Peggy Lee


Peggy Lee Brings ‘Happy Music’ and Other Rarities to New Capitol/UMe Collection ‘From the Vaults (Vol. 2)’

Twelve tracks make digital debut in second volume from new series

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 24, 2024 – Capitol Records and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), in conjunction with Peggy Lee Associates, today release Peggy Lee: From the Vaults (Vol. 2), the second installment in the new digital series that features rare tracks currently unavailable on streaming platforms. Recorded for Capitol between 1948 and 1951, the 12 selections on From the Vaults (Vol. 2) include songs from stage and screen by American songbook giants Irving Berlin and Yip Harburg; a song co-written by jazz great Benny Carter; another by classical-popular composer Alec Wilder; and one co-written by Lee herself. 

Nine of the collection’s tracks feature orchestral backing by Dave Barbour, Lee’s first husband, with whom she co-wrote several chart hits in the 1940s, among them “I Don’t Know About Enough About You,” “It’s a Good Day” and “Mañana,” one of the top-selling singles of 1948. From the Vaults (Vol. 2) offers the digital debut of the couple’s joyous and hard-swinging tune “Happy Music,” which served as the B-side to Lee’s 1950 charting single “Show Me the Way to Get Out of This World.” Barbour’s solo guitar work is featured on several selections.

From the Broadway stage come two songs from then-new musicals. Lee was among the first to record Irving Berlin’s “You Can Have Him” from 1949’s Miss Liberty, along with Doris Day and Dinah Shore; the song was later recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson. “He’s Only Wonderful” by Sammy Fain and E. Y. “Yip” Harburg originated in the short-lived 1951 fantasy Flahooley, where it was introduced by Barbara Cook in her Broadway debut; Lee and Sarah Vaughan were the only major singers to record it for popular release. From the 1949 20th Century-Fox drama Come to the Stable comes the haunting “Through a Long and Sleepless Night” (by Mack Gordon and Alfred Newman), which was also recorded by Vic Damone, Bobby Darin and Sarah Vaughan.

Lee’s association with composer, arranger, bandleader and multi-instrumentalist Benny Carter spanned her entire recording career, from the early 1940s to the mid-1990s, and is represented on From the Vaults (Vol. 2) by the rollicking “Rock Me to Sleep,” co-written by Carter and Paul Vandervoort II. Another longtime associate, composer Alec Wilder, is best remembered for his songs “While We’re Young” and “I’ll Be Around,” as well as his landmark 1972 book American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950. Of his ballad “Goodbye, John,” written with Edward Eager and featured on From the Vaults (Vol. 2), Wilder wrote to Lee: “How absolutely dear and loving that record was! Every word you uttered I believed and every note you sang was definitive.”

Other highlights on From the Vaults (Vol. 2) include “Save Your Sorrow for Tomorrow,” a 1920s chestnut revitalized by Lee and arranger/conductor Pete Rugolo; and “Cry, Cry, Cry” with a lyric by bandleader/singer Vaughn Monroe, which was recorded by both Lee and one of her favorite singers, Mildred Bailey. Rounding out this volume are the songs “Helpless,” “The Mill on the Floss,” “Once in a Lifetime (Only Once)” and “Please Love Me Tonight.”

With the release of the four-volume From the Vaults digital series, Lee’s entire catalog of issued master recordings from the Universal family of labels — Capitol, Decca, A&M, and Polydor — will be accessible via digital streaming. The third volume in the series will move chronologically from 1951 to 1969; a fourth volume will compile duets and other musical collaborations recorded between 1947 and 1972, Peggy Lee’s last year under contract with Capitol Records.

To read full track history, visit here.

From the Vaults (Vol. 2) Track Listing

Dates in parentheses denote recording date

  1. Please Love Me Tonight (12/29/48)
  2. You Can Have Him (5/25/49)
  3. Goodbye, John (6/3/49)
  4. Through a Long and Sleepless Night (6/3/49)
  5. Save Your Sorrow for Tomorrow (10/7/49)
  6. Cry, Cry, Cry (3/13/50)
  7. Helpless (3/13/50)
  8. Happy Music* (6/16/50)
  9. Once in a Lifetime (Only Once) (9/14/50)
  10. The Mill on the Floss (12/26/50)
  11. Rock Me to Sleep (2/8/51)
  12. He’s Only Wonderful (4/5/51)

* written by Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour