend to be handwritten on the tapes' boxes -- not always, though. Most of the tapes appear to be copies of the original, live ones mentioned in the first paragraph. They seem to fall into the following three categories: dupes in which the three-track performances have been mixed, dupes to which applause has been artificially added, and safety copies. However, I doubt that this material has ever been systematically, minutely reviewed since Cavanaugh and the original engineers worked on it. If such is the case, the handwritten information could be erroneous, slightly off the mark in spots, or missing a few significant details. Some surprises could be awaiting to be discovered.

In fact, one revision of these tapes have already elicited a major discovery. The aforementioned Basin Street East concert from closing night (February 8) was not known to exist until producer Cy Godfrey and company checked some of the tapes that were presumed to be dupe or safety copies. The concert was discovered in the tapes dated February 16, which turned out to be a transfer date.

I have also been told of the existence of a tape called "Basin St. Applause Tracks," and labeled as a "remote." That tape is likely to contain the applause that Cavanaugh added to the studio performances -- and that he might have added to some of the live performances as well. Notice the use of the word "remote," which suggests that the applause might truly be from the Basin Street dates. In other words, Cavanaugh seems to have used genuine applause from the concert, though splicing it in spots or in performances different from the ones in which that applause actually took place. On this same matter (i.e., the applause), see next entry.


VI. Remake Or "Overdub" Dates
(February 28 and March 1, 1961)


While mastering the original tapes, Cavanaugh seems to have faced some serious difficulties. Poor pickup from the original mikes probably ranked high among the sources of difficulty. As explained by engineer Ron McMaster, who in 2002 mastered the full live performance show from February 8, 1961, "the microphones were badly placed, probably because it was impermissible for them to interfere with the show .... the microphone placement caused little of the audience to be picked up beyond the first row..." [n.b.: This McMaster commentary is part of producer's Cy Godfrey's note for the 2002 Collectors' Choice CD Peggy At Basin Street.]

Those mastering difficulties were probably the main reason why, presumably at Cavanaugh's request, Peggy Lee came back to the studio to re-record about half of the original numbers. The exact dates on which she did so are not known with certainty: her Capitol session files make no mention of those remake sessions.

But I do have a theory on this matter. Capitol holds in its vaults a few tapes which are labeled 'overdubs' and which carry the dates February 28 and March 1. It is my uncorroborated belief that the aforementioned studio remake sessions are contained within those tapes.

Notice, however, that the tapes in question bear the label 'overdubs,' not 'remakes.' The two words are not synonymous. Generally, the process of overdubbing refers to the incorporation of a new vocal or instrument to a pre-recorded music track. On the other hand, a remake is usually an all-newly recorded version (both the vocal and the music) of a previously attempted number. Still, and for all I know, Capitol could have used the two words interchangeably, at least in the case of these tapes.

Until these February 28 and March 1 tapes are given a careful listening, I will tentatively deem that (some of) the performances included in them not overdubs but remakes. For specifics such as the exact contents of each tape, see sessions dated February 28 and March 1, 1961 in the 1960-1962 page of the sessionography.


VII. The 1961 Basin Street East LP As An Accurate Source Of Information


The Capitol album Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee was released on March 15, 1961. In the liner notes for the LP, Basin Street East proprietor Ralph Watkins writes that, "[t]hanks to the fine engineers and to producer Dave Cavanaugh, who captured one of the most exciting performances we have ever heard, the thousands who thrilled to Miss Lee in person will treasure this album."

Although not necessarily through any fault of his own, Watkins' comment happens to be partially misleading. The album does not contain just "one exciting performance." Instead, it combines numbers taken from all of the above-mentioned live tapings (and from studio dates as well). In what was a widespread practice across record companies operating at the time, Cavanaugh edited the album as if it contained one night's live performance, but in reality it is composite. [Fortunately, and as also mentioned in previous paragraphs, a complete live performance has been belatedly released: Peggy At Basin Street East, issued by Collectors' Choice in 2002.]


VIII. The 1995 Basin Street East CD As An Accurate Source Of Information


The annotator of the 1995 Capitol CD Basin Street East Proudly Presents Peggy Lee states that the disc's performances were all recorded either during "an after-hours show with an invited audience on February 9 or at a New York studio on March 8, 1961." That statement is partially in conflict with the dating found in Peggy Lee's Capitol session file, where many of the performances are dated February 5 and 8. For reasons detailed in some of the paragraphs below, the Capitol file strikes me as the more reliable of the sources that deal with this particular matter, the CD included.

As for the CD annotator's claim that a studio session took place on March 8, I am not convinced that the date is correct. Among the reasons for my doubts is the fact that the original LP (from which the CD stems) was released on March 15, 1961: that is to say, merely a week after the alleged studio session took place. A one week span between the recording and the release of the original album strikes me as a very, very unlikely occurrence. Now, it is possible that the album's release had to be postponed, and that the March 15 street date which I have is thus incorrect. However, I have yet to find any indication that there was a postponement.

I am more inclined to believe that no studio session took place on March the 8th, and that tapes so dated contain an assembly of the masters that were finally picked for inclusion in the prospective LP. These are, however, personal hypotheses for which I have no corroborating evidence -- and which could thus turn out to be entirely wrong.

I do not know if the producers of the CD had any definite evidence that a studio session took place on March 8, nor do I know if they actually listened to the Capitol tapes which bear that date. They might have not listened to them; they could have simply relied on the details about the March 8 tapes found in any of Capitol's inventories. But, in the case of these complicated Basin Street East sessions, relying just on the inventories or any paperwork might not be a good idea. If consulted without the benefit of tape listening, the paperwork could lead to confusion.


IX. The 2002 Basin Street East CD As An Accurate Source Of Information


Collectors' Choice 2002 CD Peggy At Basin Street East contains the statement that "[a]bout two songs on [the 1961 LP and 1995 CD] were recorded on the club on February 9 ... Peggy had a cold that evening, so Capitol producer Dave Cavanaugh decided to re-record most of the tracks in a New York studio on March 8, 1961." In my estimation, and as discussed further down below, quite a few (not just two) of the songs released in the original Capitol LP come from the live concerts that preceded the studio dates. Hence the above-quoted allusion to "about two songs," further complicates matters. Since it was made in passing, the number of tracks given made not have to be taken as exact, but I am still left me to wonder which two or three songs those would be.


X. Sources, Masters, And Issues
(A General Explanation Of Entries XI To XX)


Due to the complex nature of the Basin Street East sessions, I am including herein raw data about each of them. I have transcribed the data in the exact manner in which my primary sources show it -- aside from typographical details such as capitalization and the like.

The raw data comes from various primary sources, all of them identified in each of the sections below. Those sources seldom agree with one another. For that reason, I have also included my rationale for trusting one source over the other, as well as my thoughts on related matters -- primarily, whether a given master is a live or a studio performance.


XI. The February 5, 1961 Taping
Part 1: Sources Of Information



1. Data Gleaned From Capitol's Session File
Session #8253
NYC, February 5, 1961
master 23457 - Day In, Day Out
master 23458 - Moments Like This
master 23459 - Medley: One Kiss / My Romance / The Vagabond King Waltz
master 23590 - Fever
All titles issued on Cap. T/ST/SM 1520.


2. Data Gleaned From Capitol's Inventory Sheets
3. The Omission of "Fever" (Master #23590)

I do not have access to Capitol's master inventory sheets, but I have received reliable information about them. Those computer-generated sheets aim at listing every single master extant in Capitol's vaults. The four above-mentioned masters are indeed listed in the inventories, with one exception. The exception is master #23590 ("Fever"), and the reason for its omission is unknown to me. Among various plausible explanations, I would like to highlight the following ones:

a) perhaps the Capitol session file reflects a state of affairs that had changed by the time when the inventory was created. In other words, the portion of the session tape that contained "Fever" might have been removed long before the inventory was compiled (or long before it was computerized). The removal could have taken place when producer Cavanaugh and the Capitol engineers were putting together the album. They would have moved the "Fever" performance to another tape in order to facilitate the mastering process. (But if such was the case, then the inventory failed to make note of the master's new location.)

b) maybe the opposite scenario from the one made in point a happened. "Fever" would have been originally from another tape, from which it would have been removed and spliced into session tape #8253. In this second hypothetical scenario, the change of "Fever" from one tape to another would have led to both confusion and failure to enter the master in the computerized inventory. See also the next point.

c) the compilers of the inventory could have inadvertently skipped master #23590.

4. The Sequencing Of Master #23590 ("Fever")

The reason for the high master number of "Fever" is not known to me. The most logical explanation would be that the number was assigned belatedly (i.e., days or weeks after the other performances from the Basin Street East sessions had been numbered). By such a belated time, numbers all the way up to 23589 would have already been allocated to other Capitol masters. Late master assignation could also be an indication that "Fever" had not been originally considered for inclusion in the album.


XII. The February 5, 1961 Taping
Part 2: Assessment Of The Available Data


1. Capitol's Session File Versus Capitol's LP/CD Issues

According to Capitol's session file (as shown in section XI above, point #1), all four live performances from tape #8253 were released in the LP Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee. After giving multiple listenings to that LP, I find myself trusting the accuracy of the file's claim for all but one of the performances (the medley). A detailed explanation of my reasoning can be found below.

2. Live, Not Studio: "Day In, Day Out," "Moments Like This," and "Fever"

In Capitol's session file, masters #23457, #23458, and #23590 are identified as live. After close listening of those three tracks as they appear in the Capitol LP Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee, I find myself agreeing. The following details strike me as strongly indicative of a live setting:

a) Shortly after the start of "Day In, Day Out," Peggy Lee is heard laughing and interjecting the phrase "what is this!"

b) Amidst the applause that is heard between "Day In, Day Out" and "Moments Like This," Lee says, "Thank you and hello. So ... This sort of looks like ... it's kind of romantic anyway, isn't it? Ha!"

c) There are various spoken lines throughout Lee's performance of "Moments Like This." After she sings the words "moments like this with the soft lights aglow make me long for your kiss," Lee playfully interjects the phrase "but you'd catch my cold," which generates audience laughter.

d) Lee is heard coughing and talking before she starts singing "Fever."

e) Also right before the start of the "Fever" performance, a female audience member is heard. The audience member is apparently requesting that Lee sings "Fever," or maybe voicing aloud her realization that Lee is about to sing he number.

f) During "Fever," she gamely adds the line "forsooth, I doth burn" to the regular lyrics.

g) Through these three masters, the singer indeed sounds a wee bit hoarse in spots, as if she had a cold. Hence I feel confident that those three masters were taped live.

3. Studio, Not Live: "One Kiss/My Romance/The Vagabond King Waltz" Medley

As heard in the Basin Street East LP's, master #23459 does not sound like a live performance at all. Peggy Lee's cold, so noticeable in the tape's other three performances, seems gone. The quality of Lee's voice is fresher, huskier and more minutely modulated than in the already discussed numbers.

Hence I believe that this master (i.e, the medley) is not a live performance, but a studio remake, possibly recorded on February 28, 1961 (as will be explained in more detail in one of the sections below).

Why, then, would the Capitol session file give a February 5, 1961 concert date to this medley ? The fact that I do not have access to the actual tapes prevents me from giving a definitive answer to this question. I can only speculate that producer Cavanaugh and company simply neglected (or deemed unnecessary) to make the appropriate changes in Peggy Lee's session file.


4. The Sequencing Of Master #23590 ("Fever")

The annotator of the 1995 CD Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee suggests that this session's performances (and most other numbers in the CD) were taped on February 9, during a special concert that Lee held in front of an invited audience. However, I find no evidence to support the CD's claim, which I consider wrong for the following reasons:

a) the Capitol session file dates these particular performances February 5, not February 9. (Granted, I do not believe the file to be always correct. But in this particular case, I believe it is.)

b) I do not hear in these tracks any clues suggestive of an invited audience. On the contrary, I would expect an invited audience to be more well behaved than the one heard in these three numbers. I would also expect the singer to be more restrained, avoiding the interjection of commentary after she has started singing the lyrics.


XIII. The February 8, 1961 Taping
(The "Dinner" Show)


This concert is not listed in Capitol's session files. Whereas Capitol's inventory of masters does list it, the inventory wrongly gives the impression that it is a safety copy. Another source of information about this concert is the CD in which it was released: Peggy At Basin Street East: The Unreleased Closing Night - February 8, 1961, New York City. In a note that is part of the CD's booklet, co-producer Cy Godfrey explains that the concert survived in the form of misidentified tapes, which "might have been destroyed were they not listed in Capitol's computers as backup or safety tapes made on February 16, 1961. It was not until they were examined and played that we realized that they were the long-lost closing night recordings made on February 8, 1961, and that February 16 was a tape transfer date."


XIV. The February 8, 1961 Taping
(The "Supper" Show)
Part 1: Sources Of Information



1. Data Gleaned From Capitol's Session File
Session #8254
NYC, February 8, 1961
master 23460 - But Beautiful
master 23461 - Them There Eyes
master 23462 - I Got A Man
master 23463 - Tribute To Ray Charles: a. Just For A Thrill
All titles issued on Cap. T/ST/SM 1520.

2. Data Gleaned From Capitol's Inventory Sheets

All masters from this session are listed in both the Capitol session file and the Capitol master inventory, without any significant discrepancy between the two sources. (There is a third official source, however, in which one of these masters is left unlisted; see next point.)

3. The Omission Of "Them There Eyes" (Master #23461)

On the box of most session tapes, there is usually a label with handwritten details. The details include the titles and the master numbers assigned to the performances found within.

In the case of this particular session tape, I am told that the label does not list "Them There Eyes" at all -- not the title, not its master number.

Since I have no direct access to Capitol's tapes, and since I am not acquainted with anyone who has actually listened to the tape in question, I do not know the reason for the omission. The same possible reasons discussed in the case of "Fever" (section XI) can be proposed in this case, too -- i.e., an inadvertent omission, or removal of the performance from its original tape.

3. Time At Which The Show Was Performed

At the Basin Street East club, Peggy Lee would usually perform two shows nightly -- and up to three on weekend days. As previously mentioned (section XIII), one of the full shows that Lee performed on February 8, 1961 has been released in its entirety, on a CD from the label Collectors' Choice. That CD does not state whether it contains the earlier or the later show. Luckily, this matter can be clarified thanks to an additional piece of information, gleaned from the tape that contains this session's performances. The tape bears the label "after hours," thereby indicating that it contains material from the later show.

4. Date At Which The Show Was Performed

Paradoxically, there are two dates attached to this session's tape, which consists of two reels. One reel bears the date February 8, the other February 9. Since the contents are from an "after hours" show, I am wondering if the portion in the first reel took place before midnight, and the portion in the second reel after midnight.

Alternatively, the dual dating might be a simple case of human error. It's worth noting that so-called after hours shows tended to start past midnight. According to a newspaper reviewer who attended a Basin Street East concert on an earlier February 1961 date, the concert was scheduled to start at 1:00 a.m. and was still running by 2:00 a.m.

5. Session's number: #8254 Or #8255?

Some Capitol documents, including Peggy Lee's session file, identify the February 8 session under discussion as #8254, whereas others label it #8255. Since the number 8255 is also one of two given to the next session (February 9), human error seems to be at play.


XV. The February 8, 1961 Taping
(The "Supper" Show)
Part 2: Assessment Of The Available Data


1. Capitol's Session File Versus Capitol's LP/CD Issues

According to Capitol's session file (as shown in section XIV above, point #1), all four live performances from session tape #8254 were released in the LP Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee. After giving multiple listenings to that LP, I find myself trusting the accuracy of the file's claim for one of the performances (the "Just For A Thrill" medley portion), and mistrusting it for the other three. A detailed explanation of my reasoning can be found below.

2. Live, Not Studio: "Just For A Thrill"

Capitol's session file states that this session's version of "Just for A Thrill" is the one that was issued in the album Basin Street East Proudly Presents Peggy Lee. Since the album track definitely has the sound quality of a master that was originally recorded live, I have no reason to doubt that statement.


3. Studio, Not Live: "But Beautiful" And "Them There Eyes"

Capitol's session file identifies February 8 versions of "But Beautiful" And "Them There Eyes" as the ones heard in the album Basin Street East Proudly Presents Peggy Lee. My ears suggest otherwise: the LP's versions sound like studio tracks.

(Side note: The ballad "But Beautiful" most definitely strikes me as a studio track. I'll grant that I feel less certain about "Them There Eyes." Ultimately, though, the clear and polished sound quality of "Them There Eyes" has led me to deem it a studio recording, too.)

I have already speculated about the reasons why Capitol's session file might suffer from misrepresentation of some of the Basin Street East data. To reiterate and elaborate, dissatisfaction with the sound quality of a few original live tracks must have led Cavanaugh and Lee to redo them in the studio. For reasons unknown, those remakes were not listed in the session files. Perhaps listing remakes was not standard practice, or perhaps human error and carelessness were the culprits. (Session files actually seem to be slightly less accurate than other official documents, possibly because the overall goal was to list in them the main information that the record company was willing to release to the public. The fact that some numbers has been remade would not fall under that purview.)


4. Live, But From Another Session: Master #23462 ("I Got A Man")

I have also deviated from the session files in their assertion that the album's version of "I Got A Man" is the one which was recorded at this session. My choice is instead a seemingly different performance of "I Got A Man," found in another tape (a safety copy), where it is identified as a remake. For more details, see notes ensuing below.


XVI. The February 9, 1961
(Extra Show, With Invited Audience)
Part 1: Sources Of Information


1. Data Gleaned From Capitol's Session Files

Session #8255
NYC, February 9, 1961
master 23464 - Call Me Darling
master 23465 - I Love Being Here With You
master 23466 - Tribute to Ray Charles: b. Yes, Indeed!
All titles issued on Cap. T/ST/SM 1520.

Session #8256
NYC, February 9, 1961
master 23467 - Peggy Lee Bow Music
master 23468 - The Second Time Around
All titles issued on Cap. T/ST/SM 1520.



2. Data Gleaned From (The Labels Of) Capitol's Session Tapes

Session #8256, Reel #1
Call Me Darling
I Love Being Here With You
Tribute to Ray Charles: b. Yes, Indeed!

Session #8256, Reel #2
One Kiss
But Beautiful

Session #8256, Reel #3
Bows
The Second Time Around



3. Session Files Versus Session Tapes

In various important details, the Capitol session file is at odd with the information provided by the labels of the session tapes. First of all, the session file lists not one but two February 9 sessions, each with its own number. Yet, on the boxes of the session tapes, only the second of those numbers (8256) appears. More alarmingly, the entire contents of the second reel is oddly missing from the session file.



4. Data Gleaned From A Safety Copy

The second reel has been preserved in its original session tape (as detailed in point #2 above) and also in a safety copy. On the label of the safety copy, the following titles are listed:

Session #8256, Reel 2
I Got A Man (Remake)*
One Kiss
But Beautiful



5. Session's number: #8255 Or #8256?

Some Capitol documents, including Peggy Lee's session file, identify the February 9 session under discussion as #8255, whereas others label it #8256. Since the number 8254 is also one of two given to the previous session (February 8), human error seems to be at play.



6. The Case Of Master #23462 ("I Got A Man")

Notice that "I Got A Man" is mysteriously listed only in the safety copy (#4 above), not in the original session tape (see point #1 above). Since I have no access to session tapes, I cannot assess if "I Got A Man" is truly missing from the original tape or if this discrepancy is due to a simple omission on the part of the file's annotator.

Be it as it may, I am operating on the personal hypothesis that this so-called remake of "I Got A Man" is the performance that was issued in the original LP. This hypothesis of mine strays from what the session file indicates. (In the file, a performance of "I Got A Man" from a preceding show (February 8) is identified as the one included in the album.)

There are two reasons why I believe that the safety tape's version of "I Got A Man" is the one issued. First, there is the presence of the word "remake" next to the song's title. That word strikes me as a likely indication that producer Cavanaugh chose it for release over any other version. Second, the label of the safety tape includes the timing of this performance of "I Got A Man," whereas the label of the February 8 session tape does not. Inclusion of a timing thus is for me another suggestion that this performance might have been the one picked for release.



XVII. The February 9, 1961 Taping
(Extra Show, With An Invited Audience)
Part 2: Assessment Of The Available Data



1. Studio, Not Live: Masters #23459, #23460, #23461, And #23468

As heard in the Capitol LP <>iBasin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee, the medley "One Kiss/My Romance/The Vagabond King Waltz" and the ballads "But Beautiful" and "The Second Time Around" definitely sound like studio tracks to me. Therefore, I do not believe the session files' claim that the performances on the original Capitol LP come from this live date. (For my speculation as to why the files incorrectly indicate that the LP contains live versions of those songs, read my notes to the February 5 and 8 dates.)


2. Not Studio, But Live: Masters #23464, #23465, #23466, And #23462

According to Capitol's session files, the versions of "I Love Being Here With You," "Yes, Indeed!," and "Call Me Darling," heard in the Capitol album Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee are live performances taped on February 9, 1961. In my estimation, Lee's interaction with the audience in two of those four songs -- "I Love Being Here With You" and "Yes, Indeed!" -- sounds genuinely live. As for "Call Me Darling," its very poor sound quality makes me believe that we are listening to a live track, too. Hence I am in full agreement with the file's identification of these performances as live ones.

With one exception, my other sources do not show disagreement on this matter. The exception comes from the liner notes of the Capitol CD Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee. Liner annotator James Gavin refers to "Call Me Darling as a studio take. However, this reference is made in passing, and I can find no indication that such is the case. Aside from my own aural assessment of the released performance, I should add that Capitol's documents list only one Basin Street East version of "Call Me Darling": the one from this live session.

There is a fourth performance that merits consideration herein. As mentioned in section XVI, I believe that the released version of "I Got A Man" was not the one taped on February 8 (as the session file claims), but another one found in a safety copy tape dated February 9. Annotator Gavin actually refers to "I Got A Man" as a studio performance -- just as with "Call Me Darling." Aurally, I cannot detect any clues that would lead me to categorically call it either a live or a studio number. But, since I believe its taping date to be February 9, I have to automatically assume that it is a live track.


3. With An Invited Audience: Masters #23464, #23465, #23466, And #23462

According to the annotators of the Basin Street East CDs, February 9, 1961 is a live date which featured a live audience. The following observations of mine could support the claim that an invited audience was indeed present:

a) A telling comment made by Peggy Lee before she sings her tribute to Ray Charles. Lee says that she'd like to sing part of a tribute. Such a qualifier would make the most sense if she were uttering it in front of her invited audience, who was not to enjoy her full tribute medley to Ray Charles that she had been performing in some of her regular shows. (The invited-audience concert was probably set up to feature only the songs that Cavanaugh wanted to re-do for inclusion in the prospective LP.)

b) In "I Love Being Here With You," Lee can't resist giggling after she sings the phrase Cary Grant's utter charm takes me away. I suspect that he was present for this taping, as part of the invited audience. (Grant was friends with Lee, as well as a fan of hers, and is known to have attended her concerts.)


XIX. The March 1, 1961 Taping
(Overdub Date)



1. Information Gleaned From Capitol's Session Files. Dating.
This date, which I believe to have been dedicated to remakes, is not listed in Peggy Lee's session files.


2. Information Gleaned From The Original Session Tape

March 1, 1961
But Beautiful [various takes]
Yes Indeed
But Beautiful [one more take]
Moments Like This

3. Multiple Takes

Point #2 above shows that multiple takes of "But Beautiful" are extant in this session's tape. The existence of multiple takes in the vaults actually applies to other Basin Street East sessions as well. (It also applies to many of Lee's studio sessions. However, my sessionography of Capitol material is circumscribed to master takes and to alternate takes which have been released -- a few exceptions aside.)


4. "Moments Like This"

Official data about this session is scarce. As already mentioned, all these studio remakes of Basin Street East material were left unlisted in the session files. The remake of "Moments Like This" merits particular attention.

The Capitol vaults hold three Peggy Lee versions of the song "Moments Like This." One was recorded for -- and issued in -- her 1960 album Pretty Eyes. Another version, mentioned above is a live one, taped on February 5, 1961 and issued in the album Basin Street East Presents Peggy Lee.

The third Capitol version made its debut in the CD set The Singles Collection, where no recording information about it is provided. One of the producers of The Singles Collection kindly told me that Capitol's official documentation lists only the recording year of that third version, not the month and day. The year is 1961. Hence, by process of elimination, the version of "Moments Like This" that debuted on the CD set The Singles Collection must be the one listed above as dating from March 1, 1961.


5. "Yes, Indeed!"
6. Splicing

According to Capitol's session files, the performance of "Yes, Indeed!" heard in the Capitol album Basin Street East Proudly Presents Peggy Lee is a live take, taped on February 9, 1961. In section XVII above, I voiced my belief that such an identification is correct.

Nevertheless, I must now add the caveat that, in this particular case, my belief is shaky. Despite careful and consecutive listens to the "Yes Indeed!" track in the Basin Street East LP and CD, my opinion has kept on shifting. During the first choruses, my ears tell me that I am listening to a studio number, yet during the last choruses I end up convinced that the track is live ... Could this performance be a composite? Could it be that, thanks to the technique of splicing, the live version from February 9 was combined with the March 1 studio version listed above? Since I have no official evidence that can back up such a possibility, for the time being I am only sharing my thoughts herein. Otherwise, I have entered the "Yes, Indeed!" data just as it appears in Capitol's documents.


6. Masters #23459, #23460, #23461, #23468 (and #23460)

In Capitol's Basin Street East session files, there are various masters which are listed as live but which I have instead deemed -- after close listening of the released issues -- studio tracks, possibly recorded during the date under discussion and during a previous one (February 28, 1961). One of the masters in question, "But Beautiful" is from this date. For more details on this matter, read notes dated February 5 and 9, 1961 above.



XVIII. The February 28, 1961 Taping
(Overdub Date)



1. Information Gleaned From Capitol's Session Files
This date, which I believe to have been dedicated to remakes, is not listed in Peggy Lee's session files.


2. Information Gleaned From The Original Session Tape

February 28, 1961

Reel #1
Them There Eyes
One Kiss (Medley)
The Second Time Around [at least one take, maybe more]

Reel #2
The Second Time Around [multiple takes]


3. Masters #23459, #23460, #23461, #23468 (and #23460)

In Capitol's Basin Street East session files, there are various masters which are listed as live but which I have instead deemed -- after close listening of the released issues -- studio tracks, possibly recorded during the date under discussion and an ensuing one (March 1, 1961). The masters in question are "Them There Eyes," "One Kiss/My Romance/ The Vagabond King Waltz," "The Second Time Around," and "But Beautiful." For more details on this matter, read notes dated February 5 and 9, 1961 above.


XX. The March 8, 1961 Date
(A Studio Session?)



1. CDs From Capitol And Affiliates As Sources Of Information

The booklets of various Peggy Lee CDs refer to a March 8, 1961 Basin Street East studio session. I do not believe that any such session really took place on that day. (The reasons for my disbelief are explained above, in sections VI and IX.) The CDs that mention that March 8 date are Miss Peggy Lee (Capitol), Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee (Capitol), and Peggy At Basin Street East (Collectors' Choice).


XXI. Closing Comment


About these Basin Street East sessions, the chief point that I would like readers to remember is that my presentation of them is highly speculative. There are two reasons for the high ratio of speculation: (1) the lack of agreement among sources (including the CDs, whose information I believe to be partially wrong) and (2) the need for definite clarification through a systematic revision of the many Basin Street East tapes in Capitol's vaults. Given their often hypothetical nature, many of the session details provided in this discography's Basin Street East dates are therefore subject to change in the future -- details such as the dating of the masters and the number of extant live versions of each song.