This one’s for Peggy: “A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee” for one night only next FridayNext weekend three musical talents will come to Jamestown in tribute to the woman who proudly told the world she’s from Jamestown.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Next weekend three musical talents will come to Jamestown in tribute to the woman who proudly told the world she’s from Jamestown.
In 1972, Jazz legend Peggy Lee released the album “Norma Deloris Egstrom from Jamestown, North Dakota,” revealing her given name and birthplace.
Now a group of renowned musicians will bring “A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee” from New York City to Jamestown Friday as part of a celebration marking the opening of a museum nearby. The Wimbledon Midland Continental Railroad Depot Featuring Peggy Lee will open Saturday, May 26. Ceremonies and events are from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Singer Stacy Sullivan with Jon Weber on piano and Steve Doyle on upright bass have had a show dedicated to Lee in New York since Nov. 11, 2011. For the first time ever it’ll be performed in Jamestown.
“I know that my grandmother would be thrilled, as I am, that Stacy is introducing Peggy’s music to new audiences as well as giving Peggy’s fans a chance to once again hear these great songs performed live,” said Holly Foster Wells, Lee’s granddaughter.
Foster Wells tapped Sullivan to come to Jamestown following a show she saw in New York.
“Holly came to edge of the stage and whispered in my ear, ‘there’s something about you, I loved the show, I loved the show,’” Sullivan said.
While writing her tribute show, Sullivan has become an unofficial Lee historian, soaking up information about the Jamestown native for her show.
At her peak in 1962 in New York, Lee was making 10 times more in salary than New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle, as people would travel the globe to hear her sing, Sullivan said.
“She did it right. I have not spoken to one musician who doesn’t say she was an absolute musical genius,” Sullivan said. “One thing everyone agrees on was she was a genius.”
Sullivan even has a special song that Lee never released and never played live. Written in 1980, “The Folks Back Home” serves as a tribute to North Dakotans, she said.
Sullivan will debut the song in Jamestown.
“This has been such an amazing adventure,” Sullivan said. “It’s been just a glorious adventure, we’re very excited.”
Weber, who also is musical director in the group, has a show on NPR called “NPR’s Piano Jazz Rising Stars.”
Weber’s first musical memory was his father’s favorite album, “Latin ala Lee,” where Lee plays in a Latin American style.
Just as Lee continued to evolve over her musical career, “A Tribute to Peggy Lee” performs few songs the exact way Lee did them.
“We did that to honor her, kind of an homage and said ‘you messed with songs and we did that to honor you by not playing the songs the way you’ve done them,”’ Sullivan said.
Advance tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 25, performance of “A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee” are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students. Tickets at the door will be $20.
Tickets will be available in Jamestown at Globe Travel, Hugo’s Family Marketplace and Cork and Barrel. Tickets will be available in Valley City at the Barnes County Museum and Unique Antiques.
A very limited number of VIP tickets also will be available for $50 and will include preferred seating and a reception following the performance. For more information about VIP tickets, contact Kate Stevenson at 701-952-8253.
From 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 26, the grand opening of the Wimbledon Midland Continental Railroad Depot Featuring Peggy Lee will be free and open the public.
The show will also be performed at 7 p.m. May 26 at the Stage at Island Park in Fargo. For information about the Fargo show, call the box office at 701-235-6778.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com