Peggy Lee

1920 - 2002

Peggy Lee was Born Norma Dolores Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, on May 26, 1920. At age four her mother died. Peggy's father, a railroad station agent, remarried but later left home, leaving Peggy's care entrusted to a stepmother who physically abused her. Peggy later memorialized this in the calypso number "One Beating a Day", one of 22 songs she co-wrote for the autobiographical musical "Peg", in which she made her Broadway debut in 1983 at the age of 62. As a youngster Peggy worked as a milkmaid, later turning to singing for money in her teens. While singing on a local radio station in Fargo, the program director there suggested she change her name to Peggy Lee. Peggy's big break came when Benny Goodman hired her to sing with his band after hearing her perform. Peggy shot to stardom when she and Goodman cut the hit record "Why Don't You Do Right?" and went out on her own to record such classics as "Fever", "Lover", "Golden Earrings", "Big Spender" and "Is That All There Is?" -

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