Peggy Lee's Bio-Discography:
The Brut Deal (1973)
by Iván Santiago-Mercado

Generated on Feb 26, 2016

Date: Late May Or Early June 1973
Label: Brut

Peggy Lee (v), Other Individuals Unknown (unk)

a. Master Take (Brut) A Touch Of Class(George Barrie, Sammy Cahn)

General Note

This is a tentative entry. My only source of information about this session's hypothetical existence is the periodical Variety, where I have found a couple of suggestive comments. The comments pertain to Brut (a record company active in 1973 and 1974) and to A Touch Of Class (a 1973 movie). Both were brainchildren of George Barrie, owner of the hair-care and perfume company Fabergé. Another creation of his was the men's cologne Brut, whose market success inspired him to create not only Brut Records but also Brut Productions (a movie and television company).

The May 18, 1973 issue of Variety makes mention of a screening of A Touch Of Class at DGA (The Directors' Guild of America) which featured one of the scriptwriters, Jack Rose. We are also told that "Peggy Lee, there with [ABC-TV producer] Gary Pudney, may wax the title Class tune, musicked by Brut boss George Barrie." Subsequently, both June 15 and June 20 issues of the same periodical quoted Barrie as saying that "Dean Martin and Peggy Lee have recorded a number from Touch Of Class." (In the absence of any further information on the matter, one may or may not assume that Barrie was speaking of separate recordings by Lee and Martin, rather than a duet. Extant discographical data makes no references at all to a Brut Dino date.)

Other numbers from the soundtrack of A Touch Of Class include "She Loves Me, She Told Me Last Night" (a duet sung by the film's stars, George Segal and Glenda Jackson), "Nudge Me," "Amor Mío," and "I Always Knew." All of them were co-written by Barrie and Cahn except for the last one, which Cahn did in corroboration with the movie's orchestrator, John Cameron. But the film's score is best remembered for another Barrie-Cahn number, "All That Love Went To Waste," which received an Oscar nomination for best song of 1973. Soul singer Madeline Bell is heard singing both "All That Love Went To Waste" and "A Touch Of Class" in the soundtrack.

Naturally, Brut Records was the company that released the soundtrack on 12" vinyl. The label did not restrict itself to the LP, however. It also released a 45-rpm single in which Bell reprised the two songs, and another single in which Tony Bennett sang "All That Love Went To Waste" (backed with the old vaudeville standard "Some Of These Days"). Still further, two Brook Benton singles on Brut were issued as well, one featuring his own recording of "All That Love Went To Waste" and the other his interpretation of "A Touch Of Class." Because the movie was a British-produced venture, it is possible that some of these items were intended for the UK market, others for the US market. (Though American, Madeline Bell lived and became best known in Great Britain.)

As an active recording company, Brut had a very short lifespan. The total number of LPs on this label does not seem to go beyond a handful or so (one of them being Michael Franks' debut album) and the singles amount to roughly twenty. Buddah Records served as distributor for what is reported to have been a New York-based outfit. The link to Buddah points in turn to BMG as the likeliest holder of Brut's catalogue in more recent decades.

To reiterate, solid indication of Brut recording activity on Peggy Lee's part comes only from the second of the Variety quotes that have been copied above. A few additional circumstances could -- at the very least -- give plausibility to the possibility of her involvement with Brut Records and A Touch Of Class, too. For starters, the existence of the already mentioned Tony Bennett single suggests that the label was courting artists within Lee's bracket. (The aforementioned reference to Dean Martin adds to the impression, too.) We should also take into account Barrie's closeness to Lee's own friend Cary Grant, whom Barrie even brought into the board of Fabergé. Furthermore, it is worth noting that Lee frequently sang "All That Love Went To Waste" in her concert appearances from the mid-1970s.

The first of the above-quoted Variety entries establishes "A Touch of Class" as the likeliest song to have been recorded by Peggy Lee for the Brut label. However, and given the auxiliary tense used on that particular quote ("may record"), there is no reason to discard the possibility that Lee could have wounded up recording another number -- or, even better, more than one. Her in-concert predilection for "All That Love Went To Waste" would have made that popular, award-nominated song a viable candidate for a recording date. Then there is reference to both Dean Martin and Peggy Lee in the other quote from Variety, which may raise hopes for a gathering of the two singers to record "She Loves Me, She Told Me Last Night."

Sessions Reported: 1

Performances Reported: 1

Unique Songs Reported: 1