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Smiles From Yesterday...

Posted by Kevin 
Smiles From Yesterday...
May 17, 2017 10:00AM

Recently I rediscovered and have listened often to this song that Peggy Lee performed behind the opening credits when she took on an acting role on Owen Marshall, Counselor At Law.

It is a haunting theme, tinged with memory and hope, its narrative somewhere between that of "The Silent Sea," "Passenger Of The Rain" and "The Shadow Of Your Smile," and it deserves accessible inclusion in her canon.

Does anyone know the specifics about this song -- who wrote and produced it, whether Peggy Lee recorded it at Capitol Studios, whether she considered performing a full-length version of it on, for instance, Norma Deloris... and whether the original master is waiting, somewhere, to be rescued from obscurity and issued at last on an upcoming CD.

And, by the way, Peggy Lee looks glorious in the various clips from this episode!
Re: Smiles From Yesterday...
June 05, 2017 07:46PM
I like your association of this song with the Norma Deloris album, Kevin. The album was recorded in April of 1972; the song "Smiles from Yesterday" presumably early that year. (The episode that featured it aired on February 17, 1972.)

The only non-album track from the album sessions is "It Changes," which remained unissued until it was finally released on an EMI twofer CD.

In my imagination, a perfect single to release in 1972 would have been one that paired "It Changes" with "Smiles from Yesterday." Both are songs with TV show connections, and both share a certain amount of pathos and melancholia.

Regrettably, my knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Peggy's recording of "Smiles from Yesterday" is very limited. Jon Epstein is credited with the music, Jerry McNeely with the lyrics. McNeely was one of the main writers and creators of Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law, Epstein its producer. So, it would seem that this number was strictly a TV show affair, with no direct tie to Capitol Records. The label's files show no traces of a recording.

I agree that Peggy looked great in the episode, which also featured Hoagy Carmichael in a very good acting performance.

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