The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography:
A Gallery Of Albums Containing Lee's Radio Transcription Performances

by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Aug 24, 2017

Scope And Contents

Peggy Lee recorded for three transcription services: MacGregor (1945; 17 tracks), Capitol (second half of the 1940s; 73 tracks), and World (early to mid-1950s; 49 tracks). All such transcription performances were originally made for syndicated radio broadcast, not for retail. Eventually, however, most of them wounded up in commercial issues (cassettes, LPs, CDs, etc.). This page separates all relevant issues into three main sections, according to the service for which Lee recorded the featured performances. There is also a fourth section dedicated to "hybrids" -- i.e., releases that combine transcriptions from two or all three services. (As for the plethora of Peggy Lee issues that mix radio transcriptions with studio recordings and other types of performances, they can be located in this page, specifically reserved for bootleg and Public Domain compilations.) Finally, an index of the specific albums under scrutiny may be found at the very bottom of this page.


Album Covers Shown:

1 & 2. Title: September In The Rain / Format: Collectors' Pressing LP / Label: Norma / Cat. Num.: (Japan) Nlp 1010 / Rel. Year: 1998 / Tracks: 8 / Rel. Year: 1998 / Note: At a yet-to-be-determined year within the 1950s, the American label Candlelite released (or at least produced for release) a Peggy Lee album entitled September In The Rain. I have found very little specific data about that album. In 1998, Norma Records re-released it in Japan, on the LP that is displayed above. The re-release was part of the label's so-called "Rare Item Collection" series. Norma has actually reissued other Candlelite albums on CD, but so far, I have found no indication that September In The Rain exists in a digital version. Front and back covers appear to be nearly exact reproductions of the original Candlelite LP, and ditto for the vinyl's label. Included in the album are 8 of the 17 titles that Peggy Lee recorded for the MacGregor transcription service.

Related Album Cover, Not Shown (But Identical To The One) Above:

3. Title: September In The Rain / Format: 10" LP / Label: Norma / Cat. Num.: unknown / Rel. Year: unknown; possibly 1950s / Tracks: 8 / Note: As already explained, I believe entry #1 to be a reissue of this item. Moreover, I assume that identical artwork graces both the original and the reissue. I should also mention, in passing, that all 8 tracks are transcriptions that Peggy Lee recorded for the MacGregor transcription service.

Album Cover Shown:

4. Title: You Can Depend On Me / Format: LP / Label: Glendale (Distributor: Legend) / Cat. Num.: Gl 6023 / Rel. Year: 1981 / Note: Includes 14 of the 17 titles that Peggy Lee recorded for the MacGregor transcription service -- i.e., almost her entire MacGregor output. The LP's annotator describes the titles as "released for the first time. Material licensed from the archives of C. P. MacGregor Library." The claim that this is the first release of Lee's MacGregor transcriptions does not seem to be entirely accurate; see entry #3 above. (On the other hand, this Glendale LP seems to be a legitimate, licensed issue. Item #3 does not seem to have been an authorized issue. All 8 titles from September In The Rain can be found in You Can Depend On Me.)

5. Title: I've Had My Moments / Format: Cs / Label: Starline (Distributor: Legend) / Cat. Num.: Slc 61008 / Rel. Year: 1987 / Tracks: 10 / Note: This cassette contains 10 MacGregor transcriptions. Two of them are not available in the previously listed issues. (To be more specific, item #4 contain 14 of the 17 performances that Peggy Lee recorded for the MacGregor transcription service, and this cassette includes 2 more. That leaves out only 1 performance, which has never been commercially released. In other words, that missing performance is available only in the original 16" transcription records that the company sent out to radio stations.) The title of this cassette does not appear in the front cover, but on the spine.

Album Covers Shown:

6-7. Title: Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band ("The Jazz Collector Edition" Series) / Format: CS & CD / Label: LaserLight - Delta / Cat. Num.: 15742 / Rel. Year: 1991 / Tracks: 14 / Note: A reissue of item #4 above. This CD's general quality, from the artwork to the absence of substantial liner notes, is either wanting or unappealing. Worse yet, the tracks are slightly sped-up. Unfortunately for those of us interested in collecting Lee's MacGregor transcriptions on CD, no better digital option is available.

Album Covers Shown:

8-9. Title: Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band; Nat King Cole Trio 1943-49, The Vocal Sides / Format: CD / Label: Capriole / Cat. Num.: (Germany) Hmr 1009 / Tracks: 14 + 13 = 27 / Rel. Year: 1997 / Note: This CD has apparently come out with two slightly different covers, both of which are shown above. It is a twofer of sorts. The track contents combine 13 Nat King Cole radio transcriptions with 14 Peggy Lee radio transcriptions. The disc is more precisely a reissue of two CDs that were originally released on the Laserlight label: the 1990 disc Nat King Cole Trio 1943-49 and the aforementioned 1991 Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band (item #6). Capriole took every track from the Lee CD, but just the vocal tracks from the Cole CD. Common to the two labels (i.e., American Laserlight and German Capriole) is their parent company (or distributor?), Delta.


Album Cover Shown:

1 - 6 . Title: The Complete Peggy Lee & June Christy Capitol Transcription Sessions / Format: CD Box / Label: Mosaic / Cat. Num.: Md5 184 / Rel. Year: 1998 / Tracks: 72 (sung by Peggy Lee) + 27 (sung by June Christy) = 99 / Disc: 5 (inside 3 jewel cases) / Note: Boasting superior sound quality, this set is also commendable for being almost complete. Of Peggy Lee's 73-song output for Capitol's radio transcription service, the only missing track is her self-penned number "I'm In The Mood For Music," which still remains commercially unreleased at the present time. Images #1 and #2 show this boxed set -- its front cover and its lateral sides. (The back cover, not shown herein, is black and blank.) The set's album-size booklet (image #3) consists of 16 pages, including the page shown in image #4. As that page illustrates, this booklet features black & white photos along with an extensive session-by-session essay and detailed discographical information. The remaining images spotlight the front and back covers of one of the CD jewel cases (still sealed in these pictures).

Album Cover Shown:

7 & 8. Title: Trav'lin' Light / Format: CD / Label: CAPITOL Jazz / Cat. Num.: 7243 5 23567 2 0 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: This official sampler contains 15 of the 72 Lee masters that were originally issued in the aforementioned set (images #1 to #6). The sampler's front cover is presented in image #7, its inner tray artwork in the other image.

Album Cover Shown:

9. Title: A Musical Marriage; Peggy Lee & Dave Barbour / Format: CD / Label: Jasmine / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Jascd 355 / Rel. Year: 1999 / Note: Thus unauthorized, Public Domain sampler contains 22 of the 72 Lee masters that were originally issued in the aforementioned set (images #1 to #6).

10. Title: The Complete Capitol Small Group Transcriptions / Format: CD / Label: Disconforme / Cat. Num.: (Spain) Jfcd 22822 / Rel. Year: 2001 (date found in my copy; there might have been an earlier print) / Tracks: 54 / Volumes: 3 / Note: The makers of this issue shamelessly appropriated the bulk of the tracks that Mosaic Records originally issued in 1998 (images #1 to #6 above). Mosaic spent a fortune researching, remastering and paying fees for the release of the original boxed set. Disconforme was, on the other hand, able to swipe Mosaic's work for its own use without having to make any such payments, and without identifying the original releaser. At the very least, the European PD label could have waited for the official box to go out of print. But there was no such (minimal) courtesy on their part: Disconforme put its budget-priced knockoff in the market while there were still many unsold copies of the Mosaic set, thereby grabbing away potential customers. In any case, notice that there are some significant differences between the two issues. As suggested by the inclusion of the words Small Group in the title, Disconforme's 3 CD set excludes the big band tracks which Lee sang with the Frank DeVol Orchestra. In other words, it contains only numbers with backing by Dave Barbour's combo. Also left out from this Disconforme knock-off were the tracks that are marked in Mosaic's box as "previously unissued" -- probably because their appropriation could have not been justified through the otherwise lax copyright laws in the Andorran region of Spain. (As for the June Christy numbers found in the Mosaic box, they were also appropriated by Disconforme, and released separately, in another CD).

Album Covers Shown:

11. Title: Title: Trav'lin' Light - Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee / Format: CD / Label: EMI Gold / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) G 704 7302 / Re. Year: 2012 / Tracks: 26 / Note: A budget item that incongruously mixes Capitol radio transcriptions from the 1940s with live and studio tracks from 1961, Trav'lin' Light / Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee was never officially released. Shortly after (or before?) its initial appearance in the United Kingdom, it was withdrawn. Copies can still be located online, most of them from European vendors who had received them before the disc was recalled.

12. Title: Them There Eyes / Format: Cassette / Label: Starline (Distributor: Legend) / Cat. Num.: Slc 61189 / Rel. Year: 1990 / Tracks: 9, all of them also found in item #1 above.


Album Covers Shown:

1 & 2. Title: Peggy Lee Sings For You / Format: CS & CD / Label: Avid / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Avm 514 & Avc 514 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Tracks: 20

3. Title: Taking A Chance On Love / Format: CD / Label: Flare / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Roycd 269 / Rel. Year: 2008 / Tracks: 24

General Note:
Ownership of the two above-shown issues will supply 41 of the 49 masters that Peggy Lee recorded for the World transcription service. (Unfortunately, the sound quality of both issues is mediocre.) Ownership of item #6 below will add 5 more numbers to the count, for a total of 46. The 3 remaining World masters have yet to be commercially issued.

Album Covers Shown:

4 - 6. Title: The Uncollected Peggy Lee, 1948 / Format: CS & LP & CD / Label: Hindsight / Cat. Num.: Hsc 220 & Hsr 220 & Cdhsr 220 / Rel. Year: 1985 [CD released in 1994] / Tracks: 12

Album Cover Shown:

7 & 8. Title: Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) & Peggy Lee ("Gold Collection" Series, "Deluxe Edition") / Format: CD / Label: Deja Vu - Retro / Cat. Num.: (EEC) R2cd 94034 / Rel. Year: 1996 [first edition]; 2001 [second edition] / Volumes: 2 / Tracks: 40 / Note: As shown above, this Public Domain set has been issued in two editions. The so-called Deluxe Edition substantially improves on the sound quality of the first edition. Both editions are out of print by now.

This set includes 18 of the 20 World transcription performances that Avid originally released in the CD Peggy Lee Sings For You (item #2 above), as well as 22 tracks taken from other sources. For listeners wishing to sample Peggy Lee's World output, this is the better-sounding of all the available commercial choices so far. I am only referring, however, to the 2001 deluxe edition, which sonically is a vast improvement over the 1996 edition. (Please be aware that I'm not praising the sound quality of the deluxe edition as exceptionally good; I am only saying that all other choices are comparatively worse. An official, good-sounding release of Lee's World transcription numbers is still much needed.)

Album Cover Shown:

9. Title: It's A Good Day / Format: CD / Label: Riff City Entertainment / Cat. Num.: Rcd 50 286 / Rel. Year: 2004 / Note: All numbers in this 2004 issue had been previously issued in some of the earlier items listed above (in particular, items #2 and #6).


General Note:
Like those covered in previous sections, the issues itemized herein contain radio transcriptions. However, this section's issues differ from the ones above in that their track listing consists of transcriptions from multiple services, rather than just one service.

Album Covers Shown:

1. Title: Old Favorites / Format: CS & CD / Label: Music International / Cat. Num.: P 6014 & 6002 / Rel. Year: 1992 / Tracks: 6 MacGregor transcriptions + 4 World transcriptions = 10 / Note: Lists an 11th track, "Night Life," which is nowhere to be found in the CD or the cassette.

2. Title: Gone With The Wind / Format: CD / Label: Musicrama - Actual / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) 7 85118 2 / Rel. Year: 1995 [re-pressed in 2001] / Tracks: 6 World transcriptions + 5 MacGregor transcriptions + 1 Capitol transcription + 2 radio tracks taken from the Hindsight album The Uncollected Peggy Lee = 14

3. Title: Portrait Of Peggy Lee / Format: CD / Label: Penny Newsound / Cat. Num.: (United Kingdom) Pycd 148 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Tracks: 9 MacGregor transcriptions + 1 World transcriptions + + 1 radio track taken from the Hindsight album The Uncollected Peggy Lee + 5 radio tracks taken from the Souns Rare album If I Could Be With You = 18

4. Title: Golden Hits / Format: CS & CD / Label: Masters Music / Cat. Num.: (Netherlands) Ma Cs 61078 4 & Cd 61078 2 / Rel. Year: 1996 / Tracks: 6 MacGregor transcriptions + 5 World transcriptions + 1 radio track taken from the Hindsight album The Uncollected Peggy Lee = 12 / Note: Although 1996 is the earliest date that I have found for this issue, I would not be surprised to eventually discover an earlier pressing.


Listed below are the issues whose front covers are shown in this page. The Roman numeral that follows each title indicates the section in which the issue is located.

Complete Small Group Transcriptions, The: II
Complete Peggy Lee & June Christy Capitol Transcription Sessions, The: II
Golden Hits: IV
Gone With The Wind: IV
I've Had My Moments: I
It's A Good Day: III
Jazz Collector Edition, The (Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band): I
Musical Marriage, A; Peggy Lee & Dave Barbour: II
Old Favorites: IV
Peggy Lee Sings For You: III
Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band ("The Jazz Collector Edition" Series): I
Peggy Lee With The Dave Barbour Band; Nat King Cole Trio 1943/49, The Vocal Sides: I
September In The Rain: I
Taking A Chance On Love: III
Them There Eyes: II
Trav'lin' Light: II
Uncollected Peggy Lee, The, 1948: III
You Can Depend On Me: I


The present page concentrates on issues whose entire track listing consists of radio transcriptions. Issues with more mixed listings will be found in a pictorial page that is currently under construction, and which will focus on Public Domain compilations.

Furthermore, this page is exclusively dedicated to material that was recorded for radio syndication. For material taped for or sung during radio shows, see the Radio Broadcasts page.