Peggy Lee's Bio-Discography:
The World Transcriptions

by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on Jun 21, 2017





Preliminary Notes

Peggy Lee recorded 49 masters on behalf of the World Broadcasting System, a company that specialized in making records for radio and television broadcast only. All 49 titles have been identified below, where they have also been distributed over 13 sessions. The sessions are followed by two sets of endnotes, of which the first offers specifics about the radio transcription company and the second provides commentary on various other topics of relevance, including a few matters which have yet to be conclusively determined -- e.g., the personnel and dating of these radio sessions.

Recommendations: Lee's World transcription recordings have not been issued on an official, properly mastered CD. The sound quality of the available releases is, for the most part, acceptable, but still far from optimal. In the absence of better options, the issues that I am recommending count with either a comprehensive track listing or, at least, one rare track that is unavailable elsewhere.  (My recommendations can be quickly spotted because their titles are in uppercase and boldface; PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU is an example.  Such items will also receive discussion in the notes at the bottom of the page. In addition, you may want to explore this pictorial page, particularly its third section.)

As for the blue arrowheads that show up in some of the sessions below, click on them if you want to see the full list of issues -- i.e., LPs, CDs, etc. -- containing the given Peggy Lee performance, rather than just the sample currently visible on the page. (An additional note on the matter of full lists of issues: through the entire Lee sessionography, I have aimed at listing each and every issue in existence, with the following exceptions:  various-artists compilations, foreign editions of domestic issues, and MP3 files. The first two are covered separately, within the miscellaneous section of this 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.)

(Images above: Frederick W. Ziv, owner of the World Broadcasting System during the period in which Peggy Lee made transcription recordings for that company. Advertisement for The Hour Of Stars, one of the many syndicated radio shows that Ziv produced. A photo from the first half of 1951 happens to capture two of the hosts of the aforementioned Star show: Peggy Lee sings with backing from an orchestra while Tony Martin gazes at her intently.)


Date: Possibly 1953
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) Too Marvelous For Words - 1:29(Johnny Mercer, Richard Whiting) / arr: Marty Paich
b. Master Take (World) Them There Eyes - 1:46(Maceo Pinkard, Doris Tauber, William Tracey)
c. Master Take (World) Autumn In New York - 2:26(Vernon Duke) / arr: Victor Young
d. Master Take (World) Love Me Or Leave Me - 2:06(Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn)
e. Master Take (World) Let's Call It A Day - 2:34(Lew Brown, Ray Henderson)
f. Master Take (World) I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful) - 1:49(Harry Ruskin, Henry Sullivan)
All titles on: Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
WORLD 16" Transcription Disc300   


Arrangements

1. "Autumn In New York"
2. "Too Marvelous For Words"
3. Victor Young, Marty Paich
Peggy Lee's sheet music library contains an arrangement of "Autumn In New York" credited to Victor Young and an arrangement of "Too Marvelous For Words" credited to Marty Paich.
Since the library's arrangements have yet to be compared with those heard in this session, we cannot be fully certain that the library's arrangements were the ones used for these World performances. Hence this session's arrangement credits must be deemed preliminary and tentative.

Still, there are compelling reasons to make preliminary assumptions. Both Paich and Young worked regularly with Lee during the early-to-mid-1950s, which is the same period in which these World transcriptions were recorded. Incidentally, Lee's library happens to have Victor Young arrangements of not just one but two autumnal songs: "Autumn In New York" and "Autumn In Rome."


Issues

1. The Popular Vocal Section Series
2. World #300 [Transcription Disc]
Peggy Lee's World performances can be found in discs from the company's Popular Vocal Section series. Those discs usually include performances by two or more artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Moreover, each performance in the given disc is identified by a letter of the alphabet -- sometimes by two letters. Disc #300 shows the following sequence and the following letters:

A, B, C, D, E, F. Peggy Lee's six above-listed numbers, all on one side of the disc.
G-H, J. A couple of numbers by Ray Bloch And His Orchestra, found in the other side of the disc.
K-L, M. Closing the non-Lee side of the disc, a total of three numbers by David Rose And His Orchestra.


Date: Possibly 1953
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) That Old Black Magic - 2:08(Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Musicbank Public Domain CS/CD(United Kingdom) Apwmc / Apwcd 1183 — Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series)   (2001)
b. Master Take (World) Sans Souci - 2:45(Joseph F. "Sonny" Burke, Peggy Lee)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
c. Master Take (World) I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good - 2:54(Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
d. Master Take (World) It's A Good Day - 2:09(Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
United Audio Public Domain CD(Netherlands) Uae 30712 — Peggy Lee ("Mystic Music" Series)   (1997)
e. Master Take (World) You're Mine, You - 2:31(Johnny Green, Edward Heyman)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
All titles on: WORLD 16" Transcription Disc309   






Issues

1. World #309 [Transcription Disc]
All five Peggy Lee performances listed above are on the same side of disc #309. The other side contains the following incidental material, none of it involving Lee: Themes & Departmental Introductions, credited to Fifty Yard Line; Football Jingles.


Date: Possibly 1953
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) My Romance - 2:24(Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
b. Master Take (World) Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea - 2:13(Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
c. Master Take (World) Come Rain Or Come Shine - 2:25(Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
d. Master Take (World) I Feel A Song Coming On - 1:31(Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, George Oppenheimer)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
e. Master Take (World) From This Moment On - 2:14(Cole Porter)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Musicbank Public Domain CS/CD(United Kingdom) Apwmc / Apwcd 1183 — Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series)   (2001)
f. Master Take (World) Try A Little Tenderness - 2:22(Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Harry Woods)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
All titles on: WORLD 16" Transcription Disc314   


Issues

1. World #314 [Transcription Disc]
Generally, the discs that the World transcription service released as part of its Popular Vocal Section series feature multiple artists, whose song sets are sequenced one after the other. Disc #314 shows the following sequence:

A-F. Peggy Lee's six above-listed numbers.
G-K. Six numbers by The David Rose Orchestra.


Date: Possibly 1953
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) 'Deed I Do - 2:02(Walter Hirsch, Fred Rose)
Music Club Licensed CD(United Kingdom) Mccd 619 — Black Coffee; The Best Of Peggy Lee    (2007)
Weton-Wesgram/Flex Media Public Domain CD(Germany) Iece ___ — I Can't Give You Anything But Love ("Jazz Giants" Series)   (2007)
Edel Public Domain CD(Germany) 4 029759 072508 [EAN] / 4031 — Just One Of Those Things ("Noble Jazz" Series)   (2012)
b. Master Take (World) Just One Of Those Things - 2:13(Cole Porter)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Music International Public Domain CS/CDP 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
Dana Public Domain cassette__ — Four Ladies Of Song {Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Dinah Shore}    (1994)
c. Master Take (World) Let There Be Love - 2:05(Ian Grant, Lionel Rand)
Castle Communications Licensed CS/CD(United Kingdom) Mat Mc/Cd 316 — Let There Be Love; The Best Of Peggy Lee   (1994)
Castle Communications' Kaz Division Licensed CS/CD(United Kingdom) Trt Mc/Cd Cd 153 — Let There Be Love (TrueTrax Sub-Label)   (1995)
Penny Newsound Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Pycd 148 — Portrait Of Peggy Lee   (1996)
All titles on: Hindsight Collectors' Label CS/LP/CDHsc/Hsr/Cdhsr 220 [CD rel. in 1994] — THE UNCOLLECTED PEGGY LEE, 1948    (1985)
Take 16 Public Domain CD(Denmark) 8013 — Peggy Lee ("16 Great Songs" Series)   (1990)
Gold/San Juan Music Public Domain CD(Netherlands) Gold 055 — Peggy Lee Gold (San Juan's Series)   (1993)


Issues

1. World #318 [Transcription Disc]
Generally, the discs that the World transcription service released as part of its Popular Vocal Section series feature multiple artists, whose song sets are sequenced one after the other. Disc #318 shows the following sequence:

A-C. Peggy Lee's three above-listed numbers.
D-E. Two numbers by the Sportsmen Quartet.
F-K. Six numbers by Irvine Orton And The World Salon Orchestra.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues - 2:13(Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) / arr: Billy May
b. Master Take (World) What Is This Thing Called Love? - 2:12(Cole Porter)
Hindsight Collectors' Label CS/LP/CDHsc/Hsr/Cdhsr 220 [CD rel. in 1994] — THE UNCOLLECTED PEGGY LEE, 1948    (1985)
Take 16 Public Domain CD(Denmark) 8013 — Peggy Lee ("16 Great Songs" Series)   (1990)
Music International Public Domain CS/CDP 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
c. Master Take (World) You - 2:05(Harold Adamson, Walter Donaldson) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
Hindsight Collectors' Label CS/LP/CDHsc/Hsr/Cdhsr 220 [CD rel. in 1994] — THE UNCOLLECTED PEGGY LEE, 1948    (1985)
Take 16 Public Domain CD(Denmark) 8013 — Peggy Lee ("16 Great Songs" Series)   (1990)
Music International Public Domain CS/CDP 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
d. Master Take (World) The Best Things In Life Are Free - 1:38(Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
All titles on: WORLD 16" Transcription Disc327   



Arrangements And Arrangers

1. "I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues"
2. "You"
3. Billy May
Peggy Lee's sheet music library contains an arrangement of "I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues" credited to Billy May and an arrangement of "You" credited to Heinie Beau. Since the library's arrangements have yet to be compared with those heard in this session, both credits must be deemed tentative for the time being.

In the case of the song "I Gotta Right To Sing the Blues," another version was performed by May and Lee, together, as part of a AFRS National Guard Let's Go To Town show, broadcast in the mid-1950s. That version features an arrangement which, leaving aside from some minor adjustments, sounds very similar to the one heard in this session.


Issues

1. World #327 [Transcription Disc]
Transcription discs that belong to World's Popular Vocal Section series usually include performances by two or more artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Moreover, each performance in the disc is identified by a letter of the alphabet -- sometimes by two letters. Disc #327 shows the following sequence and the following letters:

A-D. Peggy Lee's four above-listed numbers, all on one side of the disc.
E-F. Two numbers by Giselle MacKenzie with The Jerry Gray Orchestra.
G-H. Two numbers by The Four Freshmen.
I-L. Four numbers by organist Ken Griffin.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) Oh, What A Beautiful Morning - 2:52(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
Hindsight Collectors' Label CS/LP/CDHsc/Hsr/Cdhsr 220 [CD rel. in 1994] — THE UNCOLLECTED PEGGY LEE, 1948    (1985)
Take 16 Public Domain CD(Denmark) 8013 — Peggy Lee ("16 Great Songs" Series)   (1990)
Music International Public Domain CS/CDP 6014/6002 — Old Favorites   (1992)
b. Master Take (World) You Do Something To Me - 1:35(Cole Porter)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Musicbank Public Domain CS/CD(United Kingdom) Apwmc / Apwcd 1183 — Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series)   (2001)
c. Master Take (World) Almost Like Being In Love - 1:56(Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
Riff City Entertainment Public Domain CDRcd 50 286 — It's A Good Day   (2004)
Dobre Public Domain MP3unknown — You Do Something To Me   (2007)
d. Master Take (World) Hard-Hearted Hannah - 1:49(Jack Yellen, Bob Bigelow, Milton Ager, Charles Bates)
e. Master Take (World) Me - 2:04(Irving Berlin)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
f. Master Take (World) Taking A Chance On Love - 2:03(Vernon Duke, Ted Fetter, John Latouche)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
All titles on: WORLD 16" Transcription Disc330   






Issues

1. World #330 [Transcription Disc]
Transcription discs that belong to World's Popular Vocal Section series usually include performances by two or more artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Moreover, each performance in the disc is identified by a letter of the alphabet -- sometimes by two letters. Disc #330 shows the following sequence and alphabetical letters:

A-F. Peggy Lee's six above-listed numbers.
G-I. Three numbers by The David Rose Orchestra.
J-H. Two numbers by Peter Yorke And The World Concert Orchestra.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) My Ideal - 2:21(Newell Chase, Leo Robin, Richard Whiting)
b. Master Take (World) My Future Just Passed - 3:30(Richard Whiting, George Marion, Jr.)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
Both titles on: WORLD 16" Transcription Disc338   


Issues

1. World #338 [Transcription Disc]
Transcription discs that belong to World's Popular Vocal Section series usually include performances by two or more artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Moreover, each performance in the disc is identified by a letter of the alphabet -- sometimes by two letters. Disc #338 shows the following sequence and the following letters:

A-C. Three numbers by The Ray Bloch Orchestra.
D-G. Four numbers by The New World Singers.
H-JK. Peggy Lee's two above-listed numbers.
L-O. Three numbers by Mimi Martel.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top - 2:11(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
K-tel Licensed CD(United Kingdom) Ecd 3741 (3740 3742) — The First Ladies ("American Legends" Series) {Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Judy Garland}   (2003)
Riff City Entertainment Public Domain CDRcd 50 286 — It's A Good Day   (2004)
Dobre Public Domain MP3unknown — You Do Something To Me   (2007)
b. Master Take (World) People Will Say We're In Love - 1:31(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
K-tel Licensed CD(United Kingdom) Ecd 3741 (3740 3742) — The First Ladies ("American Legends" Series) {Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Judy Garland}   (2003)
c. Master Take (World) Speak Low - 3:22(Ogden Nash, Kurt Weill)
Musicbank Public Domain CS/CD(United Kingdom) Apwmc / Apwcd 1183 — Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series)   (2001)
Musicbank Public Domain CD643638 — Memories Are Made Of This {Dean, Judy, Frank, Peggy, Nat, Doris}   (2006)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
Tgg Direct Public Domain CD011891 60252 5 — Best Of Peggy Lee   (2011)
All titles on: Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
WORLD 16" Transcription Disc342   


Issues

1. World #342 [Transcription Disc]
Generally, the discs that the World transcription service released as part of its Popular Vocal Section series feature multiple artists, whose song sets are sequenced one after the other. Disc #342 shows the following sequence:

A-F. Five numbers by Victor Young.
G, H, JK. Peggy Lee's three above-listed numbers.
L-M. Two numbers by The Three Suns.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc, bkv), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) Mean To Me - 3:10(Fred E. Ahlert, Roy Turk)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
b. Master Take (World) Bye, Bye, Blackbird - 3:00(Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
Both titles on: WORLD 16" Transcription Disc355   






Issues

1. World #355 [Transcription Disc]
Transcription discs that belong to World's Popular Vocal Section series usually include performances by two or more artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Moreover, each performance in the disc is identified by a letter of the alphabet -- sometimes by two letters. Disc #355 shows the following sequence and the following letters:

AB-CD. Peggy Lee's two above-listed numbers.
E-G. Three numbers by Russell Arms with The Russ Case Orchestra.
H-J. Three numbers by the Jan Van Kleffens World Concert Orchestra.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) I Get A Kick Out Of You - 2:25(Cole Porter)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
b. Master Take (World) Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive - 2:15(Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
c. Master Take (World) Somebody Loves Me - 3:15(Buddy G. DeSylva, George Gershwin, Ballard MacDonald)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
WORLD 16" Transcription Disc366   


Issues

1. World #366 [Transcription Disc]
Generally, the discs that the World transcription service released as part of its Popular Vocal Section series feature multiple artists, whose song sets are sequenced one after the other. Disc #366 shows the following sequence:

A, B, C-D. Peggy Lee's three above-listed numbers.
E-F. Two numbers by The Three Suns.
G-M. Seven numbers by The Daydreamers.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc, bkv), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) Mountain Greenery - 2:00(Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
b. Master Take (World) Button Up Your Overcoat - 1:59(Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson)
c. Master Take (World) What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry? - 2:00(Walter Donaldson, Abe Lyman)
All titles on: Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
WORLD 16" Transcription Disc389   






Issues

1. World #389 [Transcription Disc]
Peggy Lee's World performances can be found in discs from the company's Popular Vocal Section series. Those discs feature songs by multiple artists. Disc #389 contains the following:

Three numbers by The Dave Rose Orchestra.
Peggy Lee's three above-listed numbers.
Three numbers by The Ray Bloch Orchestra.
Four numbers by The Starlighters.


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) What's New? - 2:07(Johnny Burke, Bob Haggart)
DECCA©MCA CD(Japan) 28009 — Peggy Lee ("Best 22" Series)   (1991)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Musicbank Public Domain CS/CD(United Kingdom) Apwmc / Apwcd 1183 — Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series)   (2001)
b. Master Take (World) I Never Knew - 3:02(Ted Fiorito, Gus Kahn)
c. Master Take (World) We Kiss In A Shadow - 2:58(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
All titles on: Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — TAKING A CHANCE ON LOVE   (2008)
WORLD 16" Transcription Disc422   






Issues And Songs

1. World #422 [Transcription Disc]
Generally, the discs that the World transcription service released as part of its Popular Vocal Section series feature multiple artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Moreover, each performance in the disc is identified by a letter of the alphabet -- sometimes by two letters. Disc #422 shows the following sequence and the following letters:

A, B-C, D. Peggy Lee's three above-listed numbers.
E-F. Two numbers by Pete Marshall.
G-K. Five numbers by the Jan Van Kleffens Orchestra.

2. "What's New?"
3. "So, What's New?"
4. Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series) [CD]
Musicbank CD #1183 incorrectly lists the song "So, What's New?" among the tracks that it includes. Instead, the song heard in the Musicbank issue is this session's performance of "What's New?".


Date: Between 1953 And 1955
Label: WORLD

Peggy Lee (ldr), Unknown (acc), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (World) Don't Worry 'Bout Me - 2:15(Rube Bloom, Ted Koehler)
b. Master Take (World) It Ain't Necessarily So - 3:19(George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward)
MasterSong Public Domain CD(Australia) 5050572 9 — Fever; 24 Golden Classics   (2002)
Mastertech Public Domain CD(Australia) Mra 009 — Peggy Lee Collection; 61 Classic Performances ("Diamond Collection" Series)   (2004)
Weton Public Domain CD(Germany) 871742 301451 5 — Peggy Lee (aka I Can't Stop Loving You; "#1 Single Artist" Series)   (2005)
c. Master Take (World) Fools Rush In - 2:18(Rube Bloom, Johnny Mercer)
Musicbank Public Domain CS/CD(United Kingdom) Apwmc / Apwcd 1183 — Peggy Lee ("Greatest Hits" Series)   (2001)
MasterSong Public Domain CD(Australia) 5050572 9 — Fever; 24 Golden Classics   (2002)
K-tel Licensed CD(United Kingdom) Ecd 3741 (3740 3742) — The First Ladies ("American Legends" Series) {Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Judy Garland}   (2003)
All titles on: Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — PEGGY LEE SINGS FOR YOU   (1992)
Deja Vu/Retro Public Domain CD(Italy/United Kingdom & Italy) R2cd 94034 — Peggy Lee ("The Gold Collection" Series) [A 2nd, "Deluxe Edition" rel. 2001]   (1996)
Digimode/MusicPro Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Box 30072; 678654 — Peggy Lee ("Triple Treasures" Series)   (2002)
WORLD 16" Transcription Disc438   






Issues

1. World #438 [Transcription Disc]
Transcription discs that belong to World's Popular Vocal Section series usually include performances by two or more artists. All performances from the same artist are sequenced together. Disc #438 shows the following sequence:

A-G. Four numbers by the Peter Yorke World Concert Orchestra.
H, J-K, L. Peggy Lee's three above-listed numbers.
M-N. Two numbers by The Three Suns.


Australia's World

The World Transcription Service had an Australian branch, on which at least seven discs containing Peggy Lee performances were issued. Numerically, the earliest one was 615, shown directly below. (The flip side is also on display; it does not have any Lee tracks.)







The other six discs are pictured next. As a quick look will make clear, these Australian discs did not sequence Lee's performances in the same manner as the American ones, nor was her work paired with the same artists. Further details, including release date, remain unknown to me.



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For completeness purposes, I will also feature here the non-Le sides of the above-pictured discs.


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GENERAL NOTES: THE WORLD BROADCASTING SYSTEM

History And Ownership

The Pre-Ziv Years

Among the pioneers in the radio transcription business, the World Broadcasting System began producing transcriptions in 1929. It quickly established itself as one of the main providers of syndicated radio programming. (According to A. J. Millard in the book America On Record: A History Of Recorded Sound, the top-ranking companies were World, C.P. MacGregor, RCA/NBC Thesaurus, and Standard Radio Transcription Services.) World is also remembered as the first music company to issue discs that played at 33 r.p.m., the speed which became the common standard for both commercial LPs and radio transcriptions. (n.b.: World did not introduce 33 r.p.m, but adopted it from the film industry, where the speed had been used to record the soundtracks of early talkies.)

Around 1943, World's transcription catalogue was sold to Decca Records. According to Michel Ruppli's The Decca Labels: A Discography, the AFM recording ban was among the factors that elicited the purchase. (For details about the ban, see final notes in this discography's Goodman Years page.) Unable to do much recording activity and in need to refill the record company's depleting vaults, Decca's Jack Kapp signed a contract that allowed the label to release any material previously or subsequently recorded for World transcriptions, as long as participating musicians were paid full scale. The bargain did not provide Decca and Kapp with the desired results. For the period beginning in January and ending in June of 1948, Decca's net profit was reported to be $427,212, a disastrous decline from the net profit of $889, 149 that the company had earned during the same period in 1947.

The Ziv Years

In August of 1948, record trade magazines announced that Decca had sold World to Frederick W. Ziv, a Cincinnati-based impresario whose firm had been producing and distributing radio transcription programming since the 1930s.  He was said to have paid a total sum of $1,500,000 for the ownership rights. Peggy Lee's output for the World transcription service falls within the Ziv period.  (Indeed, the legend "World Broadcasting System, Inc., an affiliate of Frederic W. Ziv Co." is found in the World transcription discs that include Lee numbers.)  Ziv co-owned the company with John L. Sinn, who conducted its operations from New York.

Nowadays remembered as the primary, largest producer of syndicated radio programming during the 1930s and the 1940s (and the lead producer of independent TV programming in the 1950s), Ziv happened to have been born (1905) and raised in the city which held the headquarters of Proctor & Gamble (for many years, radio's leading national sponsor, whose association with soap products led to the creation of the term "soap opera" in the world of broadcasting).  As a recent University of Michigan law graduate pursuing a career in advertisement in the late 1920s, the Cincinnatian was thus well aware of the-then emerging, potentially profitable medium of radio programming, and sought out to carve his niche in it.  He opened his own ad agency in his hometown in 1930, which found success in producing slogans and shows for various local commercial outfits during the first half of the decade.  Ziv landed his first syndicated show in 1936, when he made an arrangement with the World Broadcasting System to nationally distribute The Freshest Thing In Town.  Starring a mischievous, presumably bread-hungry tough-street boy, the latter was a dramatic serial devised to promote the sale of Heidelberg rye bread, a brand from the Rubel Baking Company, another Cincinnati-based business.  

Although most Ziv Productionsi>Oklahoma Bob Albright & His Mountain Music became his very first (local, Cincinnatti) production.  In 1941, he saw  a six-man novelty-oriented ensemble performing at a Cincinnatti restaurant and hired them to star in a  15-minute syndicated music show baring the name that the impresario gave to them, The Korn Kobblers. It enjoyed considerable popularity. (Arguably more fanciful, a writeup from a song folio give credit to Guy Lombardo for the band's discovery and apparently omits Ziv's involvement.)  Among the ensuing music shows during the rest of the decade was The Barry Wood Show, a 15-minute offering that debuted in 1946 and featured Peggy Lee's Capitol labelmate Margaret Whiting in the role of girl singer.  Then there was The Guy Lombardo Show, created in 1947.  Geared toward an older but loyal audience, it is reported to have annually grossed about $300,000 in its first year(s), and to have earned the Ziv camp a $500,000 profit  when it was renewed in 1949.  It is no surprise, then, that the financially successful impresario had made the aforementioned decision to buy the World Broadcasting System (the company that had probably been transcribing and distributed most of his shows for syndication).

A well-written, highly informative, and far more extensive account of Ziv's career can be found at the website of radio personality and expert  Jim Ramsburg, author of the also recommended book Network Radio Ratings, 1932-1953.  (He relied in turn on a PhD dissertation about the Ziv emporium,  submitted by Morleen Getz Rouse to the University of Michigan in 1976.)   Ramsburg describes World's Ziv-owned years as follows:

In August, 1948, Ziv purchased the World Broadcasting System from Decca Records $1.5 Million, (14.5 Mil in today’s money).  World’s library service gave Ziv another revenue source - over 2,100 performances by top musical artists and a huge collection of sound effects and background music. The new owners began transforming World into a feature program service with titles [such as] Homemaking Harmonies and The People Choose along with news and sports capsules complete with promotion and merchandising materials. Two years later, with the push of Ziv's sales force, World reported 763 stations subscribing to its service and in October, 1953, KSFO/San Francisco brought the number to 1,000. 

Another notable achievement in the impresario's career was the creation in 1948 of Ziv Television Programs, which promptly became the prime brand for first-run syndicated TV programming.  Given Ziv's ties to television, World transcription recordings could have been played not only on the radio but also on the soundtrack of some television shows.  Although I do not have confirmation for such a possibility,  I am inclined to think that early TV producers resorted to pre-recorded vocals under certain occasions and circumstances.  One such circumstance would have been outdoors taping, during which mike pickup could be problematic.  An episode of the Colgate Comedy Hour comes to mind.  Telecast on February 20, 1955, the episode was filmed in and around a historic house in New Orleans.  Peggy Lee renders "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues" as she slowly steps down a spiral staircase, located inside the aforementioned house.  Lee's vocal on the show sounds identical, or nearly identical, to her World transcription version. (Additional details about this show will be found in the Guest Appearances section of this discography's TV pages, once those pages open for viewing.) 

Ziv retained ownership of his enterprises until 1959.  Disenchanted with the increasing control that the TV networks were exerting over independent TV production ("script and cast approvals" being particular sources of discontent), he sold 80% of his business to various Wall Street investment firms that year.  The following year, United Artists bought the other 20%, which involved Ziv's TV programming branch.  Ziv then proceeded to become an academician, spending a couple of decades as a lecturer at the University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music, and passing away in 2001 at the ripe age of 96 in his native hometown. (For more information about the impresario, see one of the three pages that have served as my main sources for Ziv-related data.  Part of the radio and television preservation project by Media Heritage, Inc., the page can be checked by clicking on this link.  Another main source was a page written by Chris Anderson for the Museum of Broadcast Communications.  At the present time, that page seems to have been taken down; it used to be viewable at this link.)

The Post-Ziv Years
  
After 1959, the exact identity of the owner of the World Broadcasting transcription service becomes a mystery. As already mentioned, one of my sources refers to a sale to "Wall Street investment firms," without further clarification.  Another source brings up a different buyer:  according to the previously mentioned book The Decca Labels: A Discography, Decca sold its World catalogue to the New Orleans-based label Circle Records, at an unspecified date.  (No mention of Ziv's involvement is made in Ruppli's statement.)

Circle Records has indeed issued lots of World material, much of it dating from the late 1940s and early 1950s.  Still active as of 2012, Circle is part of a family of labels (Jazzology) that has been operating since 1949. Owned by George H. Buck, Jr., the Jazzology roster also includes GBH, Progressive, Black Swan and Audiophile. Both Audiophile and Circle have issued albums containing World transcriptions.  Circle has concentrated on World transcriptions by big bands, Audiophile on transcriptions by vocalists -- e.g., the CDs Imagination by Dick Haymes and In A Class Beyond Compare by Bobby Troup, both released in 1994, and both culled from the World Records catalogue.  Some of the publicity ads that accompanied Audiophile's LPs mentioned Peggy Lee among the artists to be featured, but in the end none of her recordings were ever been issued on the label.

In 1999, the company Soundies released music from the archives of various transcription services.  Among those releases were the complete World transcriptions of two vocalists (Helen Forrest, Mel Tormé) and one instrumentalist (Ray Noble).  This company was actually a branch of a Chicago-based service that pressed albums for specialty labels.  Unfortunately, Soundies was a short-lived enterprise.  In 2000, the branch was actually planning the release of Peggy Lee's complete World transcriptions when, unfortunately, it stopped producing CDs.


World's Ties To Peggy Lee And To Decca Records

Frederick Ziv And Peggy Lee (The Hour Of Stars)

As the success of Ziv Productions continued on its upward pattern, the impresario proceeded to court the radio services of well-known stars from not only the radio realm but also the film industry.  Around 1947, before the purchase of the World Broadcasting System, one such famous name had been Ronald Colman, who was enjoying distinguished careers in both film and radio.  Post-World, there were Irene Dunne and Fred McMurray, cast as the leads in the radio sitcom Bright Star.  By late 1950, he was signing Humprey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, no less, for Bold Venture, an adventure series.  Unlike the mostly 15-minute series that he had produced before the mid-1940s, both of these were 30-minute show.   

A 60-minute show called The Hour of Stars became, according to Jim Ramsburg, the Ohian "33rd and final radio series of the Golden Age."  (Ziv would make more radio programs afterwards; Rambsburg's comment is circumscribed to the period that is generally considered closed by 1955. He might actually consider 1953 the very last years. A November 13, 1954 trade article reported Ziv's 1954 "plans for seven new musical and record series for January," including a half-hour daily Betty Grable-Harry James show that had already been pre-sold in 300 markets.)  Various 1953-1954 notes in Billboard and Variety refer to The Hour Of Stars as a "transcribed deejay show" from Ziv's company that "feature[d] Tony Martin, Ginger Rogers, Dick Powell and Peggy Lee, each introducing tunes on a quarter-hour segment."  Variety further categorized it as a "star-studded Shellac Show." 

According to one the earliest articles (July 25, 1953, Billboard), the program was "slated to begin airing in September as a five-hours-a-week series in which the 4 above-listed artists would be playing the role of deejays."  In the August 8, 1953 issue, the same periodical stated that the program had been already sold to 70 markets within its few days of availability, with Memphis' WMC as the the first station to have signed.

Two months after its prospective debut on the airwaves, the November 13, 1953 issue of Billboard was describing the program as "a daily hour record show" in which the aforementioned artists "jockey 15-minute segments of records ranging from pop, sweet and jazz to an occasional hillbilly platter."  The article would add that The Hour of Stars "was sold in more than 400 markets during its first year.  A third Billboard article would stress this general interest in quantities with the declaration that, by the time of the periodical's publication (December 19, 1953), the show was "airing on an increased number of radio stations."  Ramsburg states that the program had been pre-sold in 500 markets.

It is worth noting that the featured stars were all actors of Hollywood musicals, with the arguable exception of Peggy Lee.  The fact that she had just filmed her starring role in Warner Brothers' The Jazz Singer probably factored into her hiring.  In accordance with her movie status, she was paid less that the other three celebrities, though the pay was still, as Ramsburg aptly calls it, handsome: "$23,000 for her, $57,000 for Martin (a established name in both film and records at the time with nearly forty top 40 hits and about 30 movie appearances under his belt), and, falling in between, a $30,000 sum for Powell and also for Rogers.  "Each of the stars," adds Ramsburg, "was contracted to record 260 quarter hours, enough for 52 weeks of weekday strips"  Furthermore, each of their quarter-hour segments bore its own title, Tony Martin‘s Song Parade, The Ginger Rogers Show, Music Time With Dick Powell, and Peggy Lee Picks The Tunes

Because I have never listened to the show, I can mostly speculate about further specifics.  It seems that The Hour Of Stars was primarily dedicated to the playing of musical performances, preceded by announcements and spoken commentary from Lee, Martin, Powell, and Rogers.   The aforementioned Billboard entry from August 8, 1953 described the program as "a quarter-hour strip" starring Lee, Martin, Powell, and Rogers as "dee jays and storytellers." A November 13, 1954 entry states that the records played during the show's hour "rang[ed] from pop, sweet and jazz to an occasional hillbilly platter."  

Perhaps some of the stars played their own records, too. If so, Peggy Lee could have had the option to play some of the numbers that she had recorded for the World service.  Unfortunately, so far the extant literature at my reach has offered no indication that such was the case.

All the material heard in each episode -- the general announcements, the particular commentaries from the four star disc jockeys, the various musical performances -- must have been pre-recorded, arrived at participating radio stations in the form of transcription discs presumably called Hour Of Stars, and perhaps identifying themselves as World discs as well.  As for the recording process, we count with the following quote from a February 25, 1954 Variety article:  "With Ginger Rogers in London, Tony Martin in Philly, Peggy Lee in Palm Springs and Dick Powell here, [Ziv] still manages to turn out five hours a week of the deejay series for 517 stations. What makes it possible is tape, the worldliest traveler ..."  From another source, a tidbit that will be further discussed below (under the Dating section) states that Lee would spend one day recording for 20 hours of the show.  Additional mentions in articles dating from July and November of the same year suggest that The Hour Of Stars might have continued to produce new shows until the end of 1954. 


The World Broadcasting System And The Decca Record Company

Some radio transcription companies established exclusive associations with commercial record labels. For instance, Thesaurus was affiliated to RCA, and MacGregor worked closely with Capitol until 1945. An affiliation between World and Decca seems to have existed during the period in which Peggy Lee recorded the radio transcriptions discussed in the present page, but the exact nature of the two companies' association remains unclear to this discographer.

Clearly, World did not have an exclusive relationship with Decca, nor with any other record label. A sample of World transcription discs in the 300 and 400 range shows appearances by acts who at the time were signed not only to Decca (Dick Haymes) but also to Capitol (The Four Freshmen), Columbia (Doris Day). Still, the number of World transcription discs with numbers by Decca artists such as Haymes and Lee is comparatively high. Such high incidence suggests the possibility of a special contractual agreement between World and Decca. But I have not encountered any specifics on the nature of Decca's and World's association, except for Decca's aforementioned ownership of the transcription service's catalogue back in the 1940s. (In the specific case of the World masters that Decca artists such as Peggy Lee and Dick Haymes recorded in the early 1950s or thereabouts, all details at hand suggest that they were fully owned by Ziv, not Decca.)

It is worth noting that, of the 49 song titles listed in the sessions above, Peggy Lee recorded about a dozen of them not only for World but also for Decca. Whether casual or intentional, this "duplication" curiously stands in contrast with Lee's modus operandi while she was a Capitol artist: almost none of her recordings for MacGregor and Capitol transcriptions reappear in her commercial output for Capitol. (The Decca versions come off as craftier, more complex versions of the World transcriptions, which sound looser and more experimental. Both sets of versions have plenty to recommend, and neither set is inherently preferable to the other.)


Location Of World's Headquarters

From my inspection of various copies of World transcription discs, I have retrieved three different addresses for the company. These addresses are found on the discs' labels:

a) 488 Madison Avenue, New York (printed on the label of disc #300, among others)
b) 10 Columbus Circle, New York 10, NY (printed on the label of disc #309, among others)
c) 711 Fifth Avenue, New York 22, NY (printed on the label of various discs with numbers in the 200 range)

I assume that the curious multiplicity of addresses points to shifting headquarters -- or, otherwise, to branches and sub-divisions within the company.

Recording Facilities

At least until 1954, the World transcription company did not own a recording facility. Thus the company leased time and space from Manhattan's and Hollywood's recording studios. (According to Jim Ramsburg, Ziv had been using Hollywood's Famous Players Studios for his company's TV. No mention is made of recording facilities, though.l) Then, in 1954, press reports stated that owner Frederick Ziv had just bought his own studios, identified by Ramsburg as "the six-acre American National Studios, (aka Grand National Studios and Eagle Lion Studios), on Santa Monica Boulevard." I presume that this studio was exclusively dedicated to film (not transcription) recording, too.

Photos

Above: a still of Ziv from a 1998 videotaped interview, and an ad featuring the logo for Ziv's so-called Radio Productions. (There were also logos for his Television Productions. Those can be found in print and, naturally, within the credit cards for his tube shows.) Right below: advertisements on behalf of the syndicated Ziv radio show The Hour Of Stars, discussed above.




GENERAL NOTES, PART II: PEGGY LEE'S WORLD TRANSCRIPTION SESSIONS


Location Of Peggy Lee's World Sessions

The location (studio, city, state) at which Peggy Lee recorded her World transcription sessions remains unknown. None of my sources supply such data, nor has my research on this subject matter uncovered any specifics, either.

For what is worth, some of Peggy Lee's labelmates and peers recorded for this transcription service as well, and the recording location has been identified in a few of those cases. According to the liner notes of Dick Haymes' Audiophile CD Imagination, his World transcription sessions took place in both Los Angeles and New York -- the LA dates in 1949 and 1952, the NY dates in 1950. (During those years, Haymes was signed to Decca.) Mel Tormé's and Bobby Troup's World sessions are from a slightly later period than Haymes' and Lee's, but our knowledge of the venue at which they were recorded makes them worthy of mention. The venue: Radio Recorders, Hollywood, 1958.

Evidently, none of this collateral data establishes the exact location of Peggy Lee's transcription dates. It does tell us, however, that both LA and NY are possibilities, and it does point to Radio Records as a studio favored by World in the (late) 1950s.


Dating Of Peggy Lee's World Sessions

The exact dates on which Peggy Lee recorded her World transcriptions remain unknown. No dates are given in any of the primary sources that I have consulted.

One secondary source, the booklet of the Flare CD Taking A Chance On Love, does offer a series of dates for these transcriptions. Titles released on transcription discs #300 to #314 are dated 1951. Those from discs #318 to #389 receive a 1952 dating. As for the Lee numbers found in discs #422 and #438, they are listed as recorded in 1953.

This secondary source is, however, a suspect one. It does not reveal the origin or rationale behind these dates. Because Flare is a collector's label, with no known ties to official labels, disclosure of this matter would have been appreciated. It is my belief that, though its creator might have meant well, Flare's entire set of dates happens to be erroneous.

Fortunately, there are more sources to take into account. A very worthwhile one is the notably good memory of harpist Stella Castellucci. She has provided the strongest lead for a more specific dating. Castellucci remembers the sessions in which she participated as taking place some time shortly after she herself met Peggy Lee for the first time. Their initial meeting took place in the summer of 1953.

World's earliest Peggy Lee disc (# 300) certainly includes various performances that feature harp. It is thus possible that 1953 was the recording year of that disc's performances. The same year could also be proposed for performances from the discs that are numerically close (#309, #314, #318).

Castellucci's reminiscence is not the only piece of information that points to 1953 as the year in which an association between Lee and Ziv's company was established. We do have press material that points to a connection between the singer and the company during that year. See the section above about the Ziv-produced radio show The Hour Of Stars, which debuted in 1953 and must have been nationally distributed via World transcription discs.

To clarify the general point made so far: we can tentatively point to the year 1953 as the one in which Peggy Lee recorded her earliest World transcriptions.

As for the year in which Lee did any ensuing, post-1953 numbers for the transcription company, I have long presumed to have been 1955, though I have never counted with firm evidence to support my belief. One detail worth pondering is the relatively high incidence of songs that the singer recorded as part of both her 1955 Decca album Songs From Pete Kelly's Blues and her World transcription output. Such songs are found in Lee's later discs from the series: "Bye, Bye, Blackbird" (disc #355), "Somebody Loves Me" (disc #366), "What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry?" (disc #389), and "I Never Knew" (disc #422).

But the year 1954 is by no means out of the question. To judge from a tidbit printed by Variety on its July 13, 1954 issue, Lee was still a disc jockey for Hour Of Stars at that time. The tidbit informs readers of Lee's intention to tape 20 Hour Of Stars shows in one day. Of further interest is the following comment, found in an article-interview published by Redbook magazine in April of 1955: “Last year Peggy planned six months ahead to attend a week of lectures at a Carmel, California, religious retreat. She drove a thousand miles from a Lake Tahoe engagement, via Hollywood, to the seminar. On her second day, she was called back to work. During the rest of that week, she recorded 24 songs, prepared and opened a new nightclub act at Ciro's, rehearsed a live television program, painted her terrace and started a bedspread for her daughter's room.” From this quote, the portion that most calls my attention is the claim that Lee recorded 24 songs within an one-week span. There is no indication of such heightened activity in her Decca session files. Hence, if the claim is not a vast overstatement, it is reasonable to assume that at least some of the 24 songs in question were recorded for World transcriptions. The main suspects would be the 14 songs that ended up being distributed over transcription discs #355, #366, #389, #422, and #438. (If accurate, the 24-song claim could also be an indication that Lee recorded about 10 more transcription numbers about which we know nothing -- numbers that World would have left unissued, and which could thus be lost for posterity.) Lee is known to have opened at Ciro’s on Friday, March 26, 1954. Hence, if this was her only Ciro’s engagement for the year 1954, the songs would have been waxed during the second or third week of March 1954. But this entire line of reasoning is high hypothetical.

In short, the clues that could help in the labor of dating Peggy Lee’s World transcriptions are vague and scarce. Given the absence of additional or more precise data, I have chosen to assign the same "umbrella date" to all the World masters: between 1953 and 1955 (with the earliest-known masters tentatively circumscribed to the first of these three years).


Sessioning Of Peggy Lee's World Masters

In the case of the transcription tracks under discussion, lack of essential discographical information (i.e., recording dates, matrix numbers, etc.) has posed a dilemma: should all 49 of Peggy Lee's World performances be listed within one single huge session, or should they be sub-divided into more 'digestible' segments? In the original version of this discography, I simply listed all performances under one big session. But in subsequent updates, including this one, I have sessioned the songs according to the transcription discs in which they can be found.

Though it is obviously artificial, such a sessioning method has its advantages. It facilitates the handling and indexing of Lee's World performances, and, for readers, it should prove less overwhelming than the sight of one "single session" consisting of nearly 50 masters.

Despite its deceptive appearance of artificiality, this sessioning method could eventually prove to be accurate, after all. In the case of other transcription companies, it has been shown that the performances on a given disc were recorded direct-to-disc -- i.e., on the same day, and in the order in which they appear on disc. If World recorded Lee's tracks in the same manner, then the above-shown track order would reflect the real sequence and sessioning of the masters.


Personnel Of Peggy Lee's World Sessions

The official sources available to me do not identify the musicians that accompanied Peggy Lee in her World sessions. Despite statements to the contrary (detailed below), the personnel for these sessions remains completely unknown, except for the two females involved: Peggy Lee herself and harpist Stella Castellucci. (In 2008, the harpist corroborated that she had indeed participated in some of the sessions. Harp can be prominently heard in selected World transcription numbers, such as "Autumn In New York" from disc #300, "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" from disc #309, "Come Rain Or Come Shine" from disc #314, and "We Kiss In A Shadow" from disc #422.)

One of the CDs that makes uncorroborated personnel claims is It's A Good Day, a Public Domain release from the label Riff City. Listed as collective personnel in that compact disc are Jimmy Rowles, Pete Candoli, Ed Shaughnessy, and Max Wayne. Those are actually the musicians who played in Lee's 1953 album Black Coffee. Riff City -- perhaps aware of the circa 1953 date that this discography gives to the World transcriptions -- apparently assumed that the personnel would have to be the same one heard in the Decca album.

There is no evidence to justify the listing of that personnel as if it were a matter of fact. Nor is there reason to assume that the musicians who played in all 49 masters were the same ones throughout. On the contrary: given the large number of World transcriptions that Lee recorded, changes in personnel are likely. Moreover, instruments other than those regularly played by Rowles, Candoli, Shaughnessy, and Wayne are heard in various masters. The large number of masters also suggest that they were recorded not in a matter of days but over a span of time that could go well beyond 1953. For all those reasons, I strongly object to Riff's or to any source's passing of that personnel as the official one for the entire World output.

Having voiced that objection, the validity of the collective personnel listed by Riff must be acknowledged, as long as it is presented as an educated guess, and as a partial personnel. The combined presence of Rowles, Candoli, Shaughnessy, and Wayne is a logical proposition particularly for the transcriptions that seem to have been recorded earliest. Since those musicians are the same ones who were regularly playing live with Lee in 1953, and since they went to the studio with her for the recording of that year's album Black Coffee, there is a good chance that they also accompanied her for whichever many transcription sessions that took place in 1953. What's more, the trumpet player heard in various World masters does sound like Pete Candoli.

The second CD in which that same personnel is incorrectly presented as if it were official is Come Rain Or Come Shine. Besides Candoli, Shaughnessy, and Wayne, the notes of the Starbucks CD add Dave Barbour on guitar and Milt Gabler as producer. Both men are rather unlikely possibilities. I have found no indication that Gabler was involved in the production of World transcriptions. As for Barbour, he seldom recorded with Lee after the couple divorced (1951), and the guitar playing in these sessions differ from the style for which he has become known.

To sum up, the personnel of Lee's World transcriptions remains unknown, aside from the singer and the harpist. No reliable source available to me reveals it. (Since the leader, dating and location of the sessions are also unknown, the musicians' names cannot be retrieved from AFM, the most reliable source for personnel.) The instrumentation points to a small combo at play -- that is, a rhythm section plus, sometimes, two or three additional players, including a harpist, a trumpet player, and extra percussion. Prominent in a fair portion of the songs is a latinized approach, which obviously suggests the presence of one or more Latin-oriented musicians. (This approach also re-affirms Lee's interest in Latin rhythms, prevalent in her discography from the 1940s to her last years of performing, in the 1990s.)


Commercial Issues Of Peggy Lee's World Transcriptions

Meant for radio airplay only, World transcription recordings were not originally available to the general public. Nonetheless, many of them found their way to retail (LP, Cassette, CD) over the years -- especially from the 1980s onwards.

More specifically, Peggy Lee's 49 World transcriptions began making commercial appearances in 1985, when Hindsight Records released 6 of them in their album The Uncollected Peggy Lee, 1948.

Seven years later (1992), the British label Avid issued the CD Peggy Lee Sings For You, which boasted 19 additional World performances not previously available to the public. (The disc actually has 20 tracks, all of them World numbers. The 20th number, "Just One Of Those Things," was among the 6 that the 1985 Hindsight album had already made commercially available.)

Thus 25 of Peggy Lee's 49 World performances were commercially issued during the last years of the past century.

In March of 2008, the Public Domain label Flare Records issued most of the remaining 24 transcriptions in a CD titled Taking A Chance On Love. Of the CD's 25 tracks, 21 had not been made available to the public before. (As for the other 3 titles included in the Flare disc, all of them had been previously released in Avid's Peggy Lee Sings For You: "Speak Low," "What's New?" and "Fools Rush In.")

To sum up, the Public Domain labels Hindsight, Avid, and Flare are to be thanked for the combined release of 46 World transcriptions, although it should also be noted that the sound quality of their respective products is just acceptable, not optimal.

As for the other record companies whose CDs are listed in this page, all of them appropriated the material initially made available by Hindsight and Avid. And the majority of them do not limit themselves to the inclusion of just World transcriptions. Their compact discs are, for the most part, mismatches of performances from diverse sources and from various decades of Peggy Lee's career -- i.e., a melange of studio recordings currently in the public domain, radio transcriptions from multiple services, and songs culled from original radio broadcasts).

Still awaiting for commercial release are just three of the performances that Peggy Lee recorded for World: "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues," "Hard-Hearted Hannah" and "My Ideal."

In conclusion, Lee's World transcription recordings have yet to receive a complete and proper compact disc issue. For listeners wishing to sample the singer's World output, the better choice is the Deja Vu / Retro 2-CD set Peggy Lee ("Gold Collection" Series). It includes all 20 World numbers that Avid originally released in the CD Peggy Lee Sings For You, as well as tracks taken from other sources. (Incidentally, Deja Vu's CD set has been issued in two editions. The second, so-called Deluxe Edition substantially improves on the sound quality of the first edition. Both editions are out of print by now, but copies might still be found in commercial music sites online.)


Issues: Misleading Data In The Hindsight Album The Uncollected Peggy Lee: 1948

Hindsight's issue The Uncollected Peggy Lee (pictured below, first image) offers some factual data that is inaccurate or, at best, misleading. Specifics will be discussed below.

A. Dating And Origins Of The Tracks
In my estimation, none of the 12 tracks included in Hindsight's album The Uncollected Peggy Lee, 1948 dates from 1948. Half of them are World transcriptions, which means that they were recorded between 1952 and 1956. (Those six World transcription tracks are "'Deed I Do," "Just One Of Those Things," "Let There Be Love," "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "You," and "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning.") Of the non-World tracks, "Love Is Just Around The Corner" is a Capitol transcription and was recorded on May 14, 1946. The remaining five performances ("Riding High," "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues," "It's A Good Day," "Do I Love You? " and "I've Got The World On A String") come from radio shows broadcast in the early 1950s. (Those will be listed in this discography's radio pages, once they open for viewing.)

B. Personnel
This Hindsight album credits the orchestras of Dave Barbour and Billy May as the accompaniment on these tracks. As previously discussed, the identity of the personnel of Peggy Lee's World transcriptions is unknown.

Even so, neither the Barbour nor the May credit is likely to apply to more than a few of the 12 tracks. Barbour is definitely present in one, the Capitol transcription "Love Is Just Around The Corner." But the characteristic sound of Barbour's guitar is nowhere to be heard in any of the other 11 tracks, which I believe to date from the years after Lee and Barbour's divorce (1951).

Billy May could have backed Peggy Lee in the five numbers that originate in early 1950s radio broadcasts. Although the two artists co-guested in those radio shows, it is not clear if the orchestra behind Lee is being backed by May himself. Stylistically, the backing certainly sounds May-like. (For further details about those five show tracks, see this discography's page for War & Government Transcriptions, 1951, once that page opens for viewing.)

In the specific case of the album's six World tracks, none of them evince any clear aural traces of Barbour's or May's playing.

(Images below: five compact discs dedicated, to a greater or lesser extent, to Peggy Lee's World transcriptions. All of them were issued by Public Domain labels. The first was just discussed right above. By supplying, in conjunction, the bulk of Lee's World material, the second and the third discs compliment one another. A 2CD set, the fourth issue includes 18 of the same 20 tracks available in the second CD, plus 22 tracks from other sources. The fifth item is actually a reissue of the fourth, and deserves notice for sporting better, clearer sound quality.)





Sessions Reported: 13

Performances Reported: 49

Unique Songs Reported: 49

Unique Issues Reported: 82