Peggy Lee's Bio-Discography:
The Capitol Years, Part I (1944-1945)
by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Nov 7, 2016


PRELIMINARY NOTES




The Peggy Lee Look

Images above: A photographic showcase of Peggy Lee in her mid-twenties, when she made the recordings that will be itemized in this page. From February of 1943, the first shot was taken a few weeks before Lee married guitarist Dave Barbour and gave bandleader Benny Goodman notice of her intention to leave the canary post that she had been holding within his orchestra. The other photos capture Lee with her baby daughter Nicki, born in November of 1943. Both undated, these last two shots are presumed to have been taken within the 1944-1945 period.


Peggy Lee's Recording Career, 1940-1945

This page chronicles a transitional period in Peggy Lee's professional career. During the years that preceded the transition (1941-1943), Lee had gained nationwide recognition as a big band vocalist -- one under the hire of a famous leader, and amidst the company of a popular top orchestra. Within the years to be explored herein (1944-1945), Lee's incursions into the recording studio would place her in many another musical context: singer-songwriter, featured vocalist with a jazz ensemble, hired hand for the promotion of film music, record label artist. Although such incursions were sporadic, most of them proved successful enough to recast her in the public eye. No longer deemed a big band canary, contemporary music listeners would now come to think of Lee as the public face of a married musical duo, and as a talented female whose songful capabilities extended to the writing of lyrics. More importantly, it would be during this mid-1940s period that her life-long renown as a solo singer would begin.

Transition and variety were nothing new in Peggy Lee's music career, however: she had a working history that dated back to the mid-1930s, and which had found her hopping from town to town at first, from state to state afterwards. To further clarify her professional trajectory at the time on which this page will focus (1944-1945), it is worth taking a brief, schematic look into Lee's work history during the preceding years.

At the outset of the 1940s, we find Lee making some strategic job transitions, all of them calculated to advance her singing career. The vocalist had begun the decade entertaining a primarily college-aged audience at The Powers Hotel's Coffee Shop in Fargo, North Dakota, where her musical accompaniment had been circumscribed to an organist.  Though considered a local success, the young vocalist had already set higher professional aspirations for herself, and a change of scenery was necessary for the fulfillment of such aspirations. The solo gig at the coffee shop was thus followed by work with two bands (the first regionally known, the second nationally recognized) in the larger cities of Minneapolis and St. Louis.  Right after her time with those bands, the ambitious singer moved to Hollywood, where she undertook nightclub work both as a solo act and in a joint bill with a music trio.  (This discography's pre-recording page offers detailed coverage of all such steps of Lee's professional career, further going back into the trips and jobs that she took on during the 1930s.)

At last, in mid-August of 1941, the enterprising vocalist hit the big time. Lee became the canary for The Benny Goodman Orchestra, one of the top bands in the music business. Working with an ensemble of such caliber actually meant not only higher expectations but also further, constant moving around. After performing with Goodman for the second half of a month-long engagement in Chicago, the canary proceeded to do constant traveling with the orchestra for the remainder of the year, along with all of the next one. Stops of varying duration were made in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and many another state. 

Her transient lifestyle came to a halt in late February of 1943, when the band stayed within the Hollywood area for a six-week-long engagement. In March, Peggy Lee married Dave Barbour (Goodman's guitarist) and gave Benny Goodman notice of her intention to leave the ensemble. (Barbour had been fired weeks earlier).  Whether by personal design or at Goodman's request, for the next three months (or so) she still kept fulfilling canary duties, on and off.  But, by June, Lee was about three months pregnant, and at that time her intention to stay home was conveyed to the press.  Through the second half of the year, Mrs. Barbour gladly took on the role of housewife and considered herself retired from the singing profession. Away from the daily travails of touring with and performing for a big band, the newlywed gladly envisioned a future in which she would stay at home permanently, doing domestic chores, tending to her husband, and raising children. (Lee's autobiography and her press interviews are the sources for this statement.) Then, in November of 1943, Mrs. Barbour delivered a baby by Caesarean section. After this difficult childbirth, the new mom learned that she could not have more children.

In January of 1944, Peggy Lee Barbour was lured back into the recording studio, this time as a guest vocalist with a jazz ensemble. The Barbours' financial needs factored heavily in her eventual acceptance of the initially declined offer, which what was expected to be an one-time-only return to the recording studio. However, the commercial and critical success of the resulting records brought to Lee quite a few additional offers to not only continue to record but also appear in concerts and on the radio.  Some of those offers were fully declined, while others were accepted, with the common understanding that she would be performing only on a non-permanent, every-once-in-a-while basis. 

But such a frame of mind did not last for long.  Any lingering plans of retirement were fully abandoned when Lee decided to sign contracts with a record label (Capitol) and a booking agency (General Artists). A momentous event in the artist's career, the signings took place in late 1944.  The exact month of the signing is unknown, and so is the duration of the contract, but December of 1944 and a four year-period are good possibilities. An one-year duration with subsequent renewal is another possibility. The basis for my proposal of both possibilities is some information gathered from the June 1946 issue of Variety. The periodical revealed the closing date for various Capitol contracts that were active at the time: "Stan Kenton is bound until December, 1947; King Cole Trio, November, 1946; Alvino Rey, December, 1947; Paul Weston, December, 1947; Peggy Lee, December, 1948; Pied Pipers, February, 1947; Tex Ritter, November, 1946; Andy Russell, March, 1949; Jo Stafford, October, 1947; Margaret Whiting, December, 1948; Dinning Sisters, May, 1950."

Beginning in December of 1944 and moving into the next year, a few record dates ensued, along with concert and radio appearances that are documented in other pages of this discography. It must be re-stated, however, that there was no dramatic spurt in recording activity during the period under discussion: the vocalist did not really begin to record in earnest until 1946. The relatively slow process might have been due, at least in part, to the need to raise her baby.  Lee's comeback from her short period of retirement was thus a gradual albeit steady one. 


Suggestions, Recommendations, And Technicalities

For more details about Peggy Lee's incorporation to Capitol's roster of recording artists, consult the notes at the end of the page. The same notes offer an itemization of this page's 14 masters and specifics about the singer's rankings in music polls from the years 1944 and 1945. Viewers looking for CD recommendations should pay attention to items whose titles are typed in uppercase and boldface. For instance, my choice of font and case for the following title is meant to indicate its desirability over other comparable options: THE EARLY YEARS (CAPITOL COLLECTORS SERIES, VOLUME 1). In addition, you may want to consult this page (section I). My recommendations are based on sound quality and/or rarity of the tracks included.  Note also that, under each song, the listing of releases has been arranged chronologically, by year of release. As for the blue arrowheads that are periodically found through the page, click on them if you want to see a full list of issues -- LPs, CDs, etc. -- containing any given Peggy Lee performance. (I have aimed at listing every single issue in existence, with the following exceptions:  various-artists compilations, foreign editions of domestic issues, and MP3 files. The first two categories are covered separately, within the miscellaneous section of this bio-discography. As for the MP3 category, I have chosen to make very limited mention of such a format in my work; I consider it a non-physical configuration of inherently poor sound quality and ephemeral issue production.)


Date: January 7, 1944
Location: C. P. MacGregor Studios, 729 South Western Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #24

The Capitol Jazzmen (ldr), Dave Dexter, Jr. (pdr), Barney Bigard (cl), Les Robinson (as), Eddie Miller (ts), Clarence "Shorty" Sherock (t), Nappy Lamare (g), Hank Wayland (b), Pete Johnson (p), Stanley Wrightsman (cel), Nick Fatool (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a. 172-2Master Take (Capitol) Ain't Goin' No Place - 3:00(Dave Cavanaugh aka Dick Larkin) / arr: {Head Arrangement}
Time-Life Music Licensed CS/LP4 Lgd/Slgd 07 — Peggy Lee ("Legendary Singers" Series)   (1985)
ABM (Audio Book & Music) Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Abmmcd 1092 — It's Lovin' Time   (1999)
Columbia River/Allegro Public Domain CDCrg 218010 — Peggy Lee ("Cocktail Hour" Series)   (2000)
b. 174-4Master Take (Capitol) That Old Feeling - 2:41(Lew Brown, Sammy Fain) / arr: {Head Arrangement}
Armed Forces Radio & Television Service 16" TranscriptionProgram No. 909 — G.I. Jive [Bunny Berigan, Woody Herman, Earl Hines]   (1945)
CAPITOL 78 & 451609 & F 1609 — {That Old Feeling / In My Solitude (Capitol Jazzmen instrumental)} [1600 Reissue Series]   (1951)
CAPITOL LPTbo 1970 — [Various Artists] Esquire's World Of Jazz   (1963)
Both titles on: CAPITOL 78-rpm albumSet A-3 (Cap. 10009-10012) (Reissued as Cd-3) — [Various Artists] New American Jazz (Criterion Series)   (1944)
USA Government's War Department; Army's V-Disc Series V-Disc354 — {That Old Feeling, Ain't Goin' No Place + 2 Jack Teagarden vocals, all from New American Jazz}   (1945)
CAPITOL 78(United Kingdom) Cl 13298 — {That Old Feeling / Ain't Goin' No Place [not released as a single in the USA]}    (1950)




The Recording Session(s)

1. Photos
Seen above and below are shots from the rehearsal for "Ain't Goin' No Place." All but one of the session musicians are shown. From left to right: Les Robinson and Eddie Miller (saxes), Nick Fatool (drums), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Nappy Lamare (guitar), Peggy Lee (vocal), Pete Johnson (piano), Shorty Sherock (trumpet), and Hank Wayland (bass). Pianist Stanley Wrightsman, which played celeste behind Lee's other vocal ("That Old Feeling"), did not participate in "Ain't Goin' No Place." Hence his absence from these particular photos. As will be reiterated below, Lee had given birth less than two months before the present date.

2. Dave Dexter, Jr. Productions
This was the second of four jazz-oriented dates that producer Dave Dexter, Jr. conceived at Capitol from 1943 to 1947. For each of them, Dexter, Jr. hired cream-of-the-crop ensembles that Capitol variously named The Capitol Jazzmen (1943, 1944), Jack Teagarden's Chicagoans (1943), The International Jazzmen (1945), and The Hollywood Hucksters (1947). The recordings from the dates by the so-called Capitol Jazzmen were originally released in an album titled New American Jazz, which Dexter produced with the avowed purpose of "represent[ing] jazz as of 1944."

Dexter, Jr. wrote extensively about his hiring process for all of these sessions. Interspersed below are quotes taken from his autobiography Playback and from his liner notes for the LP The Capitol Jazzmen 1943-47, on the Swaggie label.

3. The First Dexter Session Session (November 16, 1943)
The debut date of The Capitol Jazzmen took place on November 16, 1943. As Dexter tells it, "[t]he 16-month American Federation of Musicians strike against every US record company ended in November 1943 ... Most of the most celebrated jazzmen were in town, several of them awaiting induction orders from their draft boards as World War II continued. I managed to book time at the spacious MacGregor Studios ... and to telephone some of my favorite musicians, urging them to participate in my proposed New American Jazz album." Peggy Lee's husband Dave Barbour played in that initial session. (A photo of that non-Lee session can be found amidst the end notes of this page.)

4. The Second Session: Enter Peggy Lee
The second date took place almost two months later. "I completed the album in early 1944, following the frenetic Christmas period," explains Dexter, "with an entirely different combo sparked by Peggy Lee's singing and the wild trumpet of Clarence (Shorty) Sherock ... Peggy was hard to get. She had married Benny Goodman's gifted guitarist, Dave Barbour, and had delivered a baby ... by Caesarean surgery on Armistice Day. Barbour, unemployed for the first time in a decade, scurried about Los Angeles seeking work. Peggy was still recuperating when I telephoned her in January. I'm retired, Dave, she purred over the telephone. I don't care to sing anymore. My new life revolves around being a good wife and mother. I couldn't budge her. I then tried to contact Ivie Anderson out of Duke Ellington's band and, failing, was unable to hire former Count Basie trush Helen Humes. So I called Peggy a second time."

Among the various reasons why Dexter wanted to hire Lee was a personal wish to make up for a negative review that he had given her back in 1941, when she was going through her initial, nerve-wracking weeks with The Benny Goodman Orchestra. After listening to her subsequent work, the music critic and record producer had completely changed his opinion of her. By 1944, he was apparently feeling a bit contrite.

Dexter, Jr. remembered the rest of the phone conversation with Lee as follows: "What does the job pay?, she sweetly inquired. I suggested $100 for two songs, which we would put together on the date, without music. Well, she responded, Dave and I do need the money. If you can get me in and out of the studio in a couple of hours, I'll be there. Thanks for thinking of me ..."





5. At The Session
"She showed up on time," continued Dexter. "Her husband had driven her to the MacGregor studios in a rickety, sputtering, pre-war Ford two-seater. Peggy was chubby, but she was smartly dressed and enthusiastically received by the musicians I had assembled. I invited Peggy to the booth and asked that the old standard Sugar lead the session. It gave Peg 30 or 40 minutes to get the feel of the studio and the musicians. She enjoyed every solo, particularly Eddie Miller's tenor saxing and Pete Johnson's raunchy, two-fisted piano contributions." Indeed, Lee writes in her own autobiography that "Eddie Miller played a classic solo" behind the first of her vocals.

"And then Peggy officially emerged from retirement," Dexter, Jr. proclaimed, "taking over the mike to shout Ain't Goin' No Place, a raucous, up-tempo blues that reminded me of her bawdy vocal on the Goodman Why Don't You Do Right? Columbia smash hit a year or so previously. All of us stood around enjoying the playback and one of the men said aloud what we were all thinking: This chick sounds like a drunken old whore with the hots. Because I wanted to record her singing both hot and sweet, I hired two pianists to back Peggy." Wrightsman, the second pianist, played celeste instead of piano.

"Her moody version of That Old Feeling was a stunning reading. Her sound had become pure angel food. Many radio jocks ... gave it heavy air-play. [It] attracted so much airplay in the US that she was forced to acquire a manager, Carlos Gastel, and go out as a single act ... Peggy Lee could sing like a little girl in a church choir or a husky-voiced, tired old whore."


Location

The notes of Mosaic's Classic Capitol Jazz Sessions state that "[u]nless otherwise noted ... sessions between 1942 and 1949 were made at Radio Recorders." That statement contradicts a comment made by producer Dave Dexter, Jr. in his liner notes for the Swaggie LP. Although he does indeed mention that the third date by The Capitol/International Jazzmen was held at Radio Recorders, he cites a different location for the two earlier dates. In reference to the first one (November 16, 1943), Dexter tells us that he "managed to book time at the spacious C. P. MacGregor Studios (between Mercer, Jo Stafford, Margaret Whiting, Andy Russell and Pied Pipers sessions)."

In his autobiography, the record producer added that the second session took place at MacGregor Studios, too. Still further, an article that Dexter, Jr. wrote for Billboard magazine contains a photo of this session, and its caption identifies the location as C. P. MacGregor Studios. Hence I have confidently entered the location given by the producer, on the rationale that, unlike the makers of the excellent Mosaic box, he was one of the session's actual participants.


Musicians And Instruments

1. The Capitol Jazzmen
The Capitol Jazzmen was the name that Dave Dexter, Jr. gave to the West Coast musicians that he hired for record dates held on November 16, 1943 and January 7, 1944. Both this ensemble and later ones (The International Jazzmen, The Hollywood Hucksters) were apparently put together exclusively for these Capitol sessions; I have found no evidence of activity outside of the recording studio.

The first date (November 16) actually consisted of two sessions. In addition to the session with The Capitol Jazzmen, there was another credited to Jack Teagarden's Chicagoans, which was essentially the same ensemble (with the exception of just one different member) under another name.

2. Jack Teagarden And Peggy Lee
As for the two vocalists that participated in these early New American Jazz dates, neither one was present at the other one's session. They would sing together, however, many years later. For details about their duets, check section XXIV (aka The Paul Whiteman Tribute) of this page.

3. Instruments
Piano, clarinet, trumpet, and alto sax on "Ain't Goin' No Place" only. Stanley Wrightsman's celeste on "That Old Feeling" only.


Arrangements

According to a producer's note included in New American Jazz, "[n]o arrangements were used on the two sessions, in Hollywood, which produced the eight exciting performances contained between these two boards. There was no manuscript; no music stands. Each musician played as he elected to play. Jack Teagarden and Peggy Lee sang as they wanted to sing. No one gave instructions; there were no admonitions."


Issues



1. New American Jazz [78-rpm album]
This album consists of four 78-rpm discs:

10009: "Clambake In B-Flat" / "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" (vocal by Jack Teagarden)
10010: "Casanova's Lament" (vocal by Jack Teagarden) / "In My Solitude")
10111: "Sugar" / "Ain't Goin' No Place" ("blues vocal" by Peggy Lee)
10112 "Someday, Sweetheart" / "That Old Feeling" (vocal by Peggy Lee)

All eight sides are credited to The Capitol Jazzmen. The songs in the first two discs come from the November 16, 1943 date, whereas the songs in the other two shellac discs are from this January 7, 1944 session.

<>New American Jazz (Set A-3) was only the third album ever released by Capitol. The two previous album releases had been Songs By Johnny Mercer (A-1, featuring Mercer with The Pied Pipers and Jo Stafford) and Christmas Carols, (A-2, by the St. Luke's Choristers.) A well-received and probably good-selling issue, Capitol apparently reissued New American Jazz with a new catalogue number (CD-3) in either 1945 or 1946. (Side note: This is a matter in need of further research. My copy of this album bears catalogue number CD-3 and includes a booklet that identifies itself as A-3. Looking at those two numbers, I am left to wonder about the accuracy of part of the information given right before this parenthetical note: were there really two editions with different catalogue numbers? Or is this an erroneous claim, stemming from confusion about the fact that the album and its booklet carry slightly different numbers (SET A-3, CD-3)? Alternatively, could CD-3 really be a second edition, whose booklet misidentifies itself as SET A-3 when it should be more appropriately called SET CD-3? Be that as it may, the popularity of the album is not in question. In one of the copies that I have seen online, I was able to read the words "second printing November 1944," which suggest that Capitol might have run out of its first 'printing' within the first year of release.)

Songwriters

1. "Ain't Goin' No Place"
2. Dave Cavanaugh, Dave Dexter, Dick Larkin
Swaggie's LP The Capitol Jazzmen 1943-47 credits the writing of the song "Ain't Goin' No Place" to its session's producer, Dave Dexter, Jr. So do some Public Domain CD issues, which probably relied on the information originally given by Swaggie. Such a credit appears to be erroneous. The original 78-rpm album (New American Jazz ) credits Dick Larkin instead, and so do the Mosaic issues, which are Capitol-licensed and generally very well-researched.

"Dick Larkin" was actually one of various pseudonyms used by Dave Cavanaugh. At the time of this session Cavanaugh was a Capitol in-house musician but in later decades he would become a well-known Capitol producer. In fact, he went on to spend nearly a decade as Peggy Lee's producer, and also as her sometime co-writer.


Masters And Takes

1. Non-Lee Masters (Instrumentals)
In addition to Peggy Lee's vocals, this session also produced two instrumentals whose master numbers are 171 ("Sugar") and 173 ("Someday, Sweetheart").

2. Take Numbers
Some sources suggest that this session's masters were completed in one take. The booklet of Mosaic's Classic Capitol Jazz Sessions indicates otherwise. For both vocals and instrumentals, take numbers range from 2 to 4.

3. Credits In Capitol's Files
Various sources indicate that, in Capitols files, masters #172 and #174 are credited to "Peggy Lee with Eddie Miller & The All-Star Jazz."


Date: Possibly June 30, 1944
Location: Possibly Radio Recorders; Alternatively, NBC Studios , Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: ARA

Bob Crosby (ldr), Bob Crosby (con, v), Bob Crosby And His Orchestra (acc), Sid Bender, Don Brassfield, Robert "Bob" Lawson, Frank Meyers, Clint Neagley (sax), Claude Bowen, Jack Holmes, Jack Mootz, Quig Quigley (t), Walter Benson, Bill Hearn, Warren Smith (tb), Robert "Bob" Bain (g), Edward Gilbert (b), Ernie Hughes (p), Jimmy Felton (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a. RR-9756-3Master Take (Ara) It's Anybody's Spring - 2:48(Johnny Burke, Jimmy Van Heusen)
b. RR-9757-2Master Take (Ara) On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe - 2:52(Johnny Mercer, Harry Warren)
ARA 78Rm 114 [Version #2] — {On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe / On The Midnight Train To Memphis [instrumental by The Porky Freeman Trio}    (1945)
Megaphon (Mpo Entertainment) Public Domain CD(France) Mpo 96216 — Peggy Lee ("Les Plus Grandes Voix Du Jazz: Classic American Music" Boxed Set)   
Both titles on: ARA 78Rm 114 [Version #1] — {On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe / It's Anybody's Spring}    (1945)
CAPITOL©EMI CD7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)




Sources

For this session, my primary source of information has been Charles Garrod and Bill Korst's discography of Bob Crosby, published in 1987 by Joyce Record Club, a music collectors' label. (The same data can also be found in certain jazz discographies which obviously copied it from Garrod and Korst's pamphlet.) No other significant sources of information have come to my attention.


Cross-references (Radio, Record Label)

According to a few sources, including Ron Lackmann's The Encyclopedia Of American Radio, Peggy Lee spent various seasons working as the female vocalist of The Bob Crosby Show. Could it be that this session's performances were taken from broadcasts of that radio show? I suspect such to be the case, but I lack any solid evidence to back up my suspicion.

Specifics about Bob Crosby's radio venture are scant and hard to come by. I have managed to locate relevant data for only seven of the show's 40 episodes. Lee actually guested in one of those seven episodes, but the songs that she performed in that episode are not the ones listed above. In the absence of details about the other 33 installments, I am unable to ascertain whether Lee appeared in the series at any other time, let alone how frequently.

The 40 episodes in question constitute the 1943-1944 season of the show. This is the only season in which Lee could have appeared with any degree of frequency. (Before the second half of 1943, Lee was tied to The Benny Goodman Orchestra, and would have thus been unable to acceot any long-term offers to perform separately from the band. After the first half of 1944, Crosby's show remained off the air until 1946. By that last year, Lee was certainly making guest appearances in various radio programs but, to my knowledge, Bob Crosby's show was not one of them.) In conclusion, Lachman's claim that Peggy Lee was a cast member of The Bob Crosby Show for several reasons is an overstatement. At best, she might have have appeared in multiple episodes of the 1943-1944 season.

For a more extensive discussion of my radio-as-source hypothesis, and for longer commentary on Bob Crosby's radio show, consult this miscellaneous page. For a few additional details about the short-lived label Ara Records, see the same page.


Dating And Location

Following my only authoritative source (Garrod and Korst), I have assigned the date June 30, 1944 to both masters. That date was imprinted in test pressings of these performances, according to them. The test pressings were once held by the owner of Ara Records, and have been seen by at least one of the authors of Crosby's discography. Both session masters bear the prefix RR, which probably stands for Radio Recorders.

Despite the factual details offered in the preceding paragraph, the exact date and location on which this session's masters were recorded remains tentative. The tentativeness stems from my already shared suspicion that these masters could have been originally culled from radio broadcasts of The Bob Crosby Show (1943-1944 season). NBC Studios is likely to have been the location from which the show was broadcast. Hypothetically, this session's tracks would have been recorded to disc while they were being broadcast, and the discs would have been taken to Radio Recorders for mastering. A lengthier discussion on this speculative subject can be found in the aforementioned miscellaneous page.


Personnel

1. Duet Vocal
Bob Crosby shares vocal duties with Peggy Lee only on the number "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe."

2. Musicians
With the exceptions of Bob Crosby and Peggy Lee, the personnel entered for this session should be deemed tentative. It is actually a collective personnel. Although the musicians listed were indeed members of Bob Crosby's band during the mid-40s, it is not known if all of them were present when Lee's numbers were performed, nor is it known whether additional, unlisted musicians participated.


Masters

1. Non-Lee Masters
Also listed as recorded during this session are masters Rr 9754 (the instrumental "Java Junction") and Rr 9755 ("Come With Me, My Honey," which features a vocal by The Town Criers). Incidentally, those two numbers were released on another Ara 78-rpm disc (catalogue number Rm 103).

2. "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe" And Ara's Master #1137
Oddly, "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe" is listed twice in Garrod and Korst's discography of Bob Crosby, as follows:

- master Rr 9756; June 30, 1944
released on Ara 78-rpm single Rm 114

- master Ara #1137; March 4, 1946
released on Ara 78-rpm single Rm 114

Looking at the information at hand, it would be reasonable to conclude that these are different Bob Crosby performances of "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe." There would be two main details leading to that conclusion: the recording dates are different, and so are the master numbers.

But the opposite conclusion could be drawn if one of the other details mentioned above were to be taken into consideration: the same 78-rpm disc is listed under both master numbers. Based on this specific claim, it would be reasonable to assume that we are looking at both an issue and a reissued of the same performance of "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe," to which Ara would have re-assigned a master number, probably on March 4, 1946. (The rationale for the -re-assignment could only be speculated: the label's change of ownership, insufficient care in the allocation of master numbers, etc.)

I do not know which of these opposite conclusions is correct. Readers are invited to form their own opinions after reading the additional details that are provided in the next paragraphs Do notice, though, that we are departing from the assumption that there are no mistakes in Garrod and Korst's information. Such an assumption could certainly be wrong.

It's worth adding that Ara masters #1136 and #1138 were also assigned to performances by Bob Crosby, and they were not previously recorded numbers. Hence it is certainly possible that, as proposed in the first of the two conclusions above, master #1137 was a new Crosby master -- a different vocal version of "On The Atchison, Topeka And Santa Fe," which he would have undertaken solo or, at any rate, without Lee.

There is more curious data to add to this confusing picture. Ara 78 rpm disc #114 was actually re-released. (This fact will be explained in more detail below, under Issues). We could theorize that different masters from different dates (1944, 1946) were issued in each version of Ara #114, and that such a "fact" accounts for the confusing information presented above. Unfortunately, I have not listed to both Ara #114 discs. Hence I can neither confirm nor deny this possibility. (Verification from any collector who owns copies of both 78s would be appreciated.)

In any case, the chances that we are dealing with two different masters strike me as slim at best. An error in the information is the most logical of the conclusions.


Issues And Collectors' Corner

1. Two Different Issues Of Ara #114 [78-rpm ]
Ara #114 was released twice, in partially different versions.

The earliest version contains both of this session's masters, featuring Peggy Lee on vocals: her solo "It's Anybody's Spring" and her duet with Bob singleCrosby, "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe."

The second version of Ara #114 also includes the duet, but its flip side substitutes "It's Anybody's Spring" with an instrumental by The "Porky" Freeman Trio ("On The Night Train To Memphis").

I have seen online photos of the two versions. On the respective labels of the 78-rpm discs, both Peggy Lee and Bob Crosby are credited by name.

I have listened to only one of the two releases, however. Hence confirmation is still needed on the assumption that the exact same take of "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe" is heard in both 78 rpm versions.

The reason for the partial re-release of Ara #114 remains unknown to me. Hypothetical explanations can be advanced, of course. Perhaps a mixup took place at either Ara or its pressing company, resulting in the issuing of two singles under the same catalogue number. Or maybe Ara's release practices were unorthodox: the label might have had a tendency to recycle its masters. As an instance pointing toward this possibility, it's worth noting that "On The Night Train To Memphis" is found not only on Ara #114 but also on Ara #119. Given the short life of the label, a penchant for recycling could be an indication of financial difficulties, or it could point to a relative small total number of masters in the company's vaults.

Here is another (and, in my opinion, likelier) motivation for pulling the original issue from the market: objections to the release of "It's Anybody's Spring." Such objections would have been raised by the parties connected to the movie Road To Utopia, in which this song was featured. Since the film did not premiere until 1946, the issuing of this vocal in 1945 could have elicited a "cease and desist" order from such film industry parties, or even from Decca, the recording company to which Bob Crosby's brother Bing -- the star of the movie -- was exclusively contracted. (For more commentary and speculation on this matter, see my supplementary page about these Ara sides.)

Further complicating matters is the fact that the second version of Ara #114 (i.e., the version with the "Porky" Freeman Trio instrumental) exists in two variants. The differences between the variants are very minor, however. A first difference pertains to font size. One variant uses the same font as the first version of Ara #114. The other variant uses a smaller font. A second difference can be found in the label of these 78-rpm discs -- more specifically, in the typography of the Warren-Mercer title. The large font version gives the song's title as "Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe" (coinciding, once again, with the first version of Ara #114), whereas the small font version calls it "On The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe." Curious readers wanting to see the variant not pictured above should check the chronological 78 index. (Scroll down to the 1945 entries.)

2. Ara 1137: A Third Version Of Ara 114?
Various collectors have also pointed out the rumored existence of a 78-rpm Ara single numbered 1137, containing a Bob Crosby version of "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe." The matter remains a rumor because nobody has ever produced a copy of such a disc. The catalogue number itself raises a flag, because it is much higher than those from the regular Ara 100 series, which make up over 90% of Ara's catalogue.

It seems likely that this rumor originated in someone's misreading of the (certainly confusing) information about Ara 114 that was provided by Garrod and Korst. The authors refer to a master numbered 1137. At some point, a reader must have wrongly thought that 1137 was a catalogue number instead of a master number.


Date: December 27, 1944
Location: C. P. MacGregor Studios, 729 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #108

Peggy Lee (ldr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Henry J. "Heinie" Beau, Harold Lawson, Maury Stein (cl), Billy May (t), Dave Barbour (g), Artie Shapiro (b), Milt Raskin (p), Nick Fatool (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a. 540-3Master Take (Capitol) Baby (Is What He Calls Me) - 2:56(Kay Butler)
CAPITOL 78-rpm albumAd 62 (48012-48015) — [Various Artists] Collector's Items - Top Drawer Jazz Classics (Americana Series)   (1948)
CAPITOL Jazz CD0777 7 97826 2 8 — MISS PEGGY LEE    (1998)
ABM (Audio Book & Music) Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Abmmcd 1092 — It's Lovin' Time   (1999)
b. 541-2Master Take (Capitol) What More Can A Woman Do - 2:43(Peggy Lee, Dave Barbour) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
CAPITOL 78197 — {What More Can A Woman Do / You Was Right, Baby}   (1945)
USA Government's War Department; Army's V-Disc Series V-Disc484 — {What More Can A Woman Do / You Was Right, Baby /3 vocals by Bing Crosby}   (1945)
Asv/Living Era Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Aja 5237 — Why Don't You Do Right?; 25 Early Hits   (1997)
c. 542-3Master Take (Capitol) A Cottage For Sale - 2:56(Larry Conley, Willard Robison)
Collectors' Choice Licensed CDCcm 917 2 — THE LOST '40'S & '50'S CAPITOL MASTERS   (2008)
d. 543-2Master Take (Capitol) You Was Right, Baby - 2:26(Peggy Lee, Dave Barbour) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
CAPITOL 78197 — {What More Can A Woman Do / You Was Right, Baby}   (1945)
USA Government's War Department; Army's V-Disc Series V-Disc484 — {What More Can A Woman Do / You Was Right, Baby /3 vocals by Bing Crosby}   (1945)
CAPITOL 7815277 — {You Was Right, Baby / It's A Good Day}    (1948)





The Recording Session (And Johnny Mercer)

1. Photos
The above-shown images are believed to have been taken at this recording session. Most of them are dated December 27, 1944 at Getty Images. Further confirmation comes from company executive and magazine editor Dave Dexter Jr., who includes one of these photos in his Capitol News, and identifies it as being from the session that produced "You Was Right, Baby."

2. In Peggy Lee's Own Words
Peggy Lee's aforementioned vocals with The Capitol Jazzmen (recorded on January 7, 1944) had been very well received, earning radio airplay and positive reviews. As Lee told radio broadcaster Fred Hall, "that was a success, so they asked us to record more ...[...]... I was just beginning to write songs then as a hobby when I was taking care of my house." At the instigation of Barbour's friend Carlos Gastel (an artists' manager at Capitol Records), Barbour and Lee played for Johnny Mercer a few of the songs that the couple had been writing as a pastime. "And Johnny heard some of those things and liked them," Lee continued, "and he gave me some good, helpful criticism, like Try this or Try that, and I just never will forget him for the many things he did for me. And he was instrumental in my being a songwriter." Also at the direct instigation of Gastel, the Barbours reasoned that it would be okay to just record two or three additional songs for the Capitol label. As Lee explained, "Then when they talked us into recording, we didn't have any material, so Johnny said, Do those things I heard -- those are great. So we did them, and they were hits ... [...] ... What More Can A Woman Do? and You Was Right, Baby..."

3. Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer has been sometimes identified as the man who brought Lee into the Capitol fold. (Alan Livingston is among those who have bestowed this credit on Mercer. Livingston was the company's main A&R man during the second half of the 1940s, and would go on to preside over the company.) In reality, credit should be shared by Mercer with both Dave Dexter, Jr. (see notes under January 7, 1944 session) and Carlos Gastel (see notes at the bottom of this page). Be as it may, the above-quoted remarks make abundantly clear that Mercer's guidance proved invaluable to Lee during her first years at Capitol. As a budding lyricist, she treasured the songwriting advice that he gave her, and considered him the model to which a songwriter like herself should aspire.


Musicians And Instruments

1. Brass And Reeds
My two main sources for this session show disagreement on the matter of the instruments with which Harold Lawson and Maurice Stein are credited. In Peggy Lee's Capitol session files, both Lawson and Stein are listed as playing clarinet (along with Heinie Beau). In Jack Mirtle's The Music Of Billy May: A Discography, only Beau is credited with clarinet playing. Lawson is listed on trumpet (along with May) whereas Stein is credited with tenor sax playing.

In my listening of all four performances from the session, I consistently hear various clarinets in unison. (The combination of guitar with a clarinet section is actually characteristic of the Lee-Barbour sessions from the 1940s.) Only very, very briefly, during the intro of "You Was Right, Baby," do I hear any brass -- a trumpet. I am thus putting more trust in the claims made on Capitol's session files. (In the photos that have been belatedly found and added to this session, I believe that I am seeing four woodwind instruments, three of them definitely looking like clarinets. The identify of the fourth instrument is a bit harder for me to ascertain; it looks like a bass clarinet to me.)

I consider Mirtle's discography an excellent source. He consulted the American Federation of Musicians contracts, which are justly deemed the most reliable source for session personnel. He also spoke extensively with Billy May. In this case, however, perhaps the contracts did not specify instruments, which would have led to an educated assumption on May's and/or Mirtle's part. Or the contracts might simply list Lawson and Stein under the instruments for which they were best known.

2. Vocal Chorus
The session's musicians are presumed to have supplied the all-male chorus heard toward the closing of "You Was Right, Baby."

3. Maury Stein Or Maurie Styne?
The album Collector's Items - Top Drawer Jazz Classics lists the session personnel in the label of each 78-rpm platters. Whereas Maury Stein is the name given most everywhere else, "Maurie Styne" is the variant found in that 78 rpm platter. (Stein was the brother of songwriter Jules Styne. Besides being a woodwind instrumentalist, he was also the proprietor of Stein On Vine, a musical instrument shop and repair store.)


Arrangers And Arrangements

1. Sources
2. Heinie Beau
3. Dave Barbour
I have three sources for this date's arranging credits, and they are not in agreement.

According to Jack Mirtle in his discography of Billy May, this session used head arrangements. In making this assertion, Mirtle might have followed both his ear and the opinion of Billy May, with whom Mirtle consulted extensively.

However, these performances are not identified as head arrangements in Capitol's Peggy Lee session files. Instead, the files credit both Dave Barbour and Heinie Beau for the arrangements, without specifying which man is responsible for which arrangement.

In Capitol's library of music scores, the man who receives credit for both "What More Can A Woman Do?" and "You Was Right, Baby" is Beau, not Barbour. I am thus giving credit to Heinie Beau for those two arrangements.

Capitol's library does not have copies of the arrangements for the other performances from this session. Were we to fully trust the details supplied by the Peggy Lee session file, credit would have to be given to Dave Barbour. If, on the other hand, we were to rely on the details given in the Billy May discography, then one or both of these performances could have head arrangements.

For the time being, and until more information comes forward, I am abstaining from crediting Barbour.

4. "You Was Right, Baby"
5. Cecil L. Stover
An arrangement for the song "You Was Right, Baby" is extant in Peggy Lee's sheet music library. Its arranger is Cecil L. Stover, its date unknown. I have not consulted the material in Lee's library, but I do not have reason to believe that Stover's arrangement is the same one heard in this session.


Issues



1. Collectors' Items [78-rpm album]
The title of this 1948 Capitol album points to the fact that most of its songs had been recorded years earlier, yet left unissued until then. In addition to Peggy Lee (represented by her "Baby" from the present session), the other seven acts featured in the set are Benny Carter ("I Can't Get Started"), Sonny Greer ("Bug In A Rug"), The Hollywood Hucksters ("I Apologize"), Eddie Miller ("Just One More Chance"), Red Nichols ("Your Everything"), Rex Stewart's Big Eight ("T'Ain't Like That") and Stan Kenton. Besides Peggy Lee, the only other female heard in the record is Anita O'Day. Working here in her capacity as Stan Kenton's canary, O'Day sings "Travelin' Man," a number that the band recorded on January 5, 1945 -- that is to say, merely a few days after Lee's "Baby (Is What He Calls Me)." In this album of s-pcalled Collectors' Items, Peggy Lee's "Baby" can be found in disc #48014, whose flip side features the aforementioned Rex Stewart performance.


Songs

1. You Was Right In The Music Charts
In The Cash Box's Disc-Hits Box Score for the week of June 26, 1945, "You Was Right" is listed in the #19 position. In Billboard's charts, I have not found any chart listings for this number (nor for "What More Can A Woman Do," its companion on the original single).


Date: July 30, 1945
Location: Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #182

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour And His Orchestra (acc), Unknown (sax, cl, b, p), Dave Barbour (g), Peggy Lee (v)

a. 739-3Master Take (Capitol) Waiting For The Train To Come In - 3:04(Martin Block, Sunny Skylar) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
CAPITOL 78218 — {I'm Glad I Waited For You / Waiting For The Train To Come In}   (1945)
Columbia River/Allegro Public Domain CDCrg 218010 — Peggy Lee ("Cocktail Hour" Series)   (2000)
Rajon ?Public Domain CD(Australia) Rmgr 0423 — Mañana; The Best Of Peggy Lee   (2001)
Rajon ?Public Domain CD(Australia) 2029 — It's A Good Day ("Sounds Of The 20th Century" Series)   (2002)
Naxos Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) 8.120642 — It's A Good Day; Original Recordings, 1941-1950   (2002)
b. 739-_Alternate Take (Capitol) Waiting For The Train To Come In - 3:04(Martin Block, Sunny Skylar) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
Armed Forces Radio Service 16" TranscriptionP 477 - P 478 — Basic Music Library [Peggy Lee, Johnny Mercer, Bob Crosby]   (1945)
Armed Forces Radio & Television Service 16" TranscriptionProgram No. 144 — Jill's Juke Box [Dick Haymes,, Frank Sinatra, Others]   (1945)
Armed Forces Radio & Television Service 16" TranscriptionProgram No. 1300 — G.I. Jive [Nat King Cole, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller]   (1946)
c. 740-3Master Take (Capitol) I'm Glad I Waited For You - 2:36(Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
CAPITOL 78218 — {I'm Glad I Waited For You / Waiting For The Train To Come In}   (1945)
Armed Forces Radio Service 16" TranscriptionP 477 - P 478 — Basic Music Library [Peggy Lee, Johnny Mercer, Bob Crosby]   (1945)
Armed Forces Radio & Television Service 16" TranscriptionProgram No. 1297 — G.I. Jive [Count Basie, Woody Herman, Harry James]   (1946)




The Recording Session, The Recording Contract, And Johnny Mercer

In the informative and well-written liner notes of the Capitol CD The Early Years, Robin Callot mentions that Peggy Lee was tense during this session. Fortunately, Capitol co-owner Johnny Mercer was present at the date and had a calming influence on Lee. Callot states that Mercer "urg[ed] her to relax her voice and just bend the notes." Judging from the resulting masters, the advice was taken to heart.

Of course, tension or nervousness could have been elicited by any number of other reasons, and those which besieged Lee at this particular session might never be known to us. I should like to make clear, however, that the fundamentals of studio recording are not likely to have been at issue, because Lee was well-experienced in them by this point. In addition to her many recording dates with The Benny Goodman Orchestra and the sessions previously listed in this chronological page, Lee had waxed over 15 numbers with Barbour and his group early in 1945 for the radio transcription company MacGregor.

Although I can only speculate on the matter, I would like to propose that Peggy Lee was tense at the session because she was taking on a new role: that of an artist freshly added to the company's rotating roster. Granted that her signing of a contract with Capitol dated back to late 1944, the songs that she had recorded in previous Capitol and MacGregor sessions had been either tried-and-true standards or compositions that she had co-written with her husband. This session was, on the other hand, the earliest in which the repertoire consisted exclusively of commercial songs of the day. "Plug numbers" were being assigned to her (or had been suggested to her), just as they would have been assigned/suggested to any artist under the company's directive. In my speculative scenario, Lee's tension or anxiety would have arisen from realizing that the burden of responsibility was now fully on her shoulders. Starting then and there, the solo artist would naturally be expected to turn songs into commercial hits, not only for her or but also for her label's shared benefit.

I should also make mention of an inaccurate statement, found in the liner notes of the aforementioned CD. In these well-written and otherwise accurate notes, Robin Callot refers to this July 30, 1945 as Peggy Lee's first session for Capitol. Since Lee had already done two dates for the label (January 7 and December 27, 1944), the reference to a debut date would seem to be an error on the part of the liner annotator. I wonder, however, if the erroneous assertion stems from company material consulted by Callot. Some of Capitol's logs could conceivably omit Lee's name as a headliner; The Capitol Jazzmen and Dave Barbour could have been given that position in the dates that preceded this one. (The Capitol paperwork that I consulted does include the earlier dates under Lee, but Callot could have had access to a different set of papers.)


Personnel (At A Split Session)

Three masters were recorded during this session. One of them, master #738, is not mentioned above because the artist who recorded it was not Peggy Lee, but Margaret Whiting. Accompanied by the Paul Weston Orchestra, she did "It Might As Well Be Spring." It would be logical to assume that some or even all of the musicians who accompanied Whiting also accompanied Lee, but I do not have proof that such was the case. At the present time, the identity of the session's musicians is unknown to me.


Photos

Two of the above-shown solo photos are Capitol publicity shots, probably taken after Peggy Lee was already under contract with the label. Both date from either 1945 or 1946.

The first shot graced the front covers of two magazines, one published in October of 1945, the other in February of 1947. Over the ensuing years, numerous additional uses have been found for this particular photograph, which must rank as Lee's most disseminated image from her first period as a Capitol artist (1944-1952).

Comparatively rare, the other publicity shot (third photo above) can be found at Getty Images, where it bears what looks like an approximate dating (January 1, 1944). I believe such a date to be off the mark by at least one year, but do not have any hard evidence to back up my belief. (For what is worth, a shot from the same photographic session was published in a magazine issued in October of 1946. Elsewhere, there are also photos beaing an October 22, 1945 date in which Lee happens to be wearing the same dress -- though, I hasten to clarify, they do not seem to be from the same photo session.)

The picture with Johnny Mercer is probably from either late 1944 or early 1945. It is a cropped version of a shot that was published on the March 1945 issue of The Capitol News, and which also features fellow singer Martha Tilton, as well as bandleader Stan Kenton. At GettyImages, there is a different photo in which Lee and Tilton are wearing the same attire, and which bears a December 31, 1944 date.


Songs

1. "Waiting For The Train To Come In" And The Music Charts
According to Joel Whitburn's tabulations in his book Pop Memories, 1890-1954, "Waiting For The Train To Come In" was Peggy Lee's first chart hit as a solo artist. (Whitburn's chart listings show that, as a canary with The Benny Goodman Orchestra, ten of Lee's vocals had made the Billboard charts, including one that reached the #1 position.)

Although Whitburn's estimates may not be off the mark, other assorted sources suggest that "Waiting For The Train To Come In" was not Lee's first solo single to have a legitimate shot at making the charts. Various articles from this period state that substantial radio airplay was given to Lee's earlier vocals with The Capitol Jazzmen (see session dated January 7, 1944). Similar comments can be found about "What More Can A Woman Do" and "You Was Right, Baby" (see session dated December 27, 1944), too. However, none of those numbers are listed in Whitburn's text -- nor, for that matter, in any other music chart texts at my reach. Perhaps their popularity was limited to the Los Angeles area.

"Waiting For The Train To Come In" entered the charts during the week of November 10, 1945 and stayed for 14 weeks. It peaked at #4. There were two competing versions, both of which peaked a little lower than Lee's. With a vocal by Kitty Kallen, a version by Columbia's Harry James spent six weeks in the chart and reached #6. The third charting version, credited to Decca's Johnny Long & his Orchestra, stayed for ten weeks and climbed to #7; it featured a vocal by Dick Robertson.

2. "I'm Glad I Waited For You" In The Charts
The flip side of Capitol #218 also charted. "I'm Glad I Waited For You" appeared on the chart during the week of March 30, 1946, and peaked at #24. No competing versions are listed in Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories, 1890-1954, but Helen Forrest's recording for Decca makes an appearance in Edward Foote Gardner's Popular Songs Of The Twentieth Century: A Charted History. "I'm Glad I Waited For You" was also sung by Alfred Drake in the soundtrack of the 1946 movie Tars And Spars.


Arrangements

1. Source
The arrangements for this session's two songs are extant in Capitol's library of music scores. Both are credited to Heinie Beau.


Masters And Alternate Takes

1. "Waiting For The Train To Come In"
As shown above, Capitol has released two takes of "Waiting For The Train To Come In." Various details, some pertaining to the vocal and some to the instrumental parts, clearly differentiate the master from the alternate take. For instance, two of the session's musicians (the guitarist and the clarinetist) treat the alternate's instrumental break differently from the master's. The same verdict applies to the vocalist's treatment of the song's final lines. In the alternate take, Lee delivers them as follows:

I'm waiting for the train to come in
Waiting
Waiting
I'm waiting for the train to come in

In the master take, she adds the word "just":

I'm waiting for the train to come in
Waiting
Just waiting
I'm waiting for the train to come in

I have not listened to every single Peggy Lee issue that contains her Capitol rendition of "Waiting For The Train To Come In." Aural verification (either from my ears or from those of other fans) has taken place for the small group of issues that are listed under master 739-3. As for the CDs and LPs currently listed under the alternate take, here is a list of those which have been verified:

Time Life Music CS/LP: 4 Lgd/Slgd 07 — Peggy Lee ("Legendary Singers" Series) (1985)
CAPITOL CS/CD: C4 5/Cdp 7 93195 — The Early Years (Capitol Collectors Series, Volume 1) (1990)
Asv/Living Era CD: (United Kingdom) Aja 5237 — Why Don't You Do Right?; 25 Early Hits (1997)
CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — Miss Peggy Lee (1998)
CAPITOL CD: 7243 4 97308 2 3 — The Best Of Miss Peggy Lee (1998)
Reader's Digest CS/CD: Rf7/Krf 140 [Emi 72434 99216] — The Legendary Peggy Lee: Her Greatest Hits & Finest Performances (1999)
Castle/Pie CD: (United Kingdom) Piesd 045 — Mañana [also part of Ladies Of Jazz: Ella, Billie, Peggy #904, a 3CD set] (1999)
CAPITOL©EMI Special Markets CD: Gsc 15453/7243 4 96336 2 9 — Peggy Lee ("36 All-Time Greatest Hits" Series) (1999)
Gallerie/Music Collection CD: (United Kingdom) Gale 442 — A Portrait Of Peggy Lee (1999)
Going-For-A-Song CD: (United Kingdom) Gfs 241 — The Fever Of Peggy Lee (1999)
Movieplay/Intermusic's Goldies CD: (Portugal) Gld 25438 — Golden Earrings (2001)
Disky CD: (Netherlands) 905191 — Peggy Lee ("Golden Greats" Series) (2002)
Asv/Living Era CD: (United Kingdom) Aja 266 — It's A Good Day; 50 Original Mono Recordings, 1941-1951 (2002)
CAPITOL©EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — The Singles Collection (2002)
Proper CD: (United Kingdom) Intro Cd 2003 — I Get Ideas ("A Proper Introduction" Series) (2004)
Disky CD: (Netherlands) Si 903647 /Cb 904361 — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series," Volume 1) (2006)
History CD: (Germany) 20.3046 Hi — Everything I Love ("The Great Vocalists Of Jazz & Entertainment" Series) (1999)
Tim International CD: (Germany) 205422 304 — That Old Feeling ... You Go To My Head (2001)
Proper CD: (United Kingdom) 45 P 1277 1280 — The Peggy Lee Story (2002)
Tim International CD: (Germany) 220838 [220839-220843] — A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues ("Document" Series) (2004)
Weton-Wesgram CD: (Netherlands) Mom 641 — Peggy Lee ("Masters Of Music" Series) (2005)
Proper CD: (EUnited Kingdom) Box 108 — Miss Wonderful (2006)
Music Club CD: (United Kingdom) Mccd 619 — Black Coffee; The Best Of Peggy Lee (2007)
Big3 CD: Bt 3039 — Peggy Lee ("The Absolutely Essential CD Collection" Series) (2011)

The remainder of Peggy Lee CDs and LPs containing her Capitol recording of "Waiting For The Train To Come In" have been somewhat arbitrarily placed under the alternate. The reasons behind this collective placement are simple: the discographer needed to make an educated guess, and the alternate is (paradoxically) the most widely disseminated of the two takes, by far. (That having been said, there is a fair chance that the master is the version heard in the listed transcription discs.) I'd appreciate receiving confirmation and corrections from owners of copies of these issues.


Acknowledgment

My thanks to jacksonivy, a fellow board member at the Peggy Lee Bulletin Board (www.peggylee.com) for alerting me and all other members to the existence of the alternate take of "Waiting For The Train To Come In."


Date: December 26, 1945
Location: Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles
Label: CAPITOL
Capitol Session #230

Peggy Lee (ldr), Lee Gillette (pdr), Dave Barbour All-Stars (acc), Unknown (sax, cl, b, p), Dave Barbour (g), Peggy Lee (v)

a. 886-3Master Take (Capitol) I Can See It Your Way, Baby - 2:58(Inez James, Sidney Miller) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau and/or Billy May
CAPITOL 78236 — {I Can See It Your Way, Baby / I Don't Know Enough About You}   (1946)
ABM (Audio Book & Music) Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Abmmcd 1092 — It's Lovin' Time   (1999)
Hallmark Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Halmcd 1320 — It's Lovin' Time [Reissue of ABM 1092]   (2001)
CAPITOL©EMI CD7243 5 39756 2 3 — THE SINGLES COLLECTION   (2002)
b. 887-2Master Take (Capitol) I Don't Know Enough About You - 3:23(Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau and/or Billy May
CAPITOL 78236 — {I Can See It Your Way, Baby / I Don't Know Enough About You}   (1946)
CAPITOL double EP/(10") LPEbf/H 151 (rel. 6/52) — Rendezvous With Peggy Lee   (1949)
CAPITOL 78 & 451667 & F 1667 — {I Don't Know Enough About You / I Can't Give You Anything But Love} [reissue series]   (1951)
c. 887-_Alternate Take (Capitol) I Don't Know Enough About You - 3:17(Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau and/or Billy May
CAPITOL LPT 151 — Rendezvous With Peggy Lee   (1955)
CAPITOL reel/8T/CS/LPX/8xt/4xt/Dkao 377 — Peggy Lee's Greatest! (Duophonic Series)   (1969)
CAPITOL©EMI's Pathé Marconi CS/LP(France) Pm 154 773 4/1 (also Pm 407) — Rendez-Vous With Peggy Lee ("Retrospect" Reissue Series)   (1984)




The Recording Session

1. Photos
At Getty Images, the four above-seen pictures have been given the date December 27, 1945. A fifth session shot of Lee and Barbour was used as the front cover of the Jasmine CD A Musical Marriage. The date on which these photos were actually taken could indeed be December 27, but December 26 is a strong possibility as well. (A good number of the commercial pictures that I have checked online happen to have incorrect or approximate dates. If December 27 is the correct date, then I am left to wonder if the songs recorded on that day were the two Disney numbers that will be discussed in the session below this one.)


Songs

1. "I Don't Know Enough About You" In The Music Charts
According to Joel Whitburn, "I Don't Know Enough About You" was Peggy Lee's third chart hit as a solo artist. After making its debut during the week of May 25, 1946, Lee's recording went on to peak at #7 and to stay in the charts for 6 weeks. Whitburn's tally relied primarily on the charts of Billboard magazine. "[T]he song was so popular with radio listeners that it stayed on the Hit Parade radio show for a record 17 weeks," adds Robin Callot in the liner notes of the Capitol CD The Early Years.

Peggy Lee's self-penned tune also enjoyed competing versions from men who had happened to record other songs in duets with her, or who would eventually record such duets with Lee. At Columbia, old boss Benny Goodman re-enlisted Lee's erstwhile partner Art Lund as his orchestra's vocalist, and their version reached #12. At Decca, her score (#7) was tied bt the very popular Mills Brothers, with whom she sang two record masters in 1954, after having moved to their label.


Musicians

 1. Buddy Cole
The credit to Buddy Cole is tentative. Combined with his inclusion in the already given list of Dave Barbour's All Stars, the basis for this tentative credit is Cole's presence in the photo shown to the right of this paragraph.. Belatedly used in a 1947 publication and also in a 1949 magazine issue, this undated photo seems to be have taken on the same date as the others included here.

2. Dave Barbour's All-Stars
Except for Dave Barbour, the identities of this session's musicians are unknown. Capitol's decision to name the ensemble "Dave Barbour's All-Stars" could be an indication that some of them were well-known musicians. (Then again, the name could be merely an attention-grabbing moniker.) It's also worth pointing out that this session is close in time to Lee's MacGregor transcription sessions (listed in a separate page of this discography), whose personnel is as follows: Heinie Beau (cl), Herbert Haymer (ts), Billy May (t), Dave Barbour (g), Phil Stephens (b), Buddy Cole (p), Tommy Romersa (d). During this period, Barbour and Lee steadily worked with most of those excellent musicians.

3. Billy May
In Jack Mirtle's discography of Billy May, the latter is also listed as possibly playing trumpet during the session. I am not certain that a trumpet is heard in any of this date's masters. On the other hand, and as previously mentioned, May was a member of the so-called Dave Barbour's All Stars to which the playing at the date is credited.


Arrangements And Arrangers

1. Heinie Beau
2. Billy May
My two sources for this session's arrangements are in conflict. Capitol's library of music scores identifies Heinie Beau as the arranger of both numbers. Jack Mirtle's The Music Of Billy May: A Discography credits Billy May as the session's arranger, without specifying whether he's responsible for both arrangements, or just one. Faced with this problematic discrepancy, I am giving tentative credit to both arrangers, and hoping that clearer information will eventually come forward.


Location

1. Radio Recorders
2. MacGregor Studios
My source for this session's location is the Capitol Label Discography, by Michel Ruppli, Bill Daniels, and Ed Novitsky, with Michael Cuscuna.

No location is listed in Peggy Lee's session file, which is my primary source. The likeliest site for most of Lee's Capitol-LA studio sessions from 1945 to October 1947 is indeed Radio Recorders, but I have abstained from entering it in any session where the file does not give it. The possibility remains that, for one reason or another, some of the sessions had to be held elsewhere.

During Capitol's earlier years, MacGregor Studios had been the recording studio of choice. Margaret Whiting tells an interesting story about one of the reasons why Capitol stopped using it. She says that the owner, "feeling flush with Capitol's success and the money it had given him" had the walls repainted. "When the engineers came back, the sound wasn't the same." For more details about the association between Capitol and MacGregor, see this discography's MacGregor Transcriptions page.


Masters And Alternate Takes

1. "I Don't Know Enough About You"
Upon first listening, the master and the alternate take of "I Don't Know Enough About You" might sound identical. However, repeated listening can reveal quite a few small divergences in both the music and the vocal. Among the most readily noticeable differences is Lee's pronunciation of the last syllable of the word 'baby,' from the fifth line ("And baby, what can I do?"). Lee's approach to that syllable is huskier in the alternate, more girlish in the master. Another audible difference occurs toward the end of the song, in the spoken lines "I guess I'd better get out the encyclopedia / And brush up on from shmer to shmoo." In the master, Lee lightly elongates the vowel of the word 'shmer,' and then does a very quick pause before uttering the next word. In the alternate, 'shmer to shmoo' is uttered without much of a pause. Furthermore, each take's instrumental intro has a few unique details; for instance, guitarist Dave Barbour begins with a resonant chord stroke in the alternate, but not in the master.

Of the entire list of issues entered under these two takes of "I Don't Know Enough About You," I have listened to all the LPs and CDs that contain the alternate, and to a portion of the LPs and CDs under the master take. (The reason why I have not listened to the other portion is simple: I do not have copies of many of those issues -- especially Public Domain ones. Neither do I have a way to access copies at the present time.) Hence I have had to make an educated guess as to whether certain issues contain the master or the alternate. Given the relative rarity of the alternate take, I have tentatively placed all unheard Public Domain issues under the master take. I'd appreciate receiving corrections and assistance from any fellow fans who have copies of those PD items.

Out of the dozens of issues placed under the master take, here is, then, a list of those to which I have actually listened:

CAPITOL 78-rpm single: 236 — {I Don't Know Enough About You / I Can See It Your Way, Baby} (1946)
CAPITOL (10") LP: H 151 — Rendezvous With Peggy Lee (1952)
CAPITOL LP: (D)T 1743 — Bewitching-Lee! ("The Star Line" Series) (1962)
CAPITOL LP: (Japan) Ecs 65039/65040 - Peggy Lee ("Golden Double 32" Series) (ca. 1976)
CAPITOL CS/CD: C4 5/Cdp 7 93195 — The Early Years (Capitol Collectors Series, Volume 1) (1990)
CAPITOL CD: 0777 7 97826 2 8 (97827-97830) — Miss Peggy Lee (1998)
CAPITOL CD: 7243 4 97308 2 3 — The Best Of Miss Peggy Lee (1998)
EMI Special Markets CD: Gsc 15453/7243 4 96336 2 9 — Peggy Lee ("36 All-Time Greatest Hits" Series) (1999)
EMI CD: 7243 5 39756 2 3 — The Singles Collection (2002)
Dcc CD: Dzs 179 / 7243 5 23863 2 1 — Bewitching-Lee! (1999)
Reader's Digest CS/CD: Rf7/Krf 140 [Emi 72434 99216] — The Legendary Peggy Lee: Her Greatest Hits & Finest Performances (1999)
Movieplay / Goldies CD: (Portugal) Gld 25438 — Golden Earrings (2001)
North Star CD: Ns163/73435 40699 2 5 — The Marvelous Miss Lee (2002)
S&P audiophile LP/CD: Sp 502/Spr 709 [Emi 7243 5 84239 2 1] — Bewitching-Lee! (2003)
[Public Domain issues]
Asv / Living Era CD: (United Kingdom) Aja 5237 — Why Don't You Do Right?; 25 Early Hits (1997)
History CD: (Germany) 20.3046 Hi — Everything I Love ("The Great Vocalists Of Jazz & Entertainment" Series) (1999)
Gallerie / Music Collection CD: (United Kingdom) Gale 442 — A Portrait Of Peggy Lee (1999)
Castle / Pie CD: (United Kingdom) Piesd 045 — Mañana [also part of Ladies Of Jazz: Ella, Billie, Peggy #904, a 3CD set] (1999)
Going-For-A-Song CD: (United Kingdom) Gfs 241 — The Fever Of Peggy Lee (1999)
Columbia River/Allegro CD: Crg 218010 — Peggy Lee ("Cocktail Hour" Series) (2000)
Planet Media and Entertainment CD: (United Kingdom) Plm 1027 — Let There Be Love (2000)
Naxos CD: (United Kingdom) 8.120642 — It's A Good Day; Original Recordings, 1941-1950 (2002)
Proper CD: (United Kingdom) 45 P 1277 1280 — The Peggy Lee Story (2002)
Tim International CD: (Germany) 220838 [220839-220843] — A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues ("Document" Series) (2004)
Weton-Wesgram CD: (Netherlands) Mom 641 — Peggy Lee ("Masters Of Music" Series) (2005)
Proper CD: (United Kingdom) Box 108 — Miss Wonderful (2006)
Red & Blue CD: (Netherlands) Red 2007 — The Red Collection (2007)
Big 3 CD: Bt 3039 - Peggy Lee ("Absolutely Essential 3 CD Collection" Series) (2011)

Among the issues to which I have not listened, I am particularly interested in finding out whether the following ones truly contain the master, not the alternate:

CAPITOL double EP: Ebf 151 — Rendezvous With Peggy Lee (1949)
CAPITOL 78-rpm single & 45-rpm single: 1667 / F 1667 — {I Don't Know Enough About You / I Can't Give You Anything But Love} [reissue series] (1951)


Acknowledgment

My thanks to Ken Hawkins, a fellow reader of the Peggy Lee Bulletin Board, who pointed out the existence of the alternate take of "I Don't Know Enough About You" while posting in that forum.


Date: Late 1945 (Possibly December 1945)
Location: Probably Radio Recorders, Hollywood
Label: DISNEY

Don Otis (pdr), The Charles Wolcott Orchestra (acc), Peggy Lee (v), Other Individuals Unknown (unk)

a. 2-3Master Take (Disney) Two Silhouettes - 2:48(Ray Gilbert, Charles F. Wolcott)
DISNEY 78none shown — {Two Silhouettes / All The Cats Join In [instrumental by The Charles Wolcott Orchestra]}   (1946)
ABM (Audio Book & Music) Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Abmmcd 1092 — It's Lovin' Time   (1999)
Columbia River/Allegro Public Domain CDCrg 218010 — Peggy Lee ("Cocktail Hour" Series)   (2000)
Hallmark Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Halmcd 1320 — It's Lovin' Time [Reissue of ABM 1092]   (2001)
Naxos Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) 8.120642 — It's A Good Day; Original Recordings, 1941-1950   (2002)
b. 3-2Master Take (Disney) Johnny Fedora & Alice Blue Bonnet - 2:38(Ray Gilbert, Allie Wrubel)
DISNEY 78none shown — {Johnny Fedora Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet / Without You [sung by Anita Boyer]}   (1946)
CBC Collectors' Label CD(Canada) Fa 002 — [Various Artists] Hold On To Your Hat!; More Golden Gems From Adrian's Music On Fresh Air   (2001)




Cross-references (Film)

This session's songs were written for the 1946 animated Disney film Make Mine Music. However, these Peggy Lee vocals are not soundtrack versions. Nor are they re-interpretations made for release on commercial 78 rpm singles, either. Instead, Lee's versions are strictly promotional records, meant for radio airplay only. (As for the movie soundtrack versions, they had been recorded long before the present session took place, and Peggy Lee had no involvement in them. Ditto for the commercial re-interpretations, which were recorded mostly by the same artists who worked on the soundtrack -- probably an expectation on the part of the record labels to which they were contracted. But, to reiterate the more relevant point for the purpose of a Peggy Lee discography, she was not one of the soundtrack artists. To find out more about this and other matters pertaining to Make Mine Music, consult this miscellaneous discographical page.)


Issues And Master Numbers

1. Make Mine Music [78s]
Three 78-rpm discs bearing the legend From Walt Disney's Make Mine Music are known to exist. Peggy Lee sings in two of them. Extensive details about the discs are given in section II of this page.


Personnel And Record Companies

1. Charles Wolcott And Disney Films
The aforementioned 78-rpm discs feature accompaniment by Charles Wolcott And His Orchestra. One of Disney's musical directors from 1944 to 1948, Wolcott is credited with composing the overall score of the movie Make Mike Music.

2. Musicians
Aside from Wolcott, the identity of the musicians is unknown. According to an article found in the February 16, 1946 issue of Billboard magazine, an "11-man ork fronted by Charles Woolcott [sic; Wolcott]" participated in these promotional sides.

3. Benny Goodman
Record collectors and dedicated fans of Benny Goodman have debated whether he is or isn't the clarinetist heard in Peggy Lee's version of "Two Silhouettes." The debate has as its basis the fact that Goodman was involved in the recording of the movie soundtrack. The movie features not one but two performances from him ("All The Cats Join In," "After You've Gone"), and he was actually one of the very first music acts hired for the recording of the soundtrack. (His first session for the soundtrack took place on June 12, 1944.) However, on the matter of his possible playing in "Two Silhouettes," no solid evidence in favor of Goodman's presence has been advanced so far, and I for one find the possibility unlikely. Had the clarinetist been asked to participate, he would have probably requested top billing, and Disney would have been keen on publicizing the matter of his involvement in these promotional records.

4. Don Otis And Capitol Records
All three promotional 78-rpm discs carry the statement "recording supervised by Don Otis." In the February 16, 1946 issue of Billboard magazine, it was announced that "Don Otis, KMPC disc jockey and former program director, will take over duties as program director for Capitol Records' newly formed e.t. division effective March 1. He will work under Lee Gillette, Capitol exec. in building music library transcriptions. He had been with KMPC for years, and KFAC, 14 years."

5. Capitol And Decca As Possible Manufacturing Companies
There is no manufacturer's identification in the 78-rpm discs under discussion. Visual inspection has led one collector to speculate that Capitol pressed them. Decca is alternatively proposed by another collector, who relies on his inspection of one of the three discs.


The Recording Session (Date, Location, Cross-references)

1. Sources
The exact date(s) and location on which Peggy Lee recorded these promotional versions of "Two Silhouettes" and "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet" remain unknown. None of my main or official print sources contain such specifics. See below, however, for determinations made on the basis of other sources.

2. Location
My identification of the recording location relies on an inspection of one of the 78-rpm discs, conducted by fellow collector Eric Graf. (I do not have copies of these items. Graf had access to a copy of the disc that features "Two Silhouettes" and "All The Cats Join In.") The identification of Radio Recorders is based on his examination trailoff grooves of the disc, where he saw the studio distinctive typeface, used for the matrix number stamps.

3. Dating
A recording period spanning between late 1945 and February 1946 can be confidently ascertained on the basis of a contemporary article published by Billboard magazine. (For details, consult the aforementioned miscellaneous page, beginning with the page's third section.) The date can be more tentatively pinpointed as late 1945 or just December of 1945 thanks to an article published in the January 1946 issue of Capitol News. "Capitol’s Peggy Lee and Harry James’ vocalist, Anita Boyer, recently cut some wax here with top jazzmen as part of a promotion campaign for Walt Disney’s forthcoming Make Mine Music," states the article.

4. Dating, continued: ABM Records ("Two Silhouettes")
5. Dating, continued: Sheet Music ("Two Silhouettes")
In the CD It's Lovin' Time, Peggy Lee's version of "Two Silhouettes" is dated 1945. The source for this dating is not clarified. In the absence of a clarification, there seems to be little likelihood that the date is based on solid evidence. The compact disc was released by Audio Book & Music company, a British label founded by former BMG chief John Cooper in 1996. The year 1945 could just be a (fine) estimate on ABM's part. It could also be an educated guess based, for instance, on the fact that the sheet music of "Two Silhouettes" bears a 1945 copyright date.

6. Masters
The placement of these two Peggy Lee masters under one date (as opposed to two sessions) should be deemed tentative, though likely to be correct. The placement is predicated on a number of reasonable but not infallible assumptions, beginning with the conjecture that Lee would have been hired to record both songs on the same day, under one session. Notice that Charles Wolcott and his orchestra play on all the four numbers that were pressed in the two 78-rpm discs (i.e., the two Lee sides + the two non-Lee sides). Furthermore, the four master numbers are sequential or consecutive. That fact strengthens the hypothesis that all four numbers come from the same recording session.


Songwriters

1. ASCAP additions for "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet"
The songwriters credited in this discography are those listed on the label of the promotional 78-rpm discs. In the particular case of "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet," ASCAP credits three additional songwriters: Victor Schoen, Albert E. Sack and Wolcott himself). Presumably, the ASCAP credits correspond to the soundtrack versions and/or to the commercially released versions, but not to Peggy Lee's promotional interpretations. As a matter of fact, Vic Schoen is known to have scored the "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet" segment of the Disney movie; hence the ASCAP credit could be for the score, rather than for the writing of the song's music and lyrics. (Schoen was the regular arranger and conductor of the act who sings the number in the movie soundtrack, The Andrews Sisters. The ASCAP credit could also be for the Sisters' commercially issued version.)

2. Allie Wrubel
Allie Wrubel's last name is misspelled as "Wruble" in the label of the disc that features Peggy Lee's recording of "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet" disc.

3. Ray Gilbert
Disney-associated lyricist Ray Gilbert penned all but one of the six songs included in the three promotional 78-rpm discs; the exception is the movie's titular number, credited to Ken Darby and Eliot Daniel. (Some sources credit Charles Wolcott as well.)


Issues

1. Recommended Issues
This session's performances have yet to appear in an issue that can be fully recommended. (The sound quality of the few CDs that contain these songs is, at best, adequate.)





GENERAL NOTES

The Emergence of Capitol Records / Peggy Lee's Path Toward A Capitol Recording Contract

Peggy Lee In Transition (1943-1944)

The time span covered by this discographical page constitutes a period of transition in Peggy Lee's evolution as a recording star.  These two years (1944-1945) followed her days as Benny Goodman's canary (August 1941 - ca. June 1943) and preceded her full-time commitment to a career as a solo act.

The preceding year can also be deemed a part of the transition. Both personally and professionally, 1943 had been an eventful year for Lee.  In March, she had married guitarist Dave Barbour and informed The Benny Goodman Orchestra that she intended to leave the band. A few months later (ca. June 1943), the artist formally announced her intention to entirely retire from professional singing and dedicate herself to housewife duties. Next, in November 1943, she gave birth by Caesarean section.  The delivery was a difficult one that put Lee's own life at risk.  A hysterectomy made it impossible for her to ever conceive more children. 

During that second half of 1943, the newlywed and retiree might have not done much (if any) professional singing, but the memory of her voice still lingered on.  She had left the music industry while riding high on the success of her version of "Why Don't You Do Right?", which would remain in currency for many months afterwards. Although Peggy Lee and The Benny Goodman Orchestra had recorded this number way back in time (July 1942), Columbia would not release Lee's version of this song until the very end of the year 1942.  "Why Don't You Do Right?" began to climb the charts in January of 1943, and went on to spend nearly five months inside Billboard's Top 30.  

Halfway through the year, as its chart popularity was winding down, Lee's vocal gained renewed attention.  The renewal in popularity happened because when she and the orchestra were seen performing the number in the movie Stage Door Canteen.   Having debuted in June of 1943, that film would prove very popular with audiences over the next few months.  

On the strength of that hit recording and film appearance, Peggy Lee received various movie and record offers in 1943.  She declined all of them.  Lee was actually pregnant at the time.  Although she was dedicating some of her spare time to the hobby of writing songs, Norma Deloris Barbour envisioned herself as fully retired from the business of singing.  She foresaw a wife's and mother's life ahead of her.

In January of 1944, less than two months after the birth of her baby, various factors coaxed Mrs. Dave Barbour back into the recording studio.  One of those factors was the couple's financial needs.  Lee explained in her autobiography that, once the married couple had made the decision to settle in LA, "David had to get a California union card.  He could earn only a pittance until he played in LA [for] a certain period of time." Barbour himself insisted that his wife's retirement was an unwise decision, arguing that Lee's talents should not go to waste, and that she was bound to regret her decision later in life.  In her autobiography, the singer also intimated that her husband's insistence might have been partially triggered by Carlos Gastel, a notable artists' manager who was one of Barbour's drinking buddies.  Elsewhere, she added that Gastel directly and persistently approached her with offers. 

The singer ended up accepting offers for occasional, no-strings-attached vocal work.  Producer and music critic Dave Dexter, Jr. made the first of the accepted offers.  On January 7, 1944, Lee recorded two sides with The Capitol Jazzmen, a group that Dexter had put together for the purpose of studio recording.  (Two months earlier, the producer had also hired Barbour as guitarist for a similar date.)  The sides (those featuring Lee and also the ones featuring Barbour) were made for a record company that was, back then, in its infancy. 


Photos

Above: The Barbours (Dave, Peggy, and Nicki) in three shots from 1945. The third seems to be the earliest: an April 1945 date is handwritten on its back. According to the stock photo agency Getty Images, the second dates from November 3. The first was taken at the December 26 Capitol recording session that has already been discussed; it has been reproduced often during the digital area. (For commentary about the images immediately below, see next Photo sub-section.)





A Budding History - Capitol Records (1942-1944)

Officially incorporated on April 9, 1942, Capitol Records would become a big record company in a short time span.  It would also remain, for many years, the only major label in the West Coast.  (Back then, the respective headquarters of Columbia, Decca, and RCA Victor were in the Big Apple.)  

The venture of forming this novel company had been jointly undertaken by Glenn Wallichs (owner of the Music City record store at 1501 N. Vine Street, and essentially the label's executive president, although over the years he went through various titles, beginning with that of vice-president), Johnny Mercer (a well-known songwriter, who would serve not only as the nominal president but also, during the company's early days, as de facto A&R man), and Buddy DeSylva (then a vice-president and production head at Paramount Pictures as well as a well-known songwriter, whose  prestige and wealth gave hefty support to the company in its early years, and who would eventually be named its first chairman of the board).  Wallichs had also had previous experience (1938) as the co-owner of a small recording studio facility, primarily dedicated to the making of transcriptions of radio broadcasts.

Peggy Lee reminisces in her autobiography that "those fellows were conducting business upstairs over Sy's tailor shop on Vine, just below Sunset." Capitol's executive offices would remain circumscribed to that specific location until 1947, when they would be expanded to take up the entire second floor of Wallichs' music store.  At that time, Wallichs himself would take over the title of company president, while the contributions of Mercer and DeSylva would begin to dwindle.  In an interview conducted by Fred Hall, Peggy Lee gave pointed praise to both Wallichs and Mercer:  "dear Glenn was really -- I compare him in my mind a bit to Walt Disney.  He had the same leadership quality.  Such great character and enthusiasm ... Glenn really was the man [at the top of Capitol], and of course Johnny always contributed in so many ways -- artistically of course, and creatively in his own writing, as well as helping others."   On the occasion of the company's 50th anniversary (1992), she was moreover quoted as follows:  "I hope Capitol never loses the soul of its founders, those such as Glenn Wallichs, Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, Jim Conkling, Dave Cavanaugh, Alan Livingston and many wonderful men and women who followed.  They truly had the interest of the artist at heart." 

The label did well during this founding period, showing year-to-year increase in both its financial grosses and production output.  By 1944, it had become a solid, uncontested industry success. From its early roster of recording artists, the best-selling act had been Johnny Mercer himself, thanks to the top-ten renditions of his own songs that charted on each of the label's first three years (and beyond, actually).  The very first heavy hitter (July 1942) had been Freddie Slack And His Orchestra with Ella Mae Morse, thanks to a rendition of "Cow Cow Boogie" that had brought national attention to the label.  Stan Kenton ("And Her Tears Flowed Like Wine," "Eager Beaver," both on 1943) and The Nat King Cole ("All For You," 1943) take pride of position amidst about a dozen  Capitol artists whose popularity was on the ascent when Peggy Lee did her first date for the label, on January 7, 1944.  

{Referential Note.  I have dedicated a full separate page to an exploration of Capitol's earliest years.  The above-seen paragraphs qualify as a condensation of that page.  Also worth bearing in mind: this discography the ensuing session pages of contain endnotes which discuss not only Lee's career but also the history of Capitol Records between the years 1945 and 1952.}


Photos

The six above-seen pictures showcase some of Capitol's early spaces. Not seen herein is, however, the earliest of such spaces, known as The Chateau. During the months that preceded the opening of the label's first executive office, Capitol's posse is said to have held fort inside a location bearing that name. The "fort" in question could have been the Chateau Marmont Hotel, at 8221 Sunset Boulevard. Unfortunately, I have yet to find any further specifics on the matter.

First of the six photos: Capitol founders Johnny Mercer, Glenn Wallichs, and Buddy DeSylva inside their first executive office, on July 23, 1943.  The office had opened for business on June 4, 1942. One decade later, in a special Billboard section commemorating the label's tenth anniversary, mention was made of an inaugural event of sorts, which presumably took place at this room late in May or early in June of 1942:  we are told that Wallichs and sales manager Floyd Bittaker (the company's earliest hiree) "carried a desk into a empty Vine Street store [room] and created the new company's home office."

Described elsewhere as a 15-feet-wide and 50-feet-long floor space (originally without even air conditioner), the above-shown room would serve as one of two or three "tiny" offices set up atop Wallichs' record store Music City, which had itself opened a couple of years before (1940) on the northwest corner of Hollywood's Sunset and Vine. "The offices were a laugh," opined Capitol singer Margaret Whiting in her autobiography.  "They consisted of two rooms in a building on Sunset and Vine.  There was the front room, where Paul [Weston] worked on orchestrations, and a back room that Glen Wallichs and Johnny shared, where big decisions were made.  Nine months after the beginning of Capitol's success, the offices remained the same.  Then, one Monday I walked in ... and saw a lady sitting at Paul's desk  [in other words, a secretary had just been hired] ... Now there were three people crowded into that one office [or back room]:  Johnny, Glenn, and Paul Weston.  Music paper was strewn over the desks ... The success was so immediate and so enormous that the men were too busy to move the offices to a larger space. Finally, when the office resembled the Mark Brothers copped up in a ship's closet, they moved ..."

[In the present page, I have circumscribed both the images and the information to this first office space. Nonetheless, readers should bear in mind that misidentification is not out of the realm of possibility, due to the relative scarcity of available information, and also to its largely anecdotal nature. Hence, while I do believe that the above-shown executive office interior was the label's very first one, room must still be made for the possibility that it could instead be, after all, their second. For images of the second offices' exterior, check the end notes of this discography's 1946-1947 page.]    

Showing another Capitol office room, the second photo above captures the bulk of the label's 1944 female roster, along with a few prospective additions. Within this seven-person group, the three women sitting in the middle were the bigger Capitol stars at the time: from left to right, Martha Tilton, Margaret Whiting, and Jo Stafford. (There were, of course, other female Capitol artists who are not in this photo. Most notable among such missing songbirds would be Ella Mae Morse.) As for the other individuals in the picture, the first woman is Martha Tilton's sister Liz, also a singer. The second woman is Yvonne King and the very last one is Donna King, both members of the Capitol recording group The King Sisters. Finally, sitting next to last, there is Peggy Lee, then a newcomer to the label. This photo was published in the February 1945 issue of Capitol News, where its caption claims that the group was "assembled last month." Meanwhile, at Gettyimages, the photo bears a December 31, 1944 date. Another published photo shows that Stan Kenton and Johnny Mercer were also among those in the premises on that particular day. It is possible that the occasion was an end-of-the-year or New Year Eve's party at Capitol offices.

Outside views of the early Capitol offices are provided in the next couple of shots, whose exact dates are unknown but can be speculated. In the second shot, the Artistry In Rhythm sign points to late 1945 or -- more likely -- early 1946, because the release date for the album in question was December of 1945.  (Incidentally, this rare photo made its web debut thanks to Capitol historian and graphic designer Mark Heimback-Nielsen, who featured it in his worthwhile blog about all things Capitol.) The first shot is suspected to come from much earlier, with 1943 and 1944 among the viable possibilities. (A larger, black & white version of this shot can be found in Reuel Golden and Barney Hoskyns' 2016 book release 75 Years Of Capitol Records.) The most notable differences between these shots include the type of lamppost visible on the left side of the street, as well as the nearby presence or absence of awnings.

Viewable only in the second of these two shots (i.e., the fourth photo above), the street entrance to Capitol's offices bore a 1483 North Vine Street address. For the benefit of viewers who might otherwise become confused, a lavender-indigo coloring has been manually applied to the door on the ground floor. The offices themselves were actually on the second floor, directly above the store of famous tailor Sy Devore and next to the studio of Gene Lester, the Hollywood photographer who was also well known for his steady relationship with the Saturday Evening Post. Engraved atop his store's own door, Sy Devore's name is dimly visible in this photo, too -- on the far left, right before what looks like yet another street lamppost.  (For a picture of the entrance to Capitol's second offices, located to the North of the corner, see the General Notes at the bottom of this discography's 1946-1947 page. The transition from one office space to the other seems to have become finalized during the first half of 1947. As late as February 1, 1947, Billboard magazine was still listing the 1483 N. Vine address for Capitol Records -- but not so by May of the same year. And by 1949, the 1483 N. Vine Street address was being listed as belonging to the song publishing company Bourne, Inc.)  

Above, continued:  As a label without large facilities at this early point in its history, Capitol initially carried out all session work on rented space. The bottom-row pictures showcase the C. P. MacGregor Studio, which was Capitol's recording space of choice during the company's earliest years.  The first of these shots immortalizes the Capitol Jazzmen's debut session, held there on November 16, 1943.  Peggy Lee's husband Dave Barbour can be seen on the right side of the frame, sitting while playing his guitar.  Also present are Billy May (trumpet), Dave Matthews (saxophone), Jimmie Noone (clarinet), Jack Teagarden (trombone), Art Shapiro (double bass), and Joe Sullivan (piano).  The group seen in the remaining photo is Henry King And His Orchestra. This shot dates from 1940 and thus predates the foundation of Capitol Records. Still, it can helpfully supply the viewer with a general notion of the facility's dimensions.  For various photos of Lee in this same room, skim through this page's sessions.  And for more information about the C. P. MacGregor Studio -- as well as its additional connections to both Lee and King -- consult this page.  (By January 1945, Capitol Records had almost fully moved out of MacGregor. Capitol's executives contended that the studio had become "too live after a paint job for the walls," and that matters had not been significantly improved by the attempt at rectifying the situation though the installation of rock wool.  For its part, MacGregor's publicity director counterattacked with the argument that Capitol had been monopolizing the studio to a detrimental degree.  According to the publicist, the label's constant presence had been making it difficult to give "proper time and attention" to other enterprises of great importance, including "Armed forces Radio Service shows, its own musical and dramatic transcription series and advertising agency accounts." As will be further covered in the General Notes of this discography's 1946-1947 page, Capitol made Radio Recorders its next studio of choice.)





Right above: Published on July 11, 1942, here is one of the earliest Capitol trade ads. Along with the primeval roster of recording artists, it identifies the company's founders and their initial executive titles within the corporation. Placed by the Modern Music Sales Company (Capitol's initial record distributor in the New York area), this ad also lists the label's very first batch of releases, and the addresses of the executives offices. The Hollywood address was naturally the main one; Wallichs was said to have "signed a lease for a large local office space" during a visit to New York in late June of 1942. The 78-rpm singles were announced as available in the LA area by June 29, in the NY area by July the sixth.

Right above, continued: The middle photo is a rare shot of Hollywood House Of Music, which called itself "Hollywood's only complete recording center." The image might be showing the rear of the store, whose second floor was occupied by a recording studio, the first floor by a record store. The store belonged to radio disc jockey Al Jarvis, the studio to Glenn Wallichs, who would go on to open the larger Music City in 1940 and to co-found Capitol Records in 1942. Wallichs would also set up a small recording facility as his Music City story in Hollywood's Sunset and Vine. As a presiding member of Capitol Records, Wallichs would acquire a large, multi-room studio facility in December 1948 or January 1949 (i.e., the Capitol Melrose studio).

Below:  a three-picture showcase of music journalist and Capitol A&R man David E. Dexter, Jr. (1915-1990), the man who brought Peggy Lee to Capitol Records in 1944 (after a late 1943 offer that she had declined). A journalism major, he wrote primarily for the music magazines Billboard (mid 1936-1937, as an anonymous correspondent in his native Kansas City) and Downbeat (1938-1942, as an editor, reviewer, and all-around writer under various pseudonyms, first in Chicago, then in New York). During the 1940s, he would also put pen to paper at both Metronome and Music And Rhythm. As an A&R man, Dexter produced his very first record sessions in November 1940; they were released as the Decca 78-rpm album Kansas City Jazz, which featured Count Basie and Mary Lou Williams, among others.

Capitol hired Dave Dexter, Jr. in early 1943 to fulfill multiple roles: director of public relations, advertisement & publicity chief, and assistant A&R man. In his capacity as publicity chief (and in line with his background as a music magazine writer), he set out to create a created, wrote and edited the noteworthy promotional magazine Capitol News, whose first issue bears a March 20, 1943 publication date. Dexter would remain with the label until 1975 (leaving it only for a few months, in the second half of 1945, to embark on a few reinvigorating or personally rewarding activities, such as conducting PR work for Stan Kenton in New York, creation his own -magazine -- a short-lived enterprise -- and, more generally, freelancing). By the mid-1960s he already qualified as the Capitol employee who had remained with the company for the longest amount of time. (Competing but failing short was Fred Rice, who joined Capitol in 1946 and was serving as manager of national sales at the time of his departure, in 1974.) Among Dexter's other notable achievements at Capitol was the signing of many a jazz-oriented artist, including Duke Ellington, Nellie Lutcher, Woody Herman, and Julia Lee; the creation of the critically acclaimed History Of Jazz album series in the 1940s and, starting around 1959, his production credits for over 400 "Capitol Of The World" albums (for which he travelled all over the globe in his newly signed role as director of company's International Repertoire branch). Post-Capitol, he became a frequently published freelance music writer, though he did also take a permanent job as Billboard's copy chief editor for the LA area.

Specifics such as the exact date and location for the first of the photos below are unknown to me, unfortunately.  If we may speculate, the mid-1940s is a very plausible time period, and a Capitol executive office on the second floor of Wallichs' Music City could very well be the space on sight.  The middle image shows the front cover of Playback, the professional biography that Dexter published in 1976.  It does include commentary about Peggy Lee; a smiling picture of her is among those with decorate the front of the book's jacket, too.  The final image below dates from November 19, 1943 or slightly later.  Dexter, Mercer, and Wallichs are said to be "masterminding" a Stan Kenton version of "Eager Beaver," indeed known to have been recorded by the bandleader and his orchestra on that day, at the C. P. MacGregor Studios.  This Kenton version of "Eager Beaver" made its commercial debut on a Capitol 78-rpm single that came out in May of 1944.





Enter Peggy Lee (1944)

Issued on an album that Dave Dexter, Jr. ambitiously titled New American Jazz, the sides which resulted from that date were very well received.  "What a thrill," wrote Lee, "to turn the radio on to D.J's Al Jarvis or Gene Norman and hear That Old Feeling and Ain't Goin' No Place.  Suddenly I was also meeting people such as DeSylva, Wallichs and Mercer."  The positive reception of the Dexter sides probably triggered Capitol's interest in making Peggy Lee -- retired or not -- part of its roster.  "At one of those meetings over Sy Devore's record shop," continues Lee, "it was decided that David and I would record for Capitol, which brought up the subject of material."  Gastel had listened to a couple of songs that Barbour and Lee had co-written as a pastime, and told the couple that they should play them for Mercer.  They did.  Mercer's reaction:  "why don't you record those?"  On December 27, 1944, Lee followed up on Mercer's suggestion.  Released on a 78-rpm disc in 1945, the two self-penned songs  ("What More Can A Woman Do?" and "You Was Right, Baby") were positively received, and probably did a lot to encourage Lee's ultimate decision to completely abandon any plans of retirement or semi-retirement.

Dave Barbour's friend Carlos Gastel was heavily involved in the process of signing Lee.  When his services were fully enlisted by the Barbours, Gastel was already managing quite a few Capitol acts, and he would go on to manage even more artists from the label's roster:  Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton and June Christy, Woody Herman, Mel Tormé, et cetera.  Gastel was also the person who put Lee in contact with Tom Rockwell and his managing agency, General Artists Corporation. 
 
Peggy Lee signed a recording contract with Capitol in late 1944.  An article suitably called "Capitol Contract For Lee" appeared in the January 1945 issue of the company's self-promotional magazine Capitol News.  Subscribers of the magazine were told that the "trush will return to wax for the first time since last January [1944] when she made two stellar sides for Capitol's New American Jazz album.  It wasn't until a few weeks ago, however, that she signed a Capitol contract ..."  The article finishes by identifying Gastel as the singer's manager and GAC as her booking agency.  

It should be acknowledged that this Capitol News item makes no specific mention of an exclusive or long-term contract.  The primary piece of news is that "Peggy Lee has signed to record additional sides for Capitol" -- with no indication that the signing was to be extended beyond such sides.

However, the establishment of a formal relationship between the label and the artist can still be gleaned from other details.  Besides the more obvious matters (i.e., the writeup itself, and the choice of title), there is the dutiful mention, at the end of the Capitol-penned article, of both a booking agency and a manager.  







Emergence: Capitol Records And Peggy Lee (1945)

Capitol, Gastel, and General Artists seem to have spent the first half of 1945 slowly developing their new artist's profile.  (Lee's duties as a new mother might have factored into the relatively slow pace.)  Photos featuring Lee appeared in the front pages of the Capitol News issues for the months of March and May.  Both issues made a point of announcing that she was beginning to dabble in film work.  Buddy DeSylva, her new Capitol boss and also an executive producer at Paramount, was said to be interested in testing her for movie appearances.  Also around March, the singer would be booked at the Orpheum in LA for her first post-Goodman solo concert date, and she would be appearing on the radio show of one fellow Capitol artist (Andy Russell).

During the second quarter of 1945, Capitol's promotional machinery heightened its operational strategies on Lee's behalf.  Two of her songs from the December 1944 date were finally released in late April or early May of 1945.  The April 26, 1945 issue of Billboard magazine includes not only a review of the songs but also a Capitol ad which covers half a page (with the other half occupied by the periodical's music popularity charts).  "Capitol proudly presents a new edition to its artists' roster," the first of the ad's three paragraphs proclaims.  Furthermore, her photo graces the cover of the June 1, 1945 issue of Downbeat magazine, which makes mention as well of the recently released single, "What More Can A Woman Do"/ "You Was Right, Baby."  

Also taking place during this heightened period was Peggy Lee's next record date (July 30, 1945), during which she waxed brand new songs of the day ("Waiting For The Train To Come In," "I'm Glad I Waited For You") .  Since those were numbers which songpluggers were sending to all competing record labels, there is a worthwhile inference to be made from the fact that Lee was recording them.  By this point, Lee was being officially added to Capitol's rotation of in-house artists, among whom incoming new songs must have been distributed (not  dictatorially, I hasten to add, but more likely as suggestions for the artists to take into consideration).

Just four years old in 1945, the record label which had welcomed Peggy Lee was a prosperous upstart.   The following account of the label's financial success in its early years was given by the aforementioned Dave Dexter, Jr., who would raise to the title of executive producer at the label: "[w]ith the end of  World War II, Capitol had accelerated its annual sales from a modest $200,000 in 1942 to $750,000 in 1943, then $2,250,000 in 1944 on up to a truly impressive $5,100,000 in 1945.  That year, Capitol marketed 14 albums and 48 singles," among which there were three major sellers (Mercer's "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe," Stan Kenton and June Christy's novelty hit "Tampico," and Betty Hutton's catchy version of "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief").  Dexter, Jr. adds that the company "led all labels in [radio] airplay" and continued to do so for many ensuing years, too.  The year 1945 was also the one in which Capitol enjoyed its very first number one single (Johnny Mercer's "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe," from single #195) and album (The King Cole Trio, originally issued with catalogue number A-8).

As will be chronicled in the chrono-discographical pages that are a continuation to this one, Peggy Lee would rapidly position herself as a chart-hitting artist at Capitol Records in the months to come -- most times in partnership with husband Dave Barbour, and sometimes in the company of other musical acts from the label's roster.  She proved successful with both the pop numbers of the era and the compositions that the married couple had kept on composing.  

Lee actually recorded for Capitol on a continuous string from the mid-1940s to February of 1952, by which time she was no longer working in partnership with her husband.  Next (two months after her February 1952 session for Capitol), the artist started recording for Decca, where she stayed for five years.  Then, in April of 1957, she returned to Capitol again, and continued to record for the label until April of 1972.  Having spent 21 or 22 years under contract (depending on whether we include 1944, when she recorded for the label in January and December, but might have not signed an exclusive contract until around that last month), Peggy Lee ranks high among the longest-lasting vocal acts in Capitol's roster, along with Nat King Cole, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Stan Kenton, Gordon MacRae, Tex Ritter, and Nancy Wilson.  A Capitol artist par excellence.   


Popularity:  Peggy In The Polls (1943-1945)

Peggy Lee's temporary retirement from a singing career did not affect her standing as a popular vocalist.  On the contrary, at the end of her retirement year (1943) she reached the #2 position of Downbeat's Band, Female poll.

In 1944, Lee gradually came back from retirement, and was newly billed as a solo artist.  Thus her name was entered in a different Downbeat poll which was simply called Female.  She placed at #10 in that poll.  (The appearance of her name at all strikes me as somewhat surprising, since the singer had been barely active throughout the year.  Visibility might have stemmed from the radio airplay received by her guest vocals for the album New American Jazz, and from that album's sales.)  In the poll, Lee had received 80 votes.  Preceding her at #9 with 83 and #8 with 98 votes were her Capitol labelmates Martha Tilton and Ella Mae Morse.  The upper echelon consisted of Mildred Bailey (#5), Billie Holiday, Jo Stafford, Helen Forrest and, at the very top with 1245 votes, Dinah Shore.  

In 1945, Peggy Lee shot up to the #4 position, with 410 votes.  Previous top holder Dinah Shore dropped to #3, with a total of 472 votes.  Dropping also was Helen Forrest; with 308 votes, she had fallen from #2 to #5.  Taking Forrest's former position, thanks to 705 votes, was Billie Holiday.  Finally, with 838 votes on her behalf, the year's top female act was Jo Stafford, up two slots in the poll. 


Statistics: Total Number Of Peggy Lee Masters (1944-1945)

This discographical page lists a total of 14 masters recorded by Peggy Lee during her transitional period from Columbia to Capitol Records.  Also included here are two alternate takes, which Capitol has commercially released on numerous issues.

Ten of those masters were officially made for Capitol.  In the earliest of them (January 7, 1944), Lee functioned as a guest vocalist.  In later ones, she recorded with the musical backing of her husband, guitarist Dave Barbour, and received star billing.  

As for the remaining four masters, two were released by Ara Records, and feature Lee as guest vocalist.  Made with a name orchestra, she fulfills in them the same "big band canary" role that she had held during her earlier days at Columbia Records.  The other two masters are promotional records tied to the film company Disney, and may also bear a loose connection to Capitol Records.  

Of these 14 titles, the Disney masters are the only ones still awaiting a proper release.  "Two Silhouettes" and "Johnny Fedora And Alice Blue Bonnet" have actually appeared on Public Domain CDs (though barely so), but they still need to be issued in better sound quality by a legitimate, non-Public Domain record company.  Pleasantly mellow and musical performances, both are very deserving of a quality digital release.


Photos

Above: all three images seen at the top of the present section are part of advertisement published in 1945 issues of the magazine Capitol News. Peggy Lee's name is among the Capitol "line-up of top artists" listed in the first ad. The caption under the photo of Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour refers to Capitol's release of their recordings as an example of the label's interest of jazz during the year 1945.

Below: a professionally attired Peggy Lee graces two pictures to which the photo stock agency Getty Images has given an April 6, 1945 date. A more informally dressed Lee poses for a publicity photo that circulated two months later (second image). In the third of these shots, Lee stands next to a "V For Victory" sign, which was part of a campaign in celebration of the United Nations' triumph over then-antagonistic Germany. She could also be said to have emerged victorious-lee out of the year 1945.





Sessions Reported: 6

Performances Reported: 16

Unique Songs Reported: 14

Unique Issues Reported: 161