Oh, the tears and memories she brought to the generation of big bands and crooners. Miss Peggy Lee was the “It” girl, known internationally for her warm, sultry voice and her eye-popping beauty. Miss Lee, better know around Jamestown as the Egstrom kid, left here for the big city and bright lights, and as they say; “The rest is history.”
Born in Jamestown on May 26, 1920, Norma Deloris Egstrom would see her name in lights and get to hear her own lovely voice by the time she was grown.
Her life and contributions to the musical world will be remembered and celebrated starting at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, at the Valley City Eagles Club. Tickets are $25 per person and must be reserved by today. Contact the Barnes County Historical Society for tickets and information at 701-845-0966. A buffet meal begins at 7 p.m.
The Myron Sommerfeld Orchestra will perform during this special commemoration.
Miss Peggy Lee, known for her bombshell blonde beauty, was a songwriter, actress and singer. Although “Fever” and “A Natural Woman” are two selections that seemed to define her, “Lady and the Tramp,” from Disney’s movie of the same name, and “Is that All There Is?” became identified with her as well. According to online accounts, over the years she recorded under Capitol Records, Decca, Harmony and Capitol labels.
During her youth, she lived with her family upstairs in the Mid Continental Depot in nearby Wimbledon, North Dakota, where her dad worked. Memories of those years would later be recalled in one of her songs. She put that period of her life in “One Beating A Day.” A museum dedicated to her life is now housed in that building and is open to the public. The Peggy Lee Museum is located at 401 Railway Street in Wimbledon and information on schedule can be reached by calling 701-320-1020.
During her life (she died Jan. 21, 2002) she sang with Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, Bob Crosby and his Orchestra as well as many other orchestras. According to an online biography, she is known to have recorded well over 1,000 studio masters. Of those, many were written by her. The lovely Miss Lee appeared on television and radio, in intimate theater settings, in film as well as on stage. Her sound and looks inspired singers during her day.
The Sept. 10 event was scheduled last year to celebrate her 100th birthday, but the pandemic canceled it. Now this performance will serve as a special way to commemorate Miss Peggy Lee’s 101st birthday and her career, which started in Valley City. Be sure to reserve your seat today.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send it to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.