Universal Music Group (Digital Release)
Release date: August 10, 2018
In 1979, seven years after Peggy’s longtime affiliation with Capitol Records ended, the label released a ten-song compilation of songs by Broadway composer Cy Coleman (1929-2004) that she recorded in the early and mid-1960s, all previously released on albums and, in some cases, singles. The year that Miss Peggy Lee Sings the Songs of Cy Coleman was released Coleman had two successful musicals running on Broadway, I Love My Wife and On the Twentieth Century. The previous decade he had scored hits with the musicals Wildcat (including the song “Hey! Look Me Over,” recorded by Peggy and included here), Little Me (featuring “I’ve Got Your Number,” included here), and Sweet Charity (featuring “Big Spender,” included here). Later in his career he would enjoy further success with such musicals as Barnum, City of Angels and The Will Rogers Follies.
Notably among the overwhelmingly male Broadway songwriters of the 20th century, Coleman collaborated on successful musicals with female lyricists, among them Betty Comden, Dorothy Fields and Carolyn Leigh. In the mid-1960s he also wrote some songs with lyricist Peggy Lee, including “That’s My Style” and “(I’m) in Love Again,” both included in this compilation. The latter song, first recorded for Peggy’s 1964 Capitol album of the same name, has since been recorded by such distinguished singers as Tony Bennett, Blossom Dearie and Dianne Reeves. A third Coleman-Lee song included, “Then Was Then (and Now Is Now),” served as the title of a 1965 album for Peggy and was also recorded by Tony Bennett and Jack Jones. Peggy felt a special fondness for her song collaborations with Coleman and re-recorded both “(I’m) In Love Again” and “Then Was Then (and Now Is Now”) on her last full album recording in 1992. Coleman, a longtime friend, accompanied Lee to Louis Armstrong’s 1971 funeral, where she sang “The Lord’s Prayer;” he served as a creative consultant for Peggy’s short-lived 1983 autobiographical musical Peg, whose score included the Coleman-Fields hit “Big Spender;” and he spoke of his longtime friendship with Lee at her memorial service in February 2002.
For the 2018 downloadable edition of Miss Peggy Lee Sings the Songs of Cy Coleman, Universal Music is adding as bonus tracks the four remaining Coleman titles in Lee’s catalog: “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life,” “You Fascinate Me So,” “My Personal Property” (a concert performance) and “That’s What It Takes” (another Coleman-Lee composition).
1. Hey! Look Me Over
2. The Best Is Yet to Come
3. I’ve Got Your Number
4. (I’m) In Love Again
5. Pass Me By
6. That’s My Style
7. A Doodlin’ Song
8. When in Rome
9. Then Was Then (And Now Is Now)
10. Big Spender
11. I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life
12. That’s What It Takes
13. You Fascinate Me So
14. My Personal Property
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