Advertisement
Advertisement

Peggy Lee (1920 - 2002)

A photo of Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee
1920 - 2002
Born
May 26, 1920
Jamestown,, North Dakota, USA
Death
January 21, 2002
Other Names
Peggy Lee
Summary
Peggy Lee of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California was born on May 26, 1920 in Jamestown,, North Dakota USA, and died at age 81 years old on January 21, 2002.
Updated: January 29, 2022
Biography ID: 76768652

Peggy Lee's Biography

Family, friend, or fan this Collaborative Biography is for you to show & tell Peggy's life so that she is always remembered.
About Peggy

Introduction

Famous singer.
Peggy Lee
Born Norma Deloris Egstrom May 26, 1920 Jamestown, North Dakota, U.S.
Died January 21, 2002 (aged 81) Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Ashes buried at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, Westwood, Los Angeles, U.S.
Known for vocals, recordings, acting. The Jazz Tree Disney's Lady and the Tramp
Spouse(s)
Dave Barbour (m. 1943; div. 1951) Brad Dexter (m. 1953; div. 1953) Dewey Martin (m. 1956; div. 1958) Jack Del Rio (m. 1964; div. 1965)
Children 1
Parent(s) Marvin Olof Egstrom Selma Amelia Anderson
Musical career
Origin Valley City, North Dakota
Genres Jazz popular
Occupation(s)
Singer - songwriter - actress - composer
Instrument: Vocals
Years active 1941–2000
Labels
Capitol - Decca - Atlantic - A&M Polydor
Associated acts
Benny Goodman Laurindo Almeida Harold Arlen Sonny Burke Cy Coleman Duke Ellington Dave Grusin
Quincy Jones Francis Lai Jack Marshall Johnny Mandel Marian McPartland Willard Robison Lalo Schifrin Victor Young
Norma Deloris Egstrom (May 26, 1920 – January 21, 2002), known professionally as Peggy Lee, was an American jazz and popular music singer, songwriter, composer, and actress, over a career spanning six decades. From her beginning as a vocalist on local radio to singing with Benny Goodman's big band, Lee created a sophisticated persona, writing music for films, acting, and recording conceptual record albums combining poetry and music.
Early life
Lee was born Norma Deloris Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota on May 26, 1920, the seventh of the eight children of Selma Amelia (née Anderson) Egstrom and Marvin Olof Egstrom, a station agent for the Midland Continental Railroad. She and her family were Lutherans. Her father was Swedish-American and her mother was Norwegian-American. After her mother died when Lee was four, her father married Minnie Schaumberg Wiese.

Lee first sang professionally over KOVC radio in Valley City, North Dakota. She later had her own series on a radio show sponsored by a local restaurant that paid her salary in food.
Both during and after her high school years, Lee sang for small sums on local radio stations.
Radio personality Ken Kennedy, of WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota (the most widely heard station in North Dakota), changed her name to Peggy Lee.[6] Lee left home and traveled to Los Angeles at the age of 17.
She returned to North Dakota for a tonsillectomy, and was later noticed by hotel owner Frank Bering while working at the Doll House in Palm Springs, California. It was here that she developed her trademark sultry purr, having decided to compete with the noisy crowd with subtlety rather than volume. Bering offered her a gig at The Buttery Room, a nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel East in Chicago. There, she was noticed by bandleader Benny Goodman. According to Lee, "Benny's then-fiancée, Lady Alice Duckworth, came into The Buttery, and she was very impressed. So the next evening she brought Benny in, because they were looking for a replacement for Helen Forrest. And although I didn't know, I was it. He was looking at me strangely, I thought, but it was just his preoccupied way of looking. I thought that he didn't like me at first, but it just was that he was preoccupied with what he was hearing." She joined his band in 1941 and stayed for two years.

Recording career
In 1942 Lee had her first No. 1 hit, "Somebody Else Is Taking My Place", followed in 1943 by "Why Don't You Do Right?", which sold more than one million copies and made her famous. She sang with Goodman's orchestra in two 1943 films, Stage Door Canteen and The Powers Girl.
Looking for another Peggy Lee?
Peggy Lee
Most commonly known as
Peggy Lee
Full legal name
Peggy Lee
Other names or aliases

Name & aliases

Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California 90049
Last place lived

Last residence

May 26, 1920
Birthday
Jamestown,, North Dakota USA
Birth location

Birth details

Advertisement

Ethnicity & Family History

Norwegian - Mother and Swedish Father.

Nationality & Locations

Where was Peggy born and where did she live?

Education

Did Peggy finish grade school, get a GED, go to high school, get a college degree or masters? What schools or universities did Peggy attend?

Religion

dd/mm/yyyy
Baptism date
Unknown
Place of worship

Baptism date & location

She and her parents were Lutherans.

Professions

Famous Singer and Songwriter. Awards and honors Lee was nominated for twelve Grammy Awards, winning Best Contemporary Vocal Performance for her 1969 hit "Is That All There Is?" In 1995 she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. She received the Rough Rider Award from the state of North Dakota, the Pied Piper Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Presidents Award from the Songwriters Guild of America, the Ella Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Society of Singers, and the Living Legacy Award from the Women's International Center. In 1999 she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Discography Main article: Peggy Lee discography Rendezvous with Peggy Lee (Capitol, 1948) Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee (Columbia, 1949) My Best to You: Peggy Lee Sings (Capitol, 1950) Road to Bali: Selections from the Paramount Picture (Decca, 1952) Selections from Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Decca, 1954) Peggy: Songs in an Intimate Style (Decca, 1954) Songs from Pete Kelly's Blues (Decca, 1955) Songs from Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp (Decca, 1955) Black Coffee (Decca, 1956) The Man I Love (Capitol, 1957) Peggy Lee Sings with Benny Goodman (Harmony, 1957) Dream Street (Decca, 1957) Rendezvous with Peggy Lee (Capitol, 1957) Jump for Joy (Capitol, 1958) Things Are Swingin' (Capitol, 1958) Miss Wonderful (Decca, 1958) Sea Shells (Decca, 1958) Beauty and the Beat! with George Shearing (Capitol, 1959) I Like Men! (Capitol, 1959) Christmas Carousel (Capitol, 1960) Latin ala Lee! (Capitol, 1960) Pretty Eyes (Capitol, 1960) Basin Street East Proudly Presents Miss Peggy Lee (Capitol, 1961) If You Go (Capitol, 1961) Olé ala Lee (Capitol, 1960) All Aglow Again! (1960) Sugar 'n' Spice (Capitol, 1962) Blues Cross Country (Capitol, 1962) The Fabulous Peggy Lee (Decca, 1963) Mink Jazz (Capitol, 1963) The Fabulous Miss Lee (World Record Club, 1963) I'm a Woman (Capitol, 1963) Lover (Decca, 1963) In the Name of Love (Capitol, 1964) In Love Again! (Capitol, 1964) Then Was Then – Now Is Now! (Capitol, 1965) Pass Me By (Capitol, 1965) Guitars a là Lee (Capitol, 1966) Big $pender (Capitol, 1966) So Blue (Vocalion, 1966) Extra Special! (Capitol, 1967) Somethin' Groovy! (Capitol, 1967) 2 Shows Nightly (Capitol, 1968) Is That All There Is? (Capitol, 1969) A Natural Woman (Capitol, 1969) Bridge Over Troubled Water (Capitol, 1970) Make It With You (Capitol, 1970) Crazy in the Heart (Vocalion, 1970) Where Did They Go (Capitol, 1971) Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota (Capitol, 1972) Peggy Lee (Everest Archive, 1974) Let's Love (Atlantic, 1974) Mirrors (A&M, 1975) Peggy (Polydor, 1977) Live in London (Polydor, 1977) Walt Disney's Lady and the Tramp: All the Songs from the Film (Disneyland, 1979) Close Enough for Love (DRG, 1979) You Can Depend On Me: 14 Previously Unreleased Songs (Glendale, 1981) The Music Makers Program 116 for Broadcast Week of 4/19/82 (Music Makers, 1982) Easy Listening with Woody Herman, Dave Barbour (Artistic Art, 1984) The Uncollected Peggy Lee (Hindsight, 1985) If I Could Be with You (Sounds Rare 1986) Miss Peggy Lee Sings the Blues (Musicmasters, 1988) The Peggy Lee Songbook: There'll Be Another Spring (Musical Heritage Society, 1990) Peggy Lee with the Dave Barbour Band (Laserlight, 1991) Love Held Lightly: Rare Songs by Harold Arlen (Angel, 1993) Moments Like This (Chesky, 1993) Live 1947 & 1952 (Jazz Band, 1993) Black Coffee and Other Delights (MCA/Decca, 1994) The Complete Peggy Lee & June Christy Capitol Transcription Sessions (Mosaic, 1998) Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings (Columbia, 1999) The Lost '40s and '50s Capitol Masters (EMI, 2008) Taking a Chance On Love (Flare, 2008) At Last: The Lost Radio Recordings (Real Gone Music, 2015) Songwriting Lee was a successful songwriter, with songs from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp, for which she supplied the singing and speaking voices of four characters.[27] Her collaborators included Laurindo Almeida, Harold Arlen, Sonny Burke, Cy Coleman, Duke Ellington, Dave Grusin, Quincy Jones, Francis Lai, Jack Marshall, Johnny Mandel, Marian McPartland, Willard Robison, Lalo Schifrin, and Victor Young. Her first published song was in 1941, "Little Fool". "What More Can a Woman Do?" was recorded by Sarah Vaughan with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. "Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)" was number one on the Billboard singles chart for nine weeks in 1948, from the week of March 13 to May 8. Lee was a mainstay of Capitol Records when rock and roll came onto the American music scene. She was among the first of the "old guard" to recognize this new genre, as seen by her recording music from The Beatles, Randy Newman, Carole King, James Taylor, and other up-and-coming songwriters. From 1957 until her final disc for the company in 1972, she produced a steady stream of two or three albums per year that usually included standards (often arranged quite differently from the original), her own compositions, and material from young artists. She wrote the lyrics for the following songs: "I Don't Know Enough About You" "It's a Good Day", composed by Dave Barbour "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'", composed with Duke Ellington "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter" "Mañana (Is Soon Enough for Me)" "Bless You (For the Good That's in You)", composed with Mel Tormé "What More Can a Woman Do?" "Don't Be Mean to Baby" "New York City Ghost", composed with Victor Young "You Was Right, Baby" "Just an Old Love of Mine" "Everything's Movin' Too Fast" "The Shining Sea" "He's a Tramp" "The Siamese Cat Song" "There Will Be Another Spring" "Johnny Guitar", composed with Victor Young "Sans Souci", composed with Sonny Burke "So What's New?" "Don't Smoke in Bed" "I Love Being Here with You" "Happy with the Blues" with Harold Arlen "Where Can I Go Without You?", composed with Victor Young "Things Are Swingin'" "Then Was Then" with Cy Coleman

Personal Life

Share highlights of Peggy's life. Experiences, organizations, & how she spent her time.

Military Service

Did Peggy serve in the military or did a war or conflict interfere with her life?
January 21, 2002
Death date
Unknown
Cause of death
Unknown
Death location

Death details

dd/mm/yyyy
Funeral date
Grave or burial unknown
Burial location

Gravesite & burial

Obituary

In March 1943 Lee married Dave Barbour, a guitarist in Goodman's band.[5] Lee said, "David joined Benny's band and there was a ruling that no one should fraternize with the girl singer. But I fell in love with David the first time I heard him play, and so I married him. Benny then fired David, so I quit, too. Benny and I made up, although David didn't play with him anymore. Benny stuck to his rule. I think that's not too bad a rule, but you can't help falling in love with somebody." ...when she left the band that spring [1943], her intention was to quit the footlights altogether and become Mrs. Barbour, fulltime housewife. It's to Mr. Barbour's credit that he refused to let his wife's singing and composing talent lay dormant for too long. "I fell in love with David Barbour," she recalled. "But 'Why Don't You Do Right' was such a giant hit that I kept getting offers and kept turning them down. And at that time it was a lot of money. But it really didn't matter to me at all. I was very happy. All I wanted was to have a family and cling to the children [daughter Nicki]. Well, they kept talking to me and finally David joined them and said 'You really have too much talent to stay at home and someday you might regret it.'" She drifted back to songwriting and occasional recording sessions for the Capitol Records in 1947, for whom she recorded a long string of hits, many of them with lyrics and music by Lee and Barbour, including "I Don't Know Enough About You" in 1946 and then "Golden Earings" and "It's a Good Day" in 1947. Her recording of "Golden Earrings", the title song of a 1947 movie, was a hit throughout 1947-1948. With the release of the U.S, No. 1-selling record of 1948, "Mañana", her "retirement" was over. In 1948, Lee's work was part of Capitol's library of electrical transcriptions for radio stations. An ad for Capitol Transcriptions in a trade magazine noted that the transcriptions included "special voice introductions by Peggy." In 1948 Lee joined vocalists Perry Como and Jo Stafford as a host of the NBC Radio musical program The Chesterfield Supper Club. She was a regular on The Jimmy Durante Show and appeared frequently on Bing Crosby's radio shows during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her relationship with Capitol spanned almost three decades aside from a brief detour (1952–1956) at Decca. For that label she recorded Black Coffee and had hit singles such as "Lover" and "Mister Wonderful". In 1957, she recorded a popular version of "Fever" by Little Willie John, written by Eddie Cooley and John Davenport,[16] to which she added her uncopyrighted lyrics ("Romeo loved Juliet", "Captain Smith and Pocahontas"). Acting career In 1952, Lee starred opposite Danny Thomas in The Jazz Singer (1952), a remake of the Al Jolson film, The Jazz Singer (1927). She played an alcoholic blues singer in Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.[17] She provided speaking and singing voices for several characters in the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp (1955), playing the human "Darling", the dog "Peg", and the two Siamese cats, "Si and Am". In 1957, she guest starred on the short-lived variety program The Guy Mitchell Show. Personal life Lee was married four times: to guitarist and composer Dave Barbour (1943–1951), actor Brad Dexter (1953), actor Dewey Martin (1956–1958), and percussionist Jack Del Rio (1964–1965).[citation needed] All the marriages ended in divorce. She gave birth to her only child at age 23, a daughter Nicki Lee Foster on November 11, 1943. Nicki's father was her first husband, Dave Barbour. The Peggy Lee bench-style burial monument Peggy Lee was among hundreds of artists whose studio masters were destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire. Death Lee continued to perform into the 1990s, sometimes confined to a wheelchair.[21] After years of poor health, she died of complications from diabetes and a heart attack on January 21, 2002, at the age of 81. She was cremated and her ashes were buried at a pool site with a bench-style monument in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.] Her daughter Nicki died 13 years after her, on November 14, 2014. Carnegie Hall tribute In 2003, "There'll Be Another Spring: A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee" was held at Carnegie Hall. Produced by recording artist Richard Barone, the sold-out event included performances by Cy Coleman, Debbie Harry, Nancy Sinatra, Rita Moreno, Marian McPartland, Chris Connor, Petula Clark, Maria Muldaur, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Quincy Jones, Shirley Horn, and others. In 2004 Barone brought the event to a sold-out Hollywood Bowl,[25] and then to Chicago's Ravinia Festival, with expanded casts including Maureen McGovern, Jack Jones and Bea Arthur. The Carnegie Hall concert was broadcast on NPR's JazzSet.

Average Age & Life Expectancy

Peggy Lee lived 10 years longer than the average Lee family member when she died at the age of 81.
The average age of a Lee family member is 71.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Memories: Stories & Photos

Who is Peggy Lee to you? Share memories and family stories, photos, or ask questions.
Through sharing we discover more together.
Loading...one moment please
Nelson and Peggy Lee.
I gave her a tribute too.
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
Peggy Lee
Comments
Cancel
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Family Tree & Friends

Peggy's immediate relatives including parents, siblings, partnerships and children in the Lee family tree.

Peggy's Family Tree

Parent
Parent
Peggy Lee Peggy Lee
Partner
Child
Partner
Child
Sibling

Friends

Friends can be as close as family. Add Peggy's family friends, and her friends from childhood through adulthood.

Add bio
Advertisement
Advertisement
ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM
Advertisement

1920 - 2002 World Events

Refresh this page to see various historical events that occurred during Peggy's lifetime.

In 1920, in the year that Peggy Lee was born, Italian born factory worker Nicola Sacco and fish peddler Bartolomeo Vanzetti were picked up by police on May 5th in connection with the April 15th murder and robbery of a guard and a paymaster at the Slater and Morrill Shoe Company in South Braintree, Mass. Although in later years they were thought to be innocent, they were anarchists and were convicted of the crime and put to death.

In 1934, by the time she was only 14 years old, on July 22nd, gangster John Dillinger was killed in Chicago. His gang had robbed banks and police stations, among other charges, and he was being hunted by J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI - although many in the public saw him as a "Robin Hood". A madam from a brothel in which he was hiding became an informer for the FBI and, after a shootout with FBI agents, Dillinger was shot and died.

In 1960, by the time she was 40 years old, on May 1st, an American CIA U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the Soviet Union. Powers ejected and survived but was captured. The U.S. claimed that the U-2 was a "weather plane" but Powers was convicted in the Soviet Union of espionage. He was released in 1962 after 1 year, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

In 1982, at the age of 62 years old, Peggy was alive when on September 14th, Princess Grace of Monaco (American actress Grace Kelly), 52, died of injuries when her car plunged off a mountain road. Her 17 year old daughter, Stephanie, was also in the car and suffered serious injuries but recovered. It's believed that the accident was caused when Princess Grace, who was driving, had a mild stroke.

In 1998, when she was 78 years old, on December 19th, the movie Titanic - based on the 1912 sinking of the ship and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - was released. Winning 11 Oscars, it was the first film to gross over a billion dollars and eventually grossed over $2 billion.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Back to Top