Peggy Lee's Bio-Discography:
The World Transcriptions

by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Page generated on May 31, 2018






Preliminaries

Peggy Lee recorded 49 masters on behalf of the World Broadcasting System, a company that specialized in making and distributing music only for radio and television broadcasting. The stations received Lee's music in the form of 16" vinyl discs which played at 33 revolutions per minute. This page starts off by covering the four sessions during which the 49 masters were recorded, and then moves on to extensive discussion of related matters, from World's history through the 16" radio transcription discs from the 1950s to the commercial albums on which the World masters have been commercially released in more recent times.


Photos Above

The first image is a photograph of Frederick W. Ziv, who was the owner of the World Broadcasting System when Peggy Lee made her transcription recordings for that company. The second image displays an advertisement for The Hour Of Stars (1953-1955), one of the many syndicated radio shows that Ziv produced, and on whose 1955 episodes Lee's World transcriptions could have been occasionally played. In the third image, two of the hosts of The Hour Of Stars have been caught together, with an orchestra behind them. One of them, Peggy Lee, sings, while the other, Tony Martin, gazes intently. (This photo dates from the first half of 1951. I should clarify that, other than featuring two future Hour Of Stars hosts, the photo bears no relation to that show. Actually, its exact occasion is unknown to me. The likeliest scenario is a Lee guest appearance on one of Martin's radio shows -- perhaps CBS' The Carnation Contented Hour, which Martin co-hosted for the first half of 1951, until June 10, and then again after the summer hiatus, starting on September 16, for what would turn out to be that show's final half season.)


CD Recommendations

This topic receives discussion at the bottom of the page. In a nutshell, collectors should be thankful for Audiophile's release of all 49 World transcription masters on the 2CD set World Broadcast Recordings, but should keep in mind that the sound quality of that set is merely adequate. Clean and optimally-sounding transfers of all 49 masters are actually known to exist, and to be under safekeeping. Over the years, the repeated release of the masters on several labels has thwarted plans to release such transfers on compact disc. Here is hoping that they will be finally issued in the future, after the currently available CD options go out of print.


Technical Clarifications

Blue arrowheads can be seen in some of the sessions below. Click on them if you want to see a full list of issues (i.e., LPs, CDs, etc.) containing any given Peggy Lee performance. (If the given arrowhead is left unchecked, only a small sample of items is visible on the page).


Date: February 8, 1955
Location: Studio 1, Radio Recorders Annex, 1032 North Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: World

Peggy Lee (ldr), William "Bill" Pitman (g), Bob Whitlock or Don Prell (b), Gene DiNovi (p), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Larry Bunker or Ramón "Ray" Rivera (d), Jack Costanzo (bo), Peggy Lee (v)

a. L 53784-5Master Take (World) That Old Black Magic - 2:08(Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)
World Transcription Disc309   (1955)
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)
b. L 53785-1Master Take (World) My Romance - 2:24(Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
World Transcription Disc314   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
c. L 53786-1Master Take (World) Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea - 2:13(Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler)
World Transcription Disc314   (1955)
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)
d. L 53787-1Master Take (World) Love Me Or Leave Me - 2:06(Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn)
World Transcription Disc300   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
e. L 53788-1Master Take (World) 'Deed I Do - 2:02(Walter Hirsch, Fred Rose)
World Transcription Disc318   (1955)
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)
f. L 53789-2Master Take (World) Autumn In New York - 2:26(Vernon Duke) / arr: Victor Young
World Transcription Disc300   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
g. L 53790-4Master Take (World) Just One Of Those Things - 2:13(Cole Porter)
World Transcription Disc318   (1955)
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)
h. L 53791-8Master Take (World) Let's Call It A Day - 2:34(Lew Brown, Ray Henderson)
World Transcription Disc300   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
i. L 53792-3Master Take (World) Let There Be Love - 2:05(Ian Grant, Lionel Rand)
World Transcription Disc318   (1955)
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)
j. L 53793-1Master Take (World) Come Rain Or Come Shine - 2:25(Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer)
World Transcription Disc314   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
k. L 53794-6Master Take (World) I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful) - 1:49(Harry Ruskin, Henry Sullivan)
World Transcription Disc300   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
l. L 53795-3Master Take (World) I Feel A Song Coming On - 1:31(Dorothy Fields, Jimmy McHugh, George Oppenheimer)
World Transcription Disc314   (1955)
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)
All titles on: Audiophile Collectors' Label CDAcd 354 & Acd 355 — WORLD BROADCAST RECORDINGS 1955   (2017)





Photos

Two of the 13 transcription discs on which Peggy Lee's World masters were originally distributed to radio stations across the United States. For further details, scroll past the August 9, 1955 session below.


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, as well as an arrangement of "Too Marvelous For Words" credited to Marty Paich.

One caveat: 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.

More incidentally, I'd likely to add a piece of trivia. Lee's music library happens to include Victor Young arrangements of not just one but two autumnal songs: "Autumn In New York" and "Autumn In Rome."


Date: February 9, 1955
Location: Studio 1, Radio Recorders Annex, 1032 North Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: World

Peggy Lee (ldr), William "Bill" Pitman (g), Bob Whitlock or Don Prell (b), Gene DiNovi (p), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Larry Bunker or Ramón "Ray" Rivera (d), Jack Costanzo (bo), Peggy Lee (v)

a. L 53796-7Master Take (World) You're Mine, You - 2:31(Johnny Green, Edward Heyman)
World Transcription Disc309   (1955)
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. L 53797-4Master Take (World) I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues - 2:13(Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) / arr: Billy May
World Transcription Disc327   (1955)
c. L 53798-5Master Take (World) Try A Little Tenderness - 2:22(Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Harry Woods)
World Transcription Disc314   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
d. L 53799-2Master Take (World) Too Marvelous For Words - 1:29(Johnny Mercer, Richard Whiting) / arr: Marty Paich
World Transcription Disc300   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
e. L 53800-1Master Take (World) I Get A Kick Out Of You - 2:25(Cole Porter)
World Transcription Disc366   (1955)
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)
f. L 53801-3Master Take (World) What Is This Thing Called Love? - 2:16(Cole Porter)
World Transcription Disc327   (1955)
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)
g. L 53802-5Master Take (World) It's A Good Day - 2:09(Dave Barbour, Peggy Lee)
World Transcription Disc309   (1955)
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)
h. L 53803-2Master Take (World) I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good - 2:54(Duke Ellington, Paul Francis Webster)
World Transcription Disc309   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
i. L 53804-1Master Take (World) Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive - 2:15(Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen)
World Transcription Disc366   (1955)
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)
j. L 53805-2Master Take (World) Sans Souci - 2:45(Joseph F. "Sonny" Burke, Peggy Lee)
World Transcription Disc309   (1955)
Avid Collectors' Label CS/CD(United Kingdom) Avm/Avc 514 — Peggy Lee Sings For You   (1992)
k. L 53806-2Master Take (World) Them There Eyes - 1:46(Maceo Pinkard, Doris Tauber, William Tracey)
World Transcription Disc300   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
l. L 53807-1Master Take (World) From This Moment On - 2:14(Cole Porter)
World Transcription Disc314   (1955)
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)
m. L 53808-2Master Take (World) You - 2:05(Harold Adamson, Walter Donaldson) / arr: Henry J. "Heinie" Beau
World Transcription Disc327   (1955)
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)
All titles on: Audiophile Collectors' Label CDAcd 354 & Acd 355 — WORLD BROADCAST RECORDINGS 1955   (2017)





Photos

Two of the 13 transcription discs on which Peggy Lee's World masters were originally distributed to radio stations across the United States. For further details, scroll past the August 9, 1955 session below.


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. (Caveat: 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.)

Incidentally, Lee and May jointly performed another version of the song "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues," which should not be confused with this one. The second version was taped for the AFRS National Guard show Let's Go To Town, which was originally broadcast in the mid-1950s. The Let's Go To Town version features an arrangement which, leaving aside some minor adjustments, sounds very similar to the one heard in this session. (The second version in question is to be listed in this discography's page for War And Government Transcriptions, which is currently under construction.)


Date: August 8, 1955
Location: Studio 1, Radio Recorders Annex, 1032 North Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: World

Peggy Lee (ldr), Walter "Pete" Candoli (t), William "Bill" Pitman (g), Bob Whitlock or Don Prell (b), Gene DiNovi (p), Larry Bunker or Ramón "Ray" Rivera (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a. L 54087-2Master Take (World) The Surrey With The Fringe On The Top - 2:11(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
World Transcription Disc342   (1955)
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)
b. L 54088-1Master Take (World) Me - 2:04(Irving Berlin)
World Transcription Disc330   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
c. L 54089-2Master Take (World) Oh, What A Beautiful Morning - 2:52(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
World Transcription Disc330   (1955)
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)
d. L 54090-1Master Take (World) Mountain Greenery - 2:00(Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
World Transcription Disc389   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
e. L 54091-3Master Take (World) You Do Something To Me - 1:35(Cole Porter)
World Transcription Disc330   (1955)
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)
f. L 54092-2Master Take (World) What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry? - 2:00(Walter Donaldson, Abe Lyman)
World Transcription Disc389   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
g. L 54093-1Master Take (World) Almost Like Being In Love - 1:56(Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe)
World Transcription Disc330   (1955)
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)
h. L 54094-2Master Take (World) Button Up Your Overcoat - 1:59(Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson)
World Transcription Disc389   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
i. L 54095-3Master Take (World) People Will Say We're In Love - 1:31(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
World Transcription Disc342   (1955)
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)
K-tel Licensed CD(United Kingdom) Ecd 3741 (3740 3742) — The First Ladies ("American Legends" Series) {Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Judy Garland}   (2003)
j. L 54096-4Master Take (World) Taking A Chance On Love - 2:03(Vernon Duke, Ted Fetter, John Latouche)
World Transcription Disc330   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
k. L 54097-2Master Take (World) Hard-Hearted Hannah - 1:49(Jack Yellen, Bob Bigelow, Milton Ager, Charles Bates)
World Transcription Disc330   (1955)
l. L 54098-1Master Take (World) The Best Things In Life Are Free - 1:38(Lew Brown, Buddy G. DeSylva, Ray Henderson)
World Transcription Disc327   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
All titles on: Audiophile Collectors' Label CDAcd 354 & Acd 355 — WORLD BROADCAST RECORDINGS 1955   (2017)






Photos

Two of the 13 transcription discs on which Peggy Lee's World masters were originally distributed to radio stations across the United States. For further details, scroll past the August 9, 1955 session below.


Date: August 9, 1955
Location: Studio 1, Radio Recorders Annex, 1032 North Sycamore Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Label: World

Peggy Lee (ldr), Walter "Pete" Candoli (t), William "Bill" Pitman (g), Bob Whitlock or Don Prell (b), Gene DiNovi (p), Stella Castellucci (hrp), Larry Bunker or Ramón "Ray" Rivera (d), Peggy Lee (v)

a. L 54099-1Master Take (World) Bye, Bye, Blackbird - 3:00(Mort Dixon, Ray Henderson)
World Transcription Disc355   (1955)
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)
b. L 54100-2Master Take (World) Speak Low - 3:22(Ogden Nash, Kurt Weill)
World Transcription Disc342   (1955)
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)
c. L 54101-1Master Take (World) My Ideal - 2:21(Newell Chase, Leo Robin, Richard Whiting)
World Transcription Disc338   (1955)
d. L 54102-5Master Take (World) What's New? - 2:07(Johnny Burke, Bob Haggart)
World Transcription Disc422   (1955)
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)
e. L 54103-1Master Take (World) Somebody Loves Me - 3:15(Buddy G. DeSylva, George Gershwin, Ballard MacDonald)
World Transcription Disc366   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
f. L 54104-2Master Take (World) Don't Worry 'Bout Me - 2:15(Rube Bloom, Ted Koehler)
World Transcription Disc438   (1955)
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)
Not Now Music Public Domain CD(United Kingdom) Not2cd 698 — Cheek To Cheek; Frank Sinatra & Peggy Lee   (2018)
g. L 54105-3Master Take (World) We Kiss In A Shadow - 2:58(Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rodgers)
World Transcription Disc422   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
h. L 54106-1Master Take (World) It Ain't Necessarily So - 3:19(George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Dubose Heyward)
World Transcription Disc438   (1955)
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)
i. L 54107-1Master Take (World) Mean To Me - 3:10(Fred E. Ahlert, Roy Turk)
World Transcription Disc355   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
j. L 54108-1Master Take (World) Fools Rush In - 2:18(Rube Bloom, Johnny Mercer)
World Transcription Disc438   (1955)
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)
k. L 54109-2Master Take (World) I Never Knew - 3:02(Ted Fiorito, Gus Kahn)
World Transcription Disc422   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
l. L 54110-3Master Take (World) My Future Just Passed - 3:30(Richard Whiting, George Marion, Jr.)
World Transcription Disc338   (1955)
Flare Collectors' Label CD(United Kingdom) Roycd 269 — Taking A Chance On Love   (2008)
All titles on: Audiophile Collectors' Label CDAcd 354 & Acd 355 — WORLD BROADCAST RECORDINGS 1955   (2017)





Photos

Two of the 13 transcription discs on which Peggy Lee's World masters were originally distributed to radio stations across the United States. For further details, see entry right after this session (America's World).


Issues And Songs
1. "What's New?"
2. "So, What's New?"
3. 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?".


GENERAL NOTES



I. 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. Around 1943, World's transcription catalogue was sold to Decca Records. A basic overview of this transcription service is provided in a miscellaneous page of the present discography. (Space is also reserved there for biographical data about the service's main players, including Percy L. Deutsch, Milton Diamond, Robert Friedheim, Herb Gordon, and Gus Haenschen.)


The Ziv Years

In August of 1948, record trade magazines announced that Decca had sold World's catalogue to Frederick W. Ziv, a Cincinnati-based impresario whose firm had been producing and distributing radio transcription programming since the 1930s.  Previous editions of this discography offered details about Ziv and his enterprises in this space. The current edition has moved such details to the aforementioned page of miscellanea. Ziv retained ownership of his enterprises until 1959.


The Post-Ziv Years: Investment Market Interim
  
The post-1959 owners of the World Broadcasting Transcription Service receive no more than a fleeting mention or two in the sources that I have consulted. Essentially, the transcription service quickly passed through the hands of two investment firms, the first with offices in Philadelphia, the second a Wall Street enterprise.  


The George Buck Years

In 1969, World's catalogue of transcriptions was purchased by George Herman Buck Jr., a major preservationist in the field of traditional (Dixieland/New Orleans & Chicago-style) jazz, and a passionate advocate of jazz in all its facets. For biographical details, consult this discography's general essay about World & the early history of radio transcriptions.


The Audiophile And Soundies Files

Preservationist George Buck and his successors are also the owners of a family of labels which are collectively known as Jazzology. Portions of the World transcription catalogue have been released on two of those labels, Audiophile and Circle.

Not connected to Buck, Soundies was an equally worthwhile label that dedicated itself to the release of transcriptions, and which is now defunct. Both Soundies and Audiophile made plans to issue Peggy Lee's World transcription performances, but only one of these labels carried their plans to fruition. Further details can be found, once again, in this discography's miscellaneous essay about World and various transcription-related ventures.


Photos

Up above: a still of Ziv from a 1998 videotaped interview, and an ad featuring the logo for Ziv's so-called Radio Productions. (Naturally, his Television Productions also carried several logos over the years. I have provided no images of those here, but they can be found elsewhere -- in magazines and on kinescopes of the tube shows themselves.)

Right below: advertisements on behalf of the syndicated Ziv radio show The Hour Of Stars, to be discussed next.





II. The Hour of Stars

The Wizard Of Cincinnati

The Cincinnati-based firm Ziv Productions started creating and distributing radio transcription programming in the 1930s, meeting with general success. As the years went by, the firm continued on an upward pattern. Owner Fred Ziv expanded his business enterprise with the purchase of companies such as the World Broadcasting System (1948). Concurrently, the impresario courted the radio services of well-known stars from both the radio and film industries. He also hired a few but effective key players to carry on with his projects outside of the Cincinnati area. Herb Gordon was one of those players.


Herb Gordon Does Hollywood

Gordon had transitioned from being a drummer in the Syracuse area (NY) to becoming a talent agent, first with the Frederick Bros. music firm, and then, starting in November of 1942, at the prestigious William Morris Talent Agency (with which Peggy Lee would remain for the bulk of her career). Initially, Gordon served as a recruiter of small ensembles, hired on behalf of cocktail-lounge proprietors and other William Morris clients who owned similar music facilities. By mid-1945, he had joined the staff of the agency's radio department. It was probably under that capacity which Gordon met Ziv. When Ziv would sign a talent such as singer Kenny Baker to do a daily 15-minute radio show, the then-New-York-based Gordon would travel to Hollywood to arrange the deal. A Gordon-Ziv relationship was established.

On its March 2, 1946 issue, Billboard referred to Herb Gordon as the recently hired Program and Production Director for the World Broadcasting System (WBS), which was just embarking on the project of producing transcribed shows (as opposed to transcribed music performances). Since WBS had long served as manufacturer and distributor for Ziv's own radio programs, the impresario's eventual purchase of the company (1948) should not come as a surprise. Neither should the continuation of the Ziv-Gordon relationship, with the latter at the helm of WBS and other Ziv projects for the rest of the 1940s and into the early 1950s.


Stars (By The Half Hour)

Aiming at a high profile, some of those other Ziv projects involved the recruitment of major names. One such nominal star was Ronald Colman, who enjoyed a distinguished career in both film and radio.  Ziv and Gordon recruited Colman in 1947 or thereabouts -- shortly before the impresario's purchase of the World Broadcasting System. Then, some time after the purchase of World, they also acquired the services of Irene Dunne and Fred McMurray, casting the couple as the leads of a radio sitcom, Bright Star.  Moving ahead to the next decade, the year 1950 found Ziv and company proudly announcing the signing of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall for Bold Venture, an adventure series.  

Incidentally, all these late 1940s and early 1950s Ziv programs differed from his earlier ones in the duration of each episode. Installments of both Bold Venture and Bright Star lasted 30-minutes, whereas the Ziv productions of earlier years had been mostly 15-minute series. Next on the horizon would be a 60-minute show titled The Hour Of Stars.


The Hour Of Stars

Various 1953-1954 notices 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."  Conception, development, and hiring for the program was carried out by the aforementioned Herb Gordon, who by this point held the title of Western Program and Talent Chief. (More informally, press articles refer to him as the vice-president of both Ziv Productions and its subsidiary, World Broadcasting.)

One of the earliest press articles to mention the program was published by Variety on March 13, 1953. Tony Martin had told the periodical that he was about to sign a contract with Ziv Transcriptions, which had plans for an hour-long disc jockey program on which he would alternate with Lee, Rogers, and Powell, ".each handling a 15-min. segment of in-between gab and intros." It is thus clear that, by that point in time, the program's basic format had already been determined. No mention of the show's name was made, however.

On July 25, 1953, Billboard announced that The Hour Of Stars was "slated to begin airing in September as a five-hours-a-week series in which the four above-listed artists would be playing the role of deejays."  In its August 8, 1953 issue, the same periodical added that the program had been already sold to 70 markets. Memphis' WMC had been the first station to sign. Within the first few days of availability, all the other 69 stations had followed suit. Additional stations were picked up in ensuing months. For instance, the subscription of KGO in San Francisco received a quick mention on the September 17, 1953 issue of Variety.

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 had been "sold in more than 400 markets during its first year.  A third Billboard article (December 19, 1953) would further stress the notion of widespread interest in the show from local stations: we are told that the show was "airing on an increased number of radio stations."  Writing in more recent times, radio expert Jim Ramsburg reports that the program wounded up being pre-sold in 500 markets.


A Further Look Into The Hour

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 which were played during the show's hour "rang[ed] from pop, sweet and jazz to an occasional hillbilly platter."  

All the material heard on each episode (i.e., the general announcements, the commentaries from the four dj stars, the various musical performances) had been pre-recorded. Each pre-taped episode arrived at participating radio stations in the form of transcription discs which identified themselves as being Ziv productions. I have not seen any of them. but presume that they bore the title Hour Of Stars. Seen below are discs for other Ziv shows; note that the share the same design, color, and headings on top ("fwz") and bottom ("Frederic W. Ziv Company"). A shot of Fred Ziv has also been included.





A Further Look Into The Stars

It is worth noting that the featured stars were all actors of Hollywood musicals. There was only one arguable exception: Peggy Lee.  Perhaps the fact that she had just finished filming a starring role in Warner Brothers' The Jazz Singer factored into her hiring.  In accordance with her incipient status as a movie personality, 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 that point in time, with about 30 movie appearances & nearly forty top 40 hits under his belt). Falling in between Martin and Lee, the salary for the other two names (Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers) was $30,000.  "Each of the stars," explains Ramsburg, "was contracted to record 260 quarter hours, enough for 52 weeks of weekday strips."  Moreover, each of the artists' quarter-hour segments bore its own title. Namely: Tony Martin‘s Song Parade, The Ginger Rogers Show, Music Time With Dick Powell, and Peggy Lee Picks The Tunes


Star Sightings (Or Lack Thereof)

We actually count with received commentary about the stars' pre-recording schedule. According to an article in the February 25, 1954 issue of the New York-based periodical Variety:  "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 ..." Another noteworthy tidbit is found on the July 13, 1954 issue of that periodical: Lee is said to have spent the balance of a day in the process of recording 20 hours-worth of Hour Of Stars shows.  

Because I have never listened to the show, I can only speculate about other specifics. It is conceivable that (but unknown whether) the stars spinned their own records, too. If they did, Peggy Lee could have had the option to play some of the numbers that she recorded for the World Program Service in 1955. (None of the literature at my reach gives specifics on this particular matter.) Of course, the option would have been available from February 1955 onwards.

According to two 1954 press articles (one from July, the other from November), The Hour Of Stars was set to produce new episodes until the end of that year. A secondary source states that episodes were actually broadcast past 1954, continuing all the way to September or October of 1955.  Since September of 1953 is known to have been the starting date of the show, September of 1955 would be in keeping with an earlier claim made by Tony Martin, to the effect that his deal with Ziv Productions was for two years (Variety, March 13, 1953).

The Hour Of Stars became Ziv's "33rd and final radio series of the Golden Age." (This quoted remark comes from Jim Ramsburg, the aforementioned radio expert. For our own purposes, I should clarify that Ziv went on to make more radio programs afterwards; Ramsburg's comment is circumscribed to the golden age period that is generally considered to have closed by the mid-1950s, or even the early 1950s. Rambsburg might consider its closing to have happened as early as 1953; Ziv continued to carry onwards with his enterprises after that year. A November 13, 1953 trade article reported Ziv's "plans for seven new musical and record series for January [1954]," including a half-hour daily Betty Grable-Harry James show that had already been pre-sold in 300 markets.) 





III. Peggy Lee's World Transcription Sessions

The Official Data

Discographical specifics about Peggy Lee's four World sessions have been made public in two sources.  One of them was the booklet of the  2017 Audiophile CD World Broadcast Recordings 1955.  Another was a follow-up of sorts, from individuals who were involved in the preparation of that CD.  Posted on December 18, 2017 at the Bulletin Board of Peggy Lee's official website, the message states that "the discographical information provided in this post is from the World recording logs for the four Peggy Lee sessions."  In addition to disclosing recording dates, location, and master numbers, the message identifies Ziv's stalwart Henry P. Hayward as the man in charge of "directing" the dates, for which Ben Jordan and another man, presently known only by the initials "CL," served as engineers.  Mention is also made of "[s]urviving AFM contracts from the period" and "California contracts," which "stipulate Radio Recorders as the Place of Engagement."


Personnel Of Peggy Lee's World Sessions

The musicians who played in these 1955 World dates are identified by name in the 2017 Audiophile CD World Broadcast Recordings, 1955 and the aforementioned follow-up message. Because the primary source is the memory of two participants, some of the players are identified more confidently than others. The CD's annotator, James Gavin, interviewed the sessions' pianist, Gene DiNovi.  Mr. DiNovi can vouch for the presence of harpist Stella Castellucci, guitarist Bill Pitman, and bongo player Jack Costanzo. (The latter is said to have also corroborated his involvement in these Lee dates.)  DiNovi conjectures but cannot assure that the drums were played by Larry Bunker, the trumpet by Pete Candoli, and the bass by Bob Whitlock.  The trumpet player certainly sounds like Candoli, who worked with Lee in the studio and onstage during her Decca years. Gavin helpfully points out that bassist Don Prell is an alternative to Whitlock, because Prell is known to have accompanied Lee in concerts that took place during September of 1955.  The annotator also considers percussionist Ramón "Ray" Rivera, another player who backed Lee in her mid-1955 concerts. I have entered this personal in the present discography.

Relying on my close listening of the performances, I have made just a few tweaks. Bongos are audible only in the first half of the tracks, trumpet only in the second. Hence I have not entered Candoli in the same masters as Costanzo.  Harp can be prominently heard in selected World transcription numbers, such as "Autumn In New York" (February 8; disc #300), "I Got It Bad And That Ain't Good" (February 9; disc #309), "Come Rain Or Come Shine" (also February 8; disc #314, "Speak Low" (August 9; disc #342), and "We Kiss In A Shadow" (also August 9; disc #422). Not having detected any harp in the August 8, 1955 masters, I have refrained from entering Stella Castellucci's name under that particular date.  

Short mention should be made of the fact that two other available sources offer wrong personnel. One of them is It's A Good Day, a Public Domain release from the label Riff City.  That compact disc claims that the collective personnel for these World masters consisted of Jimmy Rowles, Pete Candoli, Ed Shaughnessy, and Max Wayne.  Those are actually the musicians who played in Lee's 1953 album Black Coffee.  I believe that Riff City simply copied the list of musicians from Black Coffee. Riff must have operated under the flawed assumption that, because the World transcriptions were likely to to be from around the same period as the album Black Coffee, the same musicians had played in both sets of masters. 

The Starbucks CD Come Rain Or Come Shine is another release on which that same personnel is misrepresented as if it were correct and official.  Besides Candoli, Shaughnessy, and Wayne, the CD's notes 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). Moreover, the barely heard guitar playing in these sessions differs from the style for which he has become known.


Dating Of Peggy Lee's World Sessions

In the liner notes of the 2017 CD set World Broadcast Recordings 1955, it is specified that there were a total of "four jam-packed afternoon recording sessions" in February and August 1955, amounting to a total of 14 hours.  It is also stated that the first 12 masters were recorded on February 8, 1955. The exact dates for the other three sessions are disclosed in the already mentioned follow-up message, posted at the bulletin board of Peggy Lee's official website

As was the case with the personnel, there are also CDs which offer incorrect recording dates for these World sessions. The most notorious case is Taking A Chance On Love, a CD issued in 2008 by Flare Records, Public Domain label.  That CD's booklet offers a series of recording years (though not the months nor the days).  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 on discs #422 and #438, they are listed as recorded in 1953.  Although the person who proposed such dates probably meant well, discographically oriented owners of that CD should bear in mind that all three proposed years (1951, 1952, 1953) are now known to be off the mark.

Also of interest as a potential (but less reliable) source is an article published by Redbook magazine in April of 1955. According to its writer: 

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 that Redbook 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.  (Mention is made of a 1954 engagement at Ciro’s. For the record, Lee opened there on Friday, March 26, 1954.)

Hence, if the claim is not a vast overstatement, it would be reasonable to entertain the possibility that most or all of the 24 songs in question were recorded for World transcriptions.  Note that the two batches of Peggy Lee World masters listed above are precisely divided into 24 (second batch) and 25 (first batch). Granted that the year of heightened activity is given as 1954, we could conceive of several scenarios leading to misunderstanding. Presumably relying on an interview with the singer, he could have confused and conflate events from several time periods.


Photos

This section's pictorial gallery highlights some of the musicians who played -- or who are suspected to have played -- in Peggy Lee's World transcription sessions. Above: Jack Costanzo (bongos), Stella Castellucci (harp), and Pete Candoli (trumpet). Below: Larry Bunker (drums), Gene DiNovi (piano), and Bill Pitman (guitar). Pitman earliest professional work as a guitarist was actually with Peggy Lee, with whom he regularly played onstage for about three years.



 



IV. All About The Word Program Service

Headquarters

From my inspection of various copies of World transcription discs, I have retrieved three different addresses. All of them are New York locations, which leads to the impression that the transcription service had its central offices in that city. Here are the addresses 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)

The multiplicity of addresses might point to shifting headquarters, over the years. (Otherwise, though less likely, it could point to branches and sub-divisions within the company.) The discs in which Peggy Lee is featured carry the 488 Madison date. The 10 Columbus Circle location shows up on discs with numbers higher than Lee's (e.g., number within the 500 range). Discs bearing the 717 Fifth Avenue address also carry the legend "a subsidiary of Decca Records, Inc.," and might thus date from the pre-Ziv, 1940s period, during which World was temporarily owned by Decca. I have not found address data for the Los Angeles branch(es).


Studios

At least until 1954, the World transcription program service 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 TV projects. Ramsburg does not make mention of facilities for the specific recording of music, though.)

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 filming -- not to the waxing of transcriptions). Be that as it may, we now officially know that World leased The Annex, in LA, to record Lee's 1955 transcription dates. (The official data is discussed further below.)


The Decca Connection

Some radio transcription services 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 precise nature of the two companies' association is not spelled out in the sources consulted by 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), and several other labels. Still, the number of World transcription discs with numbers by Decca artists such as Haymes and Lee is comparatively high. Such high incidence suggests that there was either a special contractual agreement or a especially friendly, mutually beneficial relationship between World and Decca.

It is worth recalling Decca's ownership of World catalogue for a while, back in the 1940s. That was then, though. The World masters that Decca artists such as Peggy Lee and Dick Haymes recorded in the 1950s were fully owned by Ziv, not Decca. But the World-Decca interaction was clearly a long-lasting one.)

On a separate note, it is also worth pointing out that, of the 49 song titles listed in the sessions above, Peggy Lee recorded about a dozen of them for not only World but also Decca. The Decca versions come off as craftier, more complex versions of the World transcriptions, which sound looser and more experimental. Still, both sets of versions offer plenty to recommend, and neither set is inherently preferable to the other.



V. America's World





Peggy Lee recorded a total of 49 masters for the World Broadcasting System (WBS). All 49 titles have been itemized in the preceding sections, The company distributed them over 13 of its "World Program Service" transcription discs. Internally, WBS' logs show that these discs were catalogued under a so-called Popular Vocal Section series.

Physically, each disc is made of red vinyl, measures 16" in diameter, and plays at 33 revolutions per minute. Further visual inspection reveals that Peggy Lee is not exclusively featured on any of the 13 discs. Such procedure was common practice for this particular transcription service: typically, a World disc will feature a minimum of two acts.

On the disc's label, the acts' performances are naturally identified by their titles. They are also given a letter of the alphabet, which presumably served as indication of the songs' sequence. (Occasionally two letters identify the same performance. Those cases involve performances with a time length over the 3:00 mark).

Following the present paragraph is a list of the 13 discs that originally featured Peggy Lee's World masters. I have specified the acts on each disc, along with the quantity of numbers that they perform, and the alphabetical sequence of performances. Pictures have been provided when available. (For photos of the side of the disc on which Peggy Lee is heard, look above, under the four 1955 sessions. For the other side of each disc, look at the images below. The photos that are currently missing will be supplied if/when they become available to me.)





1. World #300: A, B, C, D, E, F. Six Peggy Lee numbers, all on one side of the disc. / G-H, J. Two numbers by Ray Bloch And His Orchestra, all of them on the non-Lee side of the disc. / K-L, M. Three numbers by David Rose And His Orchestra. / No images currently on hand.

2. World #309: A-K. 10 opening/closing themes, gathered together under the moniker "fifty yard line," and thus likely to have been intended for football broadcasts. / L-O. 4 football jingles. / P- T. 5 Peggy Lee performances, all of them on the second side of the disc.

3. World #314: A-F. Six numbers by Peggy Lee. / G-K. Six numbers by The David Rose Orchestra. / No images currently on hand.

4. World #318: / A-C. Three numbers by Peggy Lee. / D-E. Two numbers by the Sportsmen Quartet, both on the same side as Lee's. / F-K. Six numbers by Irvine Orton And The World Salon Orchestra. / Satisfactory image of non-Lee side not yet found.

5. World #327: A-D. Four numbers by Peggy Lee. / 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. / Image of non-Lee side not yet found.

6. World #330: A-F. Six numbers by Peggy Lee. / G-I. Three numbers by The David Rose Orchestra. / J-H. Two numbers by Peter Yorke And The World Concert Orchestra.

7. World #338: A-C. Three numbers by The Ray Bloch Orchestra. / D-G. Four numbers by The New World Singers. / H-JK. Two numbers by Peggy Lee. / L-O. Three numbers by Mimi Martel. / No images currently on hand.

8. World #342: A-F. Five numbers by Victor Young. / G, H, JK. Three numbers by Peggy Lee (identified in the sessions above). / L-M. Two numbers by The Three Suns. / No images currently on hand.

9. World #355: AB-CD. Two numbers by Peggy Lee. / E-G. Three numbers by Russell Arms with The Russ Case Orchestra. / H-J. Three numbers by the Jan Van Kleffens World Concert Orchestra.

10. World #366: A, B, C-D. Three numbers by Peggy Lee. / E-F. Two numbers by The Three Suns. / G-M. Seven numbers by The Daydreamers. / No images currently on hand.

11. World #389: A, B, C-D. Three numbers by The Dave Rose Orchestra. / E, F, G. Three numbers by Peggy Lee. / H, J, K. Three numbers by The Ray Bloch Orchestra. / L, M, N, O. Four numbers by The Starlighters.

12. World #422: A, B-C, D. Three numbers by Peggy Lee. / E-F. Two numbers by Pete Marshall. / G-K. Five numbers by the Jan Van Kleffens Orchestra.

13. World #438: A-G. Four numbers by the Peter Yorke World Concert Orchestra. / H, J-K, L. Three numbers by Peggy Lee. / M-N. Two numbers by The Three Suns.





In addition to these 13 discs, there is a chance that World produced : (a) a disc with prompts, announcements and brief patter uttered by Lee herself, and/or (b) discs circumscribed to just cuts by Peggy Lee. Either alternative would have allowed participating stations to regularly schedule (if so inclined) a Lee-only program, under the title of Peggy Lee Sings.



VI. Australia's World

The World Broadcasting System 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, bearing its own number, 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 the benefit of viewers generally interested in World transcriptions, I am also including herein the non-Lee sides of the above-pictured discs.


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VII. The Uncollected Peggy Lee: A Case Study

The Case In Point

Hindsight's issue The Uncollected Peggy Lee (pictured above in vinyl and digital incarnations) makes a couple ofsingificant statements that are inaccurate or, at best, misleading. The statements in question will be discussed within this section.


Tracks

This issue's title suggests that its tracks date from the year 1948. In my estimation, not one of the album's 12 tracks do.

Half of them are World transcription performances, and thus date from 1955. Their titles: "'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 performance. It was recorded on May 14, 1946.

The remaining five titles ("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 that were broadcasted in the early 1950s. (Those will be listed in this discography's radio pages, once they open for viewing.)


Personnel

This Hindsight album credits the orchestras of Dave Barbour and Billy May as the accompaniment on these tracks. We have previously discussed both known and speculated personnel for the World transcription tracks. Barbour and May are not among those names.

Barbour is definitely present in one of the other six tracks: 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, all of which I believe to date from the years after Lee and Barbour's divorce (1951).

Billy May might have actually backed Peggy Lee in the five numbers that originate in early 1950s radio broadcasts. The two artists were actually co-guests in the broadcasts from which the numbers come. Stylistically, the backing certainly sounds May-like, too. (Nevertheless, we should not rely on perceived style and personal listening alone. Those radio broadcasts credit May on instrumental tracks and Lee on vocal performances, without specifying if May is also backing Lee. Since the show had its own staff orchestra, there is a question mark here. For further details about those five tracks, see this discography's page for War & Government Transcriptions, 1951, once that page opens for viewing.)





VIII. Commercial Issues Of Peggy Lee's World Transcriptions

Fundamentals

Meant for radio airplay only, World's catalogue of transcription discs was not originally available to the general public.  Retailers and commercial record labels could not carry it. That state of affairs began to change after the 1969 purchase of World's ET catalogue by George H. Buck Jr, owner of the Jazzology family of labels.  In the five decades that followed the purchase, Buck released portions of the catalogue on two of his labels, in particular: Audiophile and Circle.  Parts of the catalogue have also been issued on two now-defunct labels that specialized on radio material, and which had no connection to Jazzology:  Hindsight and Soundies.  Numerous Public Domain labels have in turn appropriated the material issued by those worthwhile specialty labels, reissuing it in a more haphazard, careless and loose fashion.


In Hindsight

In the specific case of Peggy Lee's World transcriptions, retail became a reality in 1985.  Six of her 49 numbers were issued by the American label Hindsight Records on that year, as part of a 12-track album titled The Uncollected Peggy Lee, 1948.  Though it would eventually be issued on CD, the album was originally available on LP and cassette. See also the preceding section, which is dedicated to this album.


Avid-Lee

Seven years later (1992), the British label Avid issued Peggy Lee Sings For You. A picture of its CD incarnation opens this section; Avid also released a cassette counterpart.

With this release, 19 additional World performances were made available to the public at large.  To clarify:  Peggy Lee Sings For You actually has 20 tracks, all of them World transcription performances. I referred to 19 instead of 20 tracks because one number, "Just One Of Those Things" had already made a commercial retail appearance. It was among the six titles that had been included in the aforementioned 1985 Hindsight album (The Uncollected Peggy Lee).

Thus, by 1992, about half of Peggy Lee's 49 World performances had already been commercially issued at the outset of the present century.  The yet-to-be-issued half consisted of 24 tracks.


With Flare

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

To sum up: by 2008, the labels Hindsight, Avid, and Flare were to be thanked for the combined release of 46 World transcriptions before the year 2010.  Only three of the 49 transcription titles were thus awaiting commercial issuing.


For The Audiophile

In September of 2017, Jazzology finally joined the action.  A 2CD set titled World Broadcast Recordings 1955 (third image above) was made commercially available on both compact disc and MP3 download.  On Jazzology's Audiophile imprint, the set features all 49 transcription titles, including the trio that had not made previous appearances on retail:  "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues," "Hard-Hearted Hannah," and "My Ideal."


The Sound Quality Report

It must be noted that the overall sound quality of the Audiophile set is mediocre at best.  Sadly, none of the aforementioned releases offers the greatest sound quality.  For what is worth, the Hindsight album is more listenable than most, aurally being less dull than the other items. (That assessment should bring little joy to those wanting to collect Lee's full World transcription catalogue. As already stated, that album includes only six World transcription performances.)  

Knowledge that all 49 numbers exist in far better quality made the above-described state of affairs all the sadder.  We can only hope for a future release in the optimal quality that these numbers deserve. Leaving aside its middling sound quality, the Audiophile set is currently the better of all the available choices, since it offers Lee's complete World output in digital format.

For listeners wishing to just sample her World output, another adequate choice would be the Deja Vu/Retro's Peggy Lee ("Gold Collection" Series).  That 2CD set includes all 20 World numbers that Avid originally released on the CD Peggy Lee Sings For You, as well as tracks taken from other sources. 

Note, however, that there are two editions of the Deja Vu set in question, one from 1996 and the other from 2001. Both are pictured below. The second, so-called Deluxe Edition substantially improves on the sound quality of the first edition, and is therefore far preferable to the original.  (No, it is not excellent sound quality.  But it does eradicate the dullness or opacity which characterizes many another release.) Both Deja Vu editions are out of print by now, but copies might still be found in commercial music sites online.

As for other albums out there (i.e., albums which have not been discussed in the present section, their configurations ranging from LPs and cassettes to CDs and MP3 files ), nearly all of them can only be described as low-quality product from Public Domain labels, which appropriated for themselves the World material on the Hindsight and Avid issues.  Furthermore, these PD items seldom limit themselves to a program consisting entirely of World transcriptions, opting instead for mismatches of performances from different sources and decades of Peggy Lee's career.  (To be more specific, they are a melange of  radio transcriptions from multiple services, studio recordings currently in the public domain, and songs culled from original radio or television broadcasts.)

Two additional pages of this discography offer related information. One is a pictorial page, whose third section concentrates on commercial issues that feature Lee's World transcriptions. The other page is for viewers more generally interested in reading about the early history of syndicated radio and transcription companies.

While talking about commercial issues, I am compelled to close these extensive notes with a more general clarification. Through my entire work on Peggy Lee's sessionography, I have aimed at listing each and every issue in existence, except for those falling in the following categories:  various-artists compilations, foreign editions of domestic issues, and MP3 files. (Actually, the first two categories are still covered in this discography -- just not in the sessionography. They are instead listed separately, here and here. As for the MP3 category, I have chosen to make very limited mention of that non-physical format in my work. All too often, MP3 files suffer from poor sound quality, and have an ephemeral span of availability.)





Sessions Reported: 4

Performances Reported: 49

Unique Songs Reported: 49

Unique Issues Reported: 85