The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography:
A Pictorial Showcase Of Lee's Contributions To The World Of Animation & Puppetry
(Walt Disney, George Pal, Miss Piggy)
by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Sep 12, 2016


Scope And Contents

This page focuses on the music that Peggy Lee contributed to the world of children's cinema. In her case, such music is linked to the work of two film entrepreneurs: Walt Disney and George Pal. Besides the Disney- and Pal-related film songs mentioned below, Lee did sing a few additional children movie numbers. Among them: the titular song from Disney's 1948 film So Dear To My Heart and, from the 1972 Cinema Center movie Snoopy, Come Home!, the plaintive ballad "It Changes," also known as "Charlie Brown's Calliope." Such numbers have been excluded because Peggy Lee's versions were not taped for inclusion on film, nor were they primarily intended as promotion of the films. Instead, the excluded Lee numbers were made for the record labels to which she was signed, and meant for release on commercial record (78-rpm discs, 45-rpm discs, and LPs). Hence they are covered instead in this discography's sessionography.


I. MAKE MINE MUSIC (A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION)




General Note (And Artwork Shown):

1 - 5. Title: Walt Disney's Make Mine Music / Note: Peggy Lee does not actually sing in the soundtrack of this animated film but she does so in a set of Disney 78-rpm discs created as promotion for the movie. The promotion was aimed at radio stations, whose disc jockeys were naturally expected to play these records over the airwaves, and comment about their connection to the movie. They bear the legend From Walt Disney's Make Mine Music and are likely to have been manufactured within the first third of 1946. (The movie's New York premiere took place in April of 1946. An extensive discussion of the 78-rpm discs and their connection to the animated film can be found here.) The songs that Peggy Lee sings in these discs are titled "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet" (recorded by The Andrews Sisters for the soundtrack) and "Two Silhouettes" (recorded by Dinah Shore for the soundtrack.) Lee is likely to have recorded her promotional version in late 1945. On display above are movie posters and scenes showing the 10 vignettes of which the movie is comprised. The last two images come from the vignettes for which the songs "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet" and "Two Silhouettes" were written.


II. JASPER AND THE BEANSTALK (A GEORGE PAL PRODUCTION)




General Note (And Artwork Shown):

1 - 4. Title: Jasper And The Beanstalk / Note: George Pal originally made his puppet cartoons for theatrical release, creating all of them between 1942 and 1947. (I am referring to his American-based puppetoons. Pal's earliest forays into animation took place before he came to the United States, in his native European land.) As revealed by the small print visible in the above-shown movie poster (image #1), Paramount was the company that released Pal's wood-carved puppet cartoons to theaters. Pal and Paramount hired Peggy Lee to voice a lyre in at least two puppetoons from the Jasper series. The earliest, for which she recorded her vocal in February of 1945, was Jack And The Beanstalk. In her role as the "magic lyre" imprisoned by a giant who lives atop the beanstalk, Peggy Lee mournfully sings "Ain't Goin' No Place." Along with the lyre, the giant and the ever sweet, innocent protagonist (image #2), this puppetoon also features the two recurrent antagonists of the Jasper series: The Scarecrow and Black Crow (images #3 and #4). Many of Pal's 1942-1947 theatrical toons ended up in syndicated television later during the 1950s and 1960s, and this one was no exception. Among Pal collectors, Jasper And The Beanstalk survived in a poor TV print for decades on end. Finally, in 2013, it was commercially issued -- as detailed below.




5 - 9. Title: The Puppetoon Movie / Format: Blu-Ray DVD / Discs: 2 / Label: B2MP / Release Year: October 2013 / Note: Includes the two Pal puppetoons in which Peggy Lee is known to have participated. Limited to 3,000 copies and available on Blu-Ray only. Licensed from Arnold Leibovit Enterntainment. The actual front cover of this release is seen in image #5. The other images are alternate covers that the releasing company considered as alternative covers before settling on image #5, and which animation producer Jerry Beck subsequently displayed in his website, for the benefit of curious fans such as myself. Further specifics about this DVD's contents and availability can be found at his site, Cartoon Research.



III. JASPER IN A JAM (A GEORGE PAL PRODUCTION)




Artwork Shown:

1-3. Title: Jasper In A Jam / Note: In this 1946 puppetoon from the Jasper series, Peggy Lee reprises her role as a singing lyre (image #3), now consigned to a pawnshop. During her very brief appearance, she sings a number about the pawnshop owner. Entitled "Old Man Mose Is Dead," the number is a variation on the then-popular novelty "Old Man Mose Ain't Dead." This puppet cartoon also features instrumentals by The Charlie Barnet Orchestra, which are heard at a greater length. Seen above (image #1) is a generic poster that theaters used for the Jasper series. One of the opening credits from the actual puppetoon reel is displayed in image #2. Jasper In A Jam has been commercially issued on both VHS and DVD, as shown below.





Artwork Shown:

4. Title: The Puppetoon Movie / Note: Shown in this image is the poster for the 1987 Arnold Leibovit film that paid tribute to Pal's cartoon oeuvre. "Jasper In A Jam" was among the 11 puppetoons anthologized in the movie.

5. Title: The Puppetoon Movie / Format: VHS & Laser Disc / Label: Arnold Leibovit Productions - Video Treasures [distributor: Anchor Bay] / Cat. Num.: Sv 9990 / Rel. Year: 1995 / Note: Video release of the movie described in entry #4.

6 & 7. Title: The Puppetoon Movie (Expanded Edition) / Format: DVD / Label: Arnold Leibovit Productions [distributor: Image Entertainment] / Cat. Num.: Id 5865 Aldvd / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: This is a DVD release of the movie described in entry #4, with 12 additional, bonus puppetoon features. Image #6 shows the disc's American cover, image #7 the French cover.

8. Title: The Puppetoon Movie / Format: Blu-Ray DVD / Discs: 2 / Label: B2MP / Release Year: 2013 / Note: This veritable Pal bonaza is in theory a reissue of item #4 (newly remastered). In practice the reissued movie is merely one portion of the contents, which include previously unreleased interviews with various participants, a tribute to Pal and, most notably, 20 additional puppetoons. Limited to 3,000 copies and available on Blu-Ray only. Licensed from Arnold Leibovit Enternainment.





Artwork Shown:

9. Title Cartoon Crazys: Spooky Toons / Format: DVD & VHS / Label: Winstar / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: 2000 / Note: Jasper In A Jam is among the 13 horror cartoons anthologized in this disc.

10. Title: Halloween Stomp: Jazz & Big Band Music For A Haunted House Party! / Format: CD / Label: Jass / Cat. Num.: J Cd 163 / Rel. Year: 1990 / Note: Contains Lee's puppetoon version of "Old Man Mose Is Dead" (audio only).

11. Title: Cartoon Classics in Color, #7 / Format: VHS / Label: Video Yesteryear / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: unknown / Note: Jasper In A Jam is among the cartoons included. Image #11 shows one side of the generic cover which Video Yesteryear used for all VHS releases. The other side of this company's video boxes usually had an affixed (taped) b&w photo, showing a shot from the feature show. I assume that the box for Cartoon Classics in Color, #7 was no exception.

Missing Artwork:

12. Title: The Best of George Pal / Format: VHS / Label: Video Dimensions / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: unknown / Note: Jasper In A Jam is among the puppetoons that were anthologized in this item.


IV. LADY AND THE TRAMP (A WALT DISNEY PRODUCTION)




General Note (And Artwork Shown):

1-4. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Note: For this 1955 animated classic, Peggy Lee did the voices of four characters, pictured above: the canine Peg, the feline pair Si and Am, and the human mother simply known as Darling. Under each role, Lee sang one number: "He's A Tramp" (as Peg), "The Siamese Cat Song" (as Si and Am), and "La La Lu" (as Darling). She also co-wrote all three of those songs, as well as others ("Bella Notte" and "Peace On Earth") that are heard throughout the movie in the voices of other actors, and a few more ("That Fellow's A Friend Of Mine," "Old Trusty," etc.) which were not used in the film, but which she herself recorded for Decca Records. The last of the above-shown images shows Peggy Lee herself, of course, in the process of singing "He's A Tramp." The image comes from the TV special Walt Disney's Cavalcade of Song, in which Lee and company re-enact the process of conceiving the songs for the film. (Walt Disney's Cavalcade of Song has also been included, as a bonus feature, in some of the items discussed below.)





Artwork Shown:

5. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: Laser Disc / Label: Walt Disney / Cat. Num.: 582 Cs / Rel. Year: 1987 / Note: CAV speed version.

6. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: Laser Disc / Label: Walt Disney / Cat. Num.: 582 As / Rel. Year: 1987 / Note: CLV speed version.

7. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp ("The Classics" Series) / Format: VHS / Label: Walt Disney Home Video (distributed by Walt Disney Telecommunications) / Cat. Num.: 582 / Rel. Year: 1987 / Note: "Presented in digitally processed Hi-Fi stereo. Close captioned."





Artwork Shown:

8. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: Laser Disc / Label: Walt Disney / Cat. Num.: 14673 Cs / Rel. Year: 1998 / Note: CAV speed format. Newly mastered. In the front cover, a red sticker prominently features Peggy Lee's name. The sticker advertises the inclusion, as a bonus, of the TV special Walt Disney's Cavalcade of Song (discussed above, under entries 1-4). I have found no indication that Walt Disney's Cavalcade of Song was part of any other laser disc or VHS item; bear in mind, however, that I do not any of those items, and that the available data about them is not extensive. The next item that I know to include the TV special is the DVD edition (#13 below).

9. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: Laser Disc / Label: Walt Disney / Cat. Num.: 14673 As / Rel. Year: 1998 / Note: CLV speed format. Newly mastered.

10. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp ("Masterpiece" Series) / Format: VHS / Label: Walt Disney Home Video (distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment) / Cat. Num.: 14673 (also C 9096) / Rel. Year: 1998 / Note: "Digitally mastered. Hi-Fi stereo."





Artwork Shown:

11. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp ("Masterpiece" Series) / Format: Laser Disc / Label: Walt Disney / Cat. Num.: 15344 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: CLV speed format. Newly mastered. Differs from items #8 and #9 in its use of full-frame screen (as opposed to the less desirable widescreen).

12. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp (Limited Issue) / Format: DVD / Label: Walt Disney / Cat. Num.: 717951003997 (UPC); 9780788819438 (EAN) / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: May have been sold only through the website and physical facilities of Disney.





Artwork Shown:

13 - 15. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp; 50th Anniversary Edition ("Platinum Edition" Series) / Format: DVD / Label: Walt Disney Home Video / Volumes: 2 / Cat. Num.: 40233 / Rel. Year: 2006 / Note: The same edition is seen in all three images above. The first image shows the normal, generally seen cover. The second image displays what I believe to be an additional, special case. A crowning achievement and a major improvement over all previous versions, this DVD boasts excellent picture quality and numerous bonus features. Digitally remastered. Viewable either as widescreen (2:55:1) or full screen (pan and scan). One feature of particular interest to Peggy Lee fans is the aforementioned TV program Walt Disney's Cavalcade Of Song, during which Peggy Lee and company re-enact the process of conceiving the songs for the film. This TV program spotlights Peggy Lee's singing of both "He's A Tramp" (captured in image #4 above) and "The Siamese Cat Song" (captured below, in images #19 and #20, where she is accompanied by composer Sonny Burke).





Artwork Shown:

16-19. Title: Lady And The Tramp / Format: BD & DVD / Cat. Num.: 108141 / Release Date: February 7, 2012 (first three images) and March 27, 2012 (fourth image) / Note: The main selling point of the so-called Diamond edition of Lady And The Tramp is the inclusion of the film in the increasingly popular Blu-ray format. This 2012 edition not only keeps the phletora of bonus features from the 2006 Platinum edition but also adds three new bonus features: optional audio commentary (to be run as the movie plays), behind-the-scenes commentary (accessed via CD-ROM), and an audio clip which is the debut of a song conceived during the very early stages of the movie's production. (At those early stages, Peggy Lee was not yet involved, nor was this song -- or any of the film's songs, for that matter -- recorded at the time. The audio clip features the voice of modern-day singer-composer-producer Marco Marinangeli.) As shown above, the Diamond edition of Lady And The Tramp has been made available in 4 packagings which can be visually differentiated by the color of their respective covers. The yellow version consists of 3 discs, with each disc offering the film in a separate format: blue-ray (entry #16), DVD (entry #17) and digital copy (entry #18, meant for computers and portable devices in which neither DVD nor Blu-ray plays). The inclusion of that third disc sets the yellow version apart; none of the other versions includes the digital copy. Both the blue and gray versions consist of two discs; they differ from one another only in the format that they emphasize: whereas Blu-ray is suitably highlighted in the blue version, the gray version puts its emphasis on the DVD. Finally, there's the fourth and last packaging, which has yet to be released at the time of this writing (February 2012); it will apparently consist of the DVD only.





Artwork Shown:


20. Title: Disney's Halloween Treat / Format: VHS / Label: Disney / Rel. Year: 1984 / Cat. Num: unknown / Note: Originally a 1982 TV special that aired as part of the regular TV series The Wonderful World Of Disney, this so-called halloween treat is a collection of spooky clips from Disney's catalogue of shorts and full-length movies. One of the included clips is the Si and Am segment from Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp.





Artwork Shown, And Additional Notes:

21-22. Scenes from the TV program Walt Disney's Cavalcade Of Song. Accompanied by composer Sonny Burke, Peggy Lee is seen performing "The Siamese Cat Song" (images #19 and #20) and also "He's A Tramp" (image #4 above).

As an overall look of the above-listed Lady And The Tramp issues should reveal, every time that Disney released a VHS edition, laser disc counterparts were also issued. Not surprisingly, there was no laser counterpart to the 2006 DVD edition, as laser discs had gone out of fashion much earlier (by the year 2000). The 2012 blu-ray edition kept up with new technology by releasing the film on Blu-ray and digital copy, while also re-releasing it on DVD.

There are many non-domestic VHS, DVD and laser disc editions of the film Lady And The Tramp. Because they were dubbed to the language of the targeted nations, most of those editions do not feature Peggy Lee's vocals. Examples: La Belle Et Le Clochard (France), Wan-Wan monogatari (Japan), La Dama Y El Vagabundo (Spain, Latin America). There is a South Korean DVD edition (released by C K Ani) which might or might not be an exception; judging from details given online, its audio appears to be in English.





Album Covers Shown:

23. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: Cassette & CD / Label: DISNEY RECORDS / Cat. Num.: 5008 60951 0 0 & 5008 60951 7 9 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Tracks: 22 (total). 3 (soundtrack numbers performed by Peggy Lee) + 19 (soundtrack numbers in which Peggy Lee does not participate) / Note: Each of this CD's tracks is an assemblage of various components (e.g., sound effects, music cues, solo vocals, group vocals) which exist separately from one another, and which are housed at Disney's reel library. Rather than taking the (relatively) easy route of reissuing any existent tapes of the movie soundtrack, the commendable producer of this CD (Randy Thornton) retrieved those original components and reassembled them for release on compact disc. 

24. Title: Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: CD / Label: DISNEY RECORDS / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Ocd 65008 / Rel. Year: probably 1997 / Tracks: 22 (total). 3 (soundtrack numbers performed by Peggy Lee) + 19 (soundtrack numbers in which Peggy Lee does not participate) / Note: I have not ben able to inspect this CD. Judging from information provided by online databases, it is a Japanese edition of the item discussed in the previous entry.

25. Title: Walt Disney Records Presents Lady And The Tramp / Format: CD / Label: DISNEY RECORDS / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: unknown / Tracks: unknown / Note: I am missing most basic details about this CD, which for the time being I am assuming to be another foreign edition of the 1997 CD Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp

26. Title: Lady And The Tramp ("The Legacy Collection" Series) / Format: CD / Label: DISNEY RECORDS / Discs:  2 / Cat. Num.: D002066192  / Rel. Year: 2015 / Tracks: 31 (total). 3 (soundtrack numbers performed by Peggy Lee) + 19 (soundtrack numbers in which Peggy Lee does not participate) + 9 non-soundtrack numbers, also sans Peggy Lee / Note:  The first CD is a reissue of the Randy Thornton CD discussed in a previous entry.  The second CD features the set of re-recordings of songs from the film that Disney has released in many albums, over the years.  In them, other vocalists (Teri York, Robie Lester) cover Peggy Lee's original vocals.  The second CD also includes a couple of demos, but Peggy Lee was not involved in their creation, either.




Album Covers Shown:

27. Title: Disney's Lady And The Tramp And Friends / Format: CD / Label: DISNEY RECORDS / Cat. Num.: 861428 / Rel. Year: 2006 / Tracks: 9 (total). 3 (soundtrack numbers performed by Peggy Lee) + 6 (numbers not performed by Peggy Lee, though two of them come from the Lady And The Tramp soundtrack, and feature her lyrics; remaining numbers are from modern-day Disney films.) / Note: The CDs from Disney's "And Friends" series were tie-ins to the company's Platinum Edition DVDs. (The former were issued shortly after the latter came out.) The CDs from Disney's "And Friends series were tie-ins to the company's Platinum Edition DVDs. (The former were issued shortly after the latter came out.) The three Peggy Lee vocals in this particular issue were "transported" or taken from the Randy Thornton CD just discussed in a previous entry.

28. Title: Disney's Lady And The Tramp And Friends / Format: CD / Label: EMI Music / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) 9463 5 6302 2 0 / Rel. Year: 2006 / Tracks: same as in previous item / Note: British edition of the preceding item.

29. Title: Favourite Songs From Disney's Lady And The Tramp / Format: CD / Label: unknown / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom?) unknown / Tracks: 5 / Note: Tentative entry. Found at an online commercial site, which lists only 5 tracks for this CD, and credits Peggy Lee as the artist for all but the opening track ("Bella Notte," credited instead to The Disney Studio Chorus). I would appreciate receiving further details about this CD.

A Note About Additional Albums:  Peggy Lee recorded a full album of songs from this movie. Released by Decca Records, the album and its derivates are discussed in section III of this pictorial discography's Decca page. At its bottom, the same page includes an appendix dedicated to the many albums based on the film that Disney has released, and which generally do not feature Peggy Lee on vocals. As for various-artists compilations with one or more Peggy Lee tracks from the Lady And The Tramp soundtrack, take a look at section V of this page.  


V. TOM THUMB (A GEORGE PAL PRODUCTION)




General Note (And Artwork Shown):

1 - 4. Title: "tom thumb" / Note: Peggy Lee does not sing or appear in this 1958 British-American MGM movie, but she was involved in the making of its music. George Pal first conceived and planned his film version of the tom thumb story in the 1940s. In 1948, Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour were attached to that initial version of the film, the former both as singer and songwriter. Shown in image #4 is Lee herself playing with the puppetoons constructed for the originally planned version of the film. Unfortunately, the movie did not go into production until the 1950s, and by that time the project had undergone numerous modifications. Of the various songs that Peggy Lee wrote for the feature, two were used. Both are prominently heard in the movie: "tom thumb's Tune" (aka "This Is My Song," sung by the lead character, played by Russ Tamblyn) and "Are You A Dream?" (a love theme). Images #1, #2, and #3 show the scene in which Tamblyn sings "tom thumb's Tune." (It's the scene in which the toys around him come to life.)





Artwork Shown:

5 - 7. Title: "tom thumb" / Format: VHS / Label: Turner Entertainment / Cat. Num.: / Rel. Year: 1992, 1996, unknown / Note: Specifics about these VHS versions are scarce. I do not know which version corresponds with each of the years given.

8. Title: "tom thumb" / Format: DVD / Label: Turner Entertainment and Warner Home Video / Cat. Num.: 65401 / Rel Year: 2000





Artwork Shown:

9. Title: "tom thumb" / Note: Movie poster. In the last line of the poster, Peggy Lee is credited as one of the songwriters.

10. Title: tom thumb / Format: LP / Label: MGM / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) C 772 / Rel. Year: 1958 / Note: Album soundtrack.

11. Title: "tom thumb" / Format: LP / Label: MGM's Lion / Cat. Num.: L 70084 / Rel. Year: 1958 / Note: In the United States, the album soundtrack was released in this budget subsidiary of MGM. "It's believed to be the first instance in which a $1.98 line has carried a first-line soundtrack edition," commented Billboard magazine.





Artwork Shown:

12. Title: The Music, Songs & Story From Tom Thumb / Format: LP / Label: MGM / Cat. Num.: Ch 104 / Rel. Year: unknown / Note: Includes Russ Tamblyn's soundtrack vocal for "tom thumb's Tune." May be a British issue. (In the United States, Tamblyn's vocal was furthermore issued on a single, Metro #20012, backed with an unrelated, rock n' roll vocal entitled "Fifteen Cents." Metro was a division of MGM.)

13. Title: The Music, Songs & Story From Tom Thumb (Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack; "MCA Classics Soundtracks" Series) / Format: LP & CS / Label: MCA / Cat. Num.: Mca 25006 & Mcac 25006 / Rel. Year: 1986 / Note: Seems to be a reissue of item #8. Includes Russ Tamblyn's soundtrack vocal for "tom thumb's Tune."


VI. THE TIME MACHINE (A GEORGE PAL PRODUCTION)




Artwork And General Commentary:

1 - 4. Title: H.G. Well's The Time Machine / Note: Although the present page circumscribes itself to animated features and to films made for children, two reasons have compelled me to make an exception in the case of H.G. Well's The Time Machine. First, youngsters were one of the movie's main target audiences. Second, a page that is partially dedicated to Peggy Lee's work for George Pal should, in my opinion, cover H.G. Well's The Time Machine.

Peggy Lee is credited with writing both words and music for the theme of this 1960 George Pal film. Entitled "The Land Of Leal," the theme was even incorporated to David Duncan's original script (viewable, as of July 2011, at http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/TheTimeMachine_1959.html ). Unfortunately, the song ended up being dropped from the completed movie product.

The H.G. Well's The Time Machine spotlights a . According to the script, Peggy Lee's composition was to be heard right after the battery of clock sounds with which the movie opens. Instead of Lee's number, the completed film features a typical, sweepingly dramatic music score. (Russ Garcia was responsible for that piece, and for the movie's entire music score.) The script also indicates two or three additional spots where Lee's melody was slated to be heard. The protagonist himself (The Time Traveler) was expected to whistle the melody, identified in the script as his favorite tune. Not so in the complete film: the protagonist shows a penchant for voiceovers but not for whistling.


VII. A "PORCINE" APPENDIX: MISS PIGGY





Artwork Shown:

1 - 5. Although she never performed with Jon Henson's classic muppets, Miss Peggy Lee played a crucial role in the creation of one of his most famous muppets: she was the original inspiration for Miss Piggy. Corroboration for this claim can be found in various statements made by Bonnie Eriksson, the marionette's designer. According to press reporter Anita Gupka, who interviewed Eriksson for an article published in the October 2008 issue of Smithsonian magazine, "Bonnie Erickson designed and built the inimitable Miss Piggy in 1974 for an early Muppets television special, produced by Jim Henson." When the reporter proceeded to ask Eriksson who had been the inspiration for the character, the marionette's designer offered the following explanation: "[m]y mother used to live in North Dakota where Peggy Lee sang on the local radio station before she became a famous jazz singer. When I first created Miss Piggy I called her Miss Piggy Lee — as both a joke and an homage. Peggy Lee was a very independent woman, and Piggy certainly is the same. But as Piggy’s fame began to grow, nobody wanted to upset Peggy Lee, especially because we admired her work. So, the Muppet’s name was shortened to Miss Piggy." In another interview, conducted by Ann Bilot and published in the international edition of the art webzine Blouin Artinfo on July 14, 2011, Eriksson elaborated on the character's origin and early development: "it was actually a request from Jim. He wanted three pigs for a series that we were doing. He came to me because I'm from the Midwest, so I'm sure he thought I understood and knew pigs. The three pigs ended up being Miss Piggy, one was just sort of a background pig, and the other ended up being something very similar to Dr. Strangepork. So we first did her as a character for that bit, but she was quickly commandeered because we did a Herb Alpert appearance and they needed some sexy female, so I very quickly made her purple gloves, and I draped her in purple satin, and gave her some pearls and bigger eyes. I went to the eye drawer and changed her look and she went back and forth in those personalities for quite awhile. She started out in The Muppet Show as a chorus girl and as you know, she's now a big diva." (After the marionette's eyes underwent the aforementioned transformation from beady to 'bedroom big,' the resemblance to Peggy Lee became more marked, indeed. Miss Piggy's eyes and hair actually give her a distinct resemblance to Lee's iconic Mona Lisa look from the early 1970s, seen in images #3, #4, and #5 above.) Additional details about the muppet's subsequent history and career can be found in this page, where we read that "Miss Piggy considers herself a dramatic actress and a great singer, but she has other talents, too (besides karate)." Incidentally, the muppet was openly called Piggy Lee in two episodes of the show (one from 1976, the other from 1977). Furthermore, in countries when Romance languages are spoken (specifically, Mexico, France, and Spain), the marionette is known not as Piggy but as Peggy.











Artwork Shown:

6-8. Miss Piggy and guest Rachel Welch sing "I'm A Woman" during a 1978 episode of The Muppet Show (images #6 and #7). The use of one of Peggy Lee's hits obviously connects the segment to Lee, however indirect such a connection may be. Furthermore, the segment bears some similarities to the "When Johhny Comes Marching Home" duet that Lee performed with Petula Clark in 1970 (image #8 ). Visually, the resemblance pertains mostly to the choice of white attire, and might of course be entirely coincidental. For what is worth, "I'm A Woman" was another of the duets performed by Lee and Clark in the 1970 show. Peggy Lee's attire for that duet bore no resemblance to the dresses under scrutiny, however. At the time of this writing (early 2012), clips of the aforementioned "I'm A Woman" duets were viewable here and here.





Images Shown:

9-10. These two stills show Miss Piggy as a professional vocalist. In the first still, she is singing B. J. Thomas' pop hit "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song," with some assistance from other muppet cast members. In the second still, Miss Piggy adopts a torch singer's stance as she interprets Noel Coward's standard "Mad About The Boy," which is naturally reconceived as "Mad About The Frog."