Peggy Lee


Letter to the editor

by Bill Smith
USA Today, January 24, 2002

As a devotee of the big-band era, I was saddened to read about the death of Peggy Lee (“Peggy Lee’s smoky voice falls silent, but endures,” Life, Wednesday).

After leaving North Dakota at age 17, Lee had her first big break in 1941, when Benny Goodman heard her perform at the Ambassador Hotel in Chicago and hired her on the spot.

However, the gorgeous blond really didn’t blossom as a singer and songwriter until she met her husband, guitarist Dave Barbour.

I never really appreciated this sentimental and warm human being until the day I walked into my 90-year-old grandmother’s home and found her listening to the radio. She told me to “sit down and be quiet. Peggy Lee is singing.”

One of Lee’s biggest hits was Is That All There Is?

Lee surely will find out — Mañana.

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