Peggy Lee On Record (1941-1995)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Ridin'High, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    XII. JUMP FOR JOY
    (Continued; Third Post)



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    The Mono & Stereo Report

    Circles, Balloons and Rainbows


    In a previous post, we reported that the Jump for Joy sessions were recorded in both mono and stereo. We also mentioned that the mono edition of the LP came first (April 1958), the stereo edition seemingly about a year later (ca. April 1959). For this follow-up post, I will be sharing by basic findings & thoughts on some graphic minutia that caught interest.

    Right below, you are seeing two copies of the album's back cover. Those are actually side-by-side pictures of the mono and stereo editions. (Side note: the first back cover is of Australian origin. I would have preferred to feature the American original, but could not find a suitable image of the latter. In any case, this Aussie alternative should serve the same purpose as the American mono cover. From a pictorial perspective, they are identical.)


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    Look at the cute way in which the art designer identifies ST-979 as the stereo edition. One of the drawing's four joyful couples has hit the jackpot. The lucky pair is being transported to the skies in a stereophonic balloon ...

    Smaller as it might be, that particular balloon is a lot flashier! And it is not filled with just helium. Or hydrogen. Oh, no. It carries the full spectrum, baby.


    That's right. This balloon proudly sports Capitol's iconic designation for stereo: a black circle surrounded by a flashy ring. Inside the circle, we can read what would become one of the company's best-known, most recognizable slogans ("Capitol Stereo, The Full Spectrum Of Sound").

    Having become momentarily curious about that particular Capitol icon, I just tried to find out its history. It can be found not only in album covers but also in the inner sleeves of early Capitol stereo LPs, where it is greatly magnified. Capitol appears to have continued to feature it on back covers until 1961. (Thereafter, Capitol adopted another design. Though still circular in shape, it was otherwise different yet by no means new: Capitol just reverted to an icon that I have also seen in the front of its 1957-1958 stereo tape boxes.)

    The black & white icon under discussion (the one in the back cover of Jump for Joy) also had an in-color version. As far as I have been able to ascertain, it was restricted to the front covers of the earliest stereo LPs. Here is an example.


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    Pictures showing this in-color logo are hard to find. Most of my retrieved images of early stereo LPs did not carry it. For that reason, I suspect that it was a detachable sticker. (Anybody knows?) Also, and for what is worth, I've come across the icon on the front covers of two early stereo LPs pressed abroad: New Zealand's Stereo Disc and Japan's Beauty And The Beat.

    Let's summarize. The b&w incarnation of this circular design can be found in the sleeves and back covers of 1950s Capitol stereo LPs. Meanwhile, its in-color, rainbow-radiating incarnation seems to have made only a brief appearance, in the front covers of the earliest Capitol LPs.

    Last but by no means least, there's one additional surface where this black & "rainbow-like" circle shows up: on the vinyl itself. I am referring to the label on the actual, physical LP, of course. That rainbow label is probably the most distinctive and memorable of the many which EMI used in its long history as a music company. You can see one example of it in the very first photo on this post. That's actually a British edition of Jump for Joy. This physical label was thus used both domestically and abroad.

    In the United States, the rainbow label is found in both stereo and mono pop vinyl from Capitol's 1958-1968 period. Previous to this rainbow design, Capitol 12" pop LPs had come out in one of three colors, depending on the category in which they fell. There was red for soundtrack albums and dark gray for the more expensive releases, recorded by the label's better-selling artists (or so I'm assuming the gray color to mean). The 1958 monophonic edition of Jump for Joy came in the third, standard color of the time period: turquoise. See picture below.


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    Capitol's (Sometimes) Wonderful World of Stereo

    Just as with our previous post (in which we looked into Capitol's earliest stereo tape releases), let's make use of the present post to check into Capitol's earliest LP releases. As we have previously pointed out, Jump for Joy was sadly excluded from the label's stereo tape catalogue, but it would join its stereo vinyl listings around April of 1959.

    To build these two catalogues (early stereo reels, early stereo LPs), Capitol essentially followed the same pattern. Let's take a look at each catalogue.

    Back in July of 1957, the label had debuted its stereo line with a batch of 13 reel-to-reel tapes. Two of those were
    inaugural titles (A Study in Stereo & Intro to Stereo). Of the other 11 initial releases on tape, seven belonged to the classical field, and the remainder were by artists from the realm of popular music (Nat King Cole, Stan Kenton, George Shearing, Fred Waring).

    In July of 1958, Capitol announced that they would be releasing 15 stereophonic LPs in the following month. Three of those would turn out to be introductory titles (The Stereo Disc,
    Stars in Stereo, Big Bands in Stereo). Amidst the other dozen debuting in stereo, the field was evenly divided between six classical and six pop titles, including one soundtrack thrown into the pop mix (The King and I). The other five pop titles included pieces by two Les (Baxter & Brown) as well as the above-pictured item by Nelson Riddle.

    As for the remaining two pop artists, Nat King Cole and Fred Waring were repeat contenders. Their 1957 tape offerings had been
    Love Is the Thing (Nat) and In Hi-Fi (Fred). In 1958, they were again at the forefront of Capitol's stereo push, this time with two soundtrack-related titles, Songs from St. Louis Blues and Selections from South Pacific.

    Since word of mouth about Capitol's early stereo LPs was positive (and vinyl was not as expensive to produce as tape), it should come as no surprise that the label rapidly expanded its stereophonic vinyl catalogue. October of 1958 saw the appearance of 13 additional titles, and November brought 11 more. Some of those 24 additions were actually albums that had previously shown up on stereo tape (e.g., Nat King Cole's Love Is the Thing and George Shearing's Black Satin), while others were brand new entries (e.g., Nat King Cole's Just One Of Those Things, Frank Sinatra's Only the Lonely, and The Ballad Style of Stan Kenton).

    Of all this entire succession of 1958 Capitol LPs in stereo, not one title was by a female popular artist. As previously mentioned, the 1957-1958 stereo tape series made room for only one, Keely Smith's I Wish You Love. In the world of vinyl, fans had to wait until 1959 for the equivalent event to take place.

    I do not know on which songstress this honor should be bestowed, however. The primary candidates are Mavis Rivers, Judy Garland, June Christy and, with Jump for Joy, Peggy Lee. If that album's stereo incarnation was truly released in April or earlier, then Lee could take the honor. Otherwise, the distinction might be shared by Mavis and Judy, the latter thanks to The Letter, the former on account of Take a Number. Both albums were out in May of 1959. (June Christy Recalls Those Kenton Days seems to have come out at a slightly later date than those two.) As we will see later on, Peggy Lee holds a more definitive "first-Capitol-female-in-stereo" title, but that honor is for a configuration other than LP or reel.


    Sophies' Choice: Stereo or Mono?

    Jump for Joy was Peggy Lee's very first stereo 12" album. That's a good thing, of course, but it should not be taken to automatically mean that the stereo edition of the LP is better than its mono edition.

    I side with those listeners who generally prefer the mono alternatives of orchestral Capitol albums from the late 1950s. Speaking in a very general manner, the label's early stereo projects come off as more suitable for the type of listener whose ears concentrate on the overall sound -- i.e., the orchestra's instruments in unison, along with the singer's voice. Mono is more suitable for the listener interested in individual sounds and nuances. One major issue is that, all too often, the stereo incarnations fail to capture some of the single instruments -- most notoriously, those from the rhythm section. The bass is the most common victim, to the point that it sometimes feels as a case of "aural profiling" (though it wasn't).


    In the specific case of Jump for Joy, I have trouble making up my mind as to whether I prefer the mono or the stereo. If forced, I'll go with the mono, though more out of principle and habit. Both configurations have its pros and cons. It's true that the stereo edition suffers from the general shortcomings mentioned above (in particular, poor capture of the rhythm section, worse of all being the bass feedback). The strings also take a backseat to the brass. But, even so, there is a vibrancy and immediacy to the stereo (especially, as remixed for the DRG CD issue, to be further discussed in an upcoming post) that the mono manifests only in a more subdued, less "in-your-face-and-ear" manner.

    Final answer (echoing an assessment already made by .cristalised.): if sound quality is something really, really of your interest, you will benefit from listening to both mono and stereo incarnations of this album (and ditto for most other Capitol albums from the same early stereophonic period). Just one thing. While listening to the stereo, I have found the experience to become much more enjoyable if I turn up the volume to very loud! (That also applies to the mono version, but to a lesser extent.)

    As I tried to convey at the very outset of this series of posts,
    Jump for Joy feels like something of a party album. Its festive atmosphere is better conveyed on loud volume.


    Audio Showcase



    I am happy to report that two of the three Silverman video clips are still in YouTube: Alan Silverman, ARF Mastering - YouTube . (The missing clip is, regrettably, the middle one, which featured some of the meatier comments about mastering technique.)

    Linked above is the third and final clip. Though primarily dedicated to questions and answers (most of them quite worthwhile, actually), this third clip is worth posting here because it starts off as Silverman plays one entire master take from
    Jump for Joy, with a tiny bit of studio chatter heard at its start. For those of you who are less technically oriented and would thus prefer to hear that same studio chatter & master take separately from the engineer's commentary, here is a perfect alternative: Peggy Lee // Just in Time (take 7) .


    To be continued (on relatively brief posts, I promise!) ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  2. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    XII. JUMP FOR JOY
    (Continued; Fourth Post)




    Promotion

    Naturally,
    both Capitol Records and Peggy Lee supported her 1958 album Jump for Joy through a variety of strategies that included promos sent out to radio stations, advertisement on trade periodicals, and plug appearances on television. One of such appearances is the above-shown guest spot on the January 25, 1958 telecast of The Perry Como Show. (Does anyone knows who is the saxophonist, by the way? His solo starts off at :56.)

    This TV segment actually consisted of two songs, of which the clip above gives you just one. It's her performance of the album's titular number, rendered in black & white.
    To see the full segment (in sepia, to boot), try this link: Peggy Lee, Perry Como, Pat Boone, John W. Bubbles together January 25,1958 . After the two numbers are finished, you will hear Perry and Peggy chat a bit, too. Then the quartet of Perry, Peggy, Pat Boone, and John W. Bubbles get together for a medley of their hits and staples. All four artists receive appreciative applause, but only one of them elicits loud squeals from hormonal females of a tender age, who have obviously invaded what was usually a more adult and laid-back audience.

    Amidst it all, Peggy manages to plug her previous Capitol album (
    The Man I Love) and her upcoming concert engagement (at the Copacabana). So, between those two plugs and her preview-in-song of the soon-to-be-released Jump for Joy, she had all her bases covered. This guest appearance served a a triple promotional "feat" for our songstress. (By the mid-1950s, most vintage pop songstresses were probably finding themselves in need of doing as much self-promotion as they could manage.)

    Another manner in which Peggy Lee supported this album of hers was by writing the following poem, which Capitol is likely to have sent out to radio stations across the nation, as part of the promotional material. I suspect that it was not really a poem per se, but rather a song, perhaps meant to be sung to the tune of "Jump for Joy," "Ain't We Got Fun," or any of the other upbeat selections from the album. The bare simplicity of the lyrics certainly suggests such to be the case.


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    Reception
    Jump for Joy climbed to #16 in Billboard's album chart, which was being published in the form of a top 25 at that point in time. A #16 was actually a better showing than the #20 attained by Peggy's previous Capitol album, The Man I Love ... For any female pop singer of a certain age, both scores would have been deemed good. (I'm taking a look right now at Billboard's album chart for the week of October 6, 1958. The only female act in the entire top 25 is the younger, up-and-coming Dakota Staton, with her debut smash album, The Late, Late Show. As for male vocalists of Peggy's generation, we do get Frank, Nat, and Tennessee Ernie Ford. On another side of the fence, Elvis is already in town with two hit albums, and so are the more mainstream male pop singers of the young, 1950s generation: Pat Boone and Johnny Mathis. Finally, something unspeakable is transpiring at the top of the chart. Right up there is one of Mitch Miller's sing-along albums, about which I have no further comment.)

    Jump for Joy was well received among critics, too. Both Cashbox and Billboard reviewed it positively. Here is the Cash Box review:


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    The Album On Compact Disc

    Previous posts have discussed the fact that Jump For Joy was the first Peggy Lee LP to be released in both mono and stereo. I have also voiced the opinion that this Capitol album is -- along with most other late 1950s albums from that label -- worth a double listen, once in mono and once in stereo. Although you will be hearing the exact same master takes twice, each listening experience shall offer a different musical perspective.

    For those of us more interested on digital than vinyl, there are both mono and stereo CD editions on the market, too. The official monophonic release is this twofer disc:


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    As for the main stereo alternative, that would the 2009 CD remastering on DRG Records, mentioned in earlier posts. It features the exact
    same front cover as the original album, and the same 12 tracks in stereo. It includes a booklet (with photos) and adds two bonus tracks, both of them taken from Peggy Lee singles, and featuring Nelson Riddle arrangements. Here is the back cover of that DRG CD:


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    The album Jump for Joy can also be found, in its entirety, in
    several CD twofers & multi-CD sets. All those other releases are (unlike the above-discussed pair) Public Domain offerings, rather than official or licensed items. Some of them sound good, and some of them are mediocrities from crass labels out of to make a buck.

    From the good bunch, my pick would be the following set, which encompasses not only Jump for Joy but also The Man I Love and just about everything else recorded by Lee between 1957 and 1959, presented in good sound quality and with lavish care:


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    To be continued (and concluded!) ...
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
  3. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    That cover is historic for another reason. T'was the first and only time in the history of recorded music that a mermaid became so enamoured with an arranger's siren song that she consented to being netted for an album cover :)

    The full spectrum of Capitol Stereo not only appeals to audiophiles but also to creatures of myth, baby.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  4. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I like how Peggy elongates her phrasing on the word "groovy" in this performance. She's taking a different melodic phrasing on many lines when compared to the studio recording. I think I prefer this vocal performance, actually, because Peggy seems less restrained and she really comes across swingin' here. Although the sax solo feels out of place. But what's Peggy doing at the end there? Almost looks like she gets caught on the wash cycle ... or permanent press, maybe? :)

    Regardless, she had a wrinkle-free chat with Perry. Thanks for linking the entire clip - it's a very charming time capsule!
     
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  5. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    XII. JUMP FOR JOY
    (Fifth & Final Post)



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    The Album Abroad
    Like most other Capitol 12" LPs, Jump for Joy was an international release. Australia, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom are among the countries on which the original US LP was also pressed.

    British fans of the pre-CD era counted with several options. For starters, there were the mono & stereo pressings that came during the original release period (i.e., the late 1950s). Between 1966 and 1970, there were also a couple of budget reissues that I will be discussing shortly. There was
    a 1985 reissue as well. The latter was part of a series carried out by UK EMI in conjunction with Pathé Marconi in France.

    In Japan, the album came out on LP at least three times. The most curious of those three releases is the one pictured above, which might also be the earliest. Its status as a curiosity lies in the fact that it is a 10" LP --the only ten-inch version of this album ever, as far as I know. It contain eight tracks, instead of the whole dozen.


    In addition to the above-mentioned foreign pressings (all of them featuring the same front cover as the US original), two branches of EMI reissued Jump for Joy with different artwork and, in some instances, even with a different title. Let's check those out next.


    Music For Pleasure, a popular budget branch, oddly gave the title
    The Song Is You to its reissue:


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    Music For Pleasure (MFP) also had offices in the Netherlands, where the album appears to have been simultaneously reissued (with different artwork and title, but the same backdrop coloring and circular-picture design):


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    Both of these MFP reissues seem to date from 1970. They are derived not only from the late 1950s LP but also from a LP reissue on yet another EMI branch, which we will be covering next.

    In 1966, EMI's mail-order World Record Club offered the following version of the album (made available on both LP and reel):



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    The Club had a branch in Australia, too. Therein, yet another vinyl version of the album was offered. (I won't be including a photo here --in keeping with the forum's five-image-per-post limit. That's no big loss, though. It's a black & white cover, showing a woman's calves and stiletto shoes.)

    For ultimate fans, a neat additional detail about the just-discussed reissues is that, with the exception of the Australian one, they feature new notes on their back covers. In the cases of the two British items, we are actually showered with a whole lengthy essay, written by music critic Peter Clayton. Meanwhile, the MFP reissue from the Netherlands offers a fair amount of biographical and song detail, and it does so in both Dutch and French.


    Don't believe what Mr. Ridin'High is peddling in this quote! He forgot about the existence of a third official CD release: the 2013 Japanese disc shown below, which was released by Universal in "mini-LP" style.


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    The Riddle Sessions

    Let's pause, in order to present the overall picture discussed in the last few pages.

    After five years under contract with Decca, Peggy Lee returned to Capitol in 1957. She spent that year recording two albums at the Capitol Tower, The Man I Love (April) and Jump For Joy (December, mostly) ... Granted: while attempting to write an overview of the first album, I did stress its connection to Frank Sinatra, who served as its producer and conductor. But n
    ow we are aiming at a comprehensive view of this return period -- not just that one album.

    From this new perspective, Peggy's overarching partnership was actually with Nelson Riddle. He arranged both albums. He conducted one. He advised on how to conduct the other. And that's not all.

    The Peggy-Nelson pairing becomes even clearer when we take a look at the non-album sessions from her comeback year at Capitol. On April 13, 1957 (five days after the last Man I Love date), Peggy recorded three non-album masters with an orchestra conducted by Nelson (and featuring, incidentally, Plas Johnson). She was back at the studio again on April 22, recording the exact three same songs once more -- on this time around, without Riddle's presence, though.


    Naturally, the numbers from those two sessions were considered for release on 45-rpm single. (Some of them would be, while others would be left unissued.)

    On August 30 of the same year, an additional singles session brought Riddle back into the fold. Of the numbers recorded at that last date, one was Peggy's third try at a song that had been attempt at both earlier sessions. The other numbers were brand new attempts.

    For the record, here are the songs waxed at the three singles sessions:

    Every Night
    Uninvited Dream
    Baby Baby Wait for Me
    Listen to the Rocking Bird
    It Keeps You Young
    You Don't Know


    This bunch primarily consists of songs of the day (or new rewritings of old ones), written by up-and-coming songwriters of the day (e.g., Burt Bacharach), and performed in some of the popular styles of the day (rock 'n roll, doo-wop). I can only assume that Peggy recorded them at Capitol's request.

    As to who came up with the idea of re-casting Peggy into a rock 'n' roller and d
    oo-woper, that's anybody's guess. The most logical candidate would be the producer (unknown; possibly Voyle Gilmore), who would have directly asked Riddle for arrangements to suit the purpose. Obviously, Peggy would have had to agree. Experimenting with such styles would have not been an entirely new m.o. for her; she had previously recorded numbers with a rockin' beat, in the boogie woogie fashion, et cetera.


    Audio Showcase

    Of the six numbers from the singles sessions, I am going to pick the one which qualifies as more of a traditional swinger, and which finds Riddle at his most trademark sound. Musically, the number even feels like it could be a track from a Sinatra-Riddle album. (On the minus side, this YouTube clip uses a remastering that, to my ears, does not sound as dynamic as the original mastering. But it's all what YouTube has to offer at the moment.)

    Here is another reason to pick "It Keeps You Young" over these singles sessions' rock 'n' roll, ballad and doo-wop tunes: it would have been perfectly at home in Jump for Joy. In my imagination, this swinger is the album's 13th track!




    Next: At last, we move on to Peggy Lee's next album (and away from this honorable Riddle period).
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2018
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  6. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Is there really any proof these tracks were originally intended for singles? Granted, doo-wop is an unlikely style for Peggy, but I'm left to wonder. Capitol rolled the three-track machine for these ditties, and why would they go to the expense of recording for both mono and stereo if the producer had already decided they would be for singles only? Perhaps there existed a plan for Peggy to put out a rock 'n' roll styled album of younger songs after The Man I Love...?
     
  7. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter


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    No proof whatsoever. The alternative that you are offering is thus entirely valid. And interesting, too. I am going to keep it in the back of mind.

    The three-track situation: hmm. Good point. I do not have an explanation for it.

    Here is, by the way, a more discographically oriented account of the sessions in question:


    April 13, 1957
    16840. Uninvited Dream
    16841. Baby, Baby, Wait For Me
    16842. Every Night (Issued on 45-rpm single F 3722.)


    A
    pril 22, 1957
    16860. Uninvited Dream (Second performance of this song.)
    16861. Baby, Baby, Wait For Me (Second performance of this song; issued on 45-rpm single F 3722.)
    16862. Every Night (Second performance of this song.)

    August 30, 1957
    17424. Listen To The Rocking B
    ird (Issued on 45-rpm single F 2811.)
    17425. It Keeps You Young (Debuted as a track in the 1960 LP All Aglow Again!, which compiled then-recent singles, along with some previously unissued numbers.)
    17426. Uninvited Dream (Third performance of
    this song. Issued on 45-rpm single F 3811, according to Capitol's files.)
    17427. You Don't Know (First performance of this song; left unissued. A second performance was recorded in 1958 and issued on 45-rpm single F 3998, whose flip side is "Fever.")


    I haven't even checked if the released stereo versions come from one, two, or all three of these 1957 dates. (From a discographical standpoint, the first two sessions are complicated. I have long suspected that there are errors in their Capitol paperwork.)

    Let's ponder about all of this ...

    For now, I'm holding on to the belief that those were singles sessions. In connection to the first two dates (each of which resulted in three masters), I should add that 3-master Capitol dates from the late 1950s and 1960s tend to be singles rather than album sessions. (I mean: that's often the case. Admittedly, not always.)

    Also, to me it looks like these sessions feature too many different styles. There are three of four too many to allow for the fitting of the resulting masters into one coherent album. As we go through those 10 performances, our ears shift from rock 'n' roll to doo-wop to jazzy ballad to standard swinger ...

    All things considered, the likelihood of a prospective, aborted Rock 'n' Roll Ala Lee album is not striking me as high. On these pre-"Fever" days, Peggy was too established in the category of jazz-and-standards singing for her or Capitol to aggressively re-direct her into the rock route (even if for just one album).

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    Note the language in the ad above, too. The first of these Peggy Lee singles is being promoted as her "swinging" best. Had Capitol deemed it productive, its marketing department could have chosen to try instead for a slogan along the lines of "now back on Capitol, rock 'n' rolling with Riddle" ... So, even the descriptive language for this initial single remains within the traditional lane ("swing"). It avoids an overt identification of the genre to which those two performances actually belong.

    We should also take into consideration her status as an adult who was inching toward the 40-age mark. Had she tried to make an extensive & abrupt incursion into what so many listeners of that time deemed as teenager music, Peggy would have probably risked derisive comments. From Capitol's standpoint, a wiser course of action would have been to just dip into the genre (by recording a single or two), and see if she held any appeal in that increasingly dominating market. (Both seasoned critics and regular listeners tend to be very biased about generational matters of this kind. She would actually get her share of generational criticism later, when she was about to hit 50.)

    Having said all that, I'm still left with the thought that the notion of an album is an interesting possibility!


     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  8. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Agreed, it's an unlikely scenario. But my suggestion of an aborted album refers specifically to the April 13th date in stereo that immediately follows The Man I Love sessions. Since the Riddle-Sinatra-Lee album features traditional arrangements and performances of established standards, having a simultaneous or follow-up package of newly written (or some older, lyrically reworked) songs in a different musical style would be an interesting contrast, and a smart business case to determine whether or not Peggy could appeal to more than one audience after her return to the label.

    The masters recorded at the August session are far more typical of Lee's musical style during this era of her career, and by August, any plans for a doo-wop album would have long since fizzled. Consider, also, the stylistic progression of the remakes: "Baby, Baby Wait For Me" and "Uninvited Dream" were both originally recorded in doo-wop. Then, the former was re-recorded in a watered down R&B/Pop arrangement more suitable for a mainstream audience, while the latter became a completely re-imagined ballad in August with a traditional Riddle arrangement. It was the re-worked versions of both of these songs that made it onto singles. This could suggest that if plans for an album fell through, Lee might have enjoyed the compositions well enough to have wanted to re-record them in a style closer to her own, and more compatible with the singles market.

    April 13, 1957
    16840. Uninvited Dream (unissued? assuming mono only?)
    16841. Baby, Baby, Wait For Me (stereo, late issue on CD)
    16842. Every Night (single, reissue on CD in stereo)

    April 22, 1957
    16860. Uninvited Dream (stereo, late issue on CD)
    16861. Baby, Baby, Wait For Me (mono only, single and CD)
    16862. Every Night (unissued? assuming mono only?)

    August 30, 1957
    17424. Listen To The Rocking Bird (mono, original single)
    17425. It Keeps You Young (mono, compilation LP)
    17426. Uninvited Dream (mono, single)
    17427. You Don't Know (unissued? assuming mono only?)

    ^ looking at the timeline, what if additional stereo sessions were supposed to follow the April 13th date but were ultimately cancelled when plans for an album were scrapped? A lot of discussion can happen over nine days, and A&R plans could've changed within that span of time. Let's say, hypothetically, the album was cancelled after its first session was already captured on tape (April 13). Why else would Peggy record the exact same three songs on April 22nd? The most obvious rationale is that plans had changed, and the arrangements had to be adjusted slightly to make the performances more compatible for release on singles. (As for the original version of "Every Night" being chosen instead for its single, perhaps it was simply a preference made by the production after comparing the two resulting masters).

    I'm actually wondering if the April 13 & 22 performances of "Uninvited Dream" should be reversed, and that its confusion stems from the Capitol paperwork. Consider the status of the first session - two of its performances have been successfully mixed to stereo in the digital era. Then consider the second - one of its performances exists in mono only, despite being remastered in the digital era for a project that would have used stereo if it existed, suggesting that there were no three-track recordings on April 22nd. Furthermore, the doo-wop recording of "Uninvited Dream" sounds more similar to the April 13th recording of "Every Night" than it does the April 22nd recording of "Baby, Baby Wait For Me".

    Without further details, we'll never be sure what the plan was for April 13 (and, later, for April 22nd). But by August 30, things were back in Lee's usual style, and it's obvious that the August session was intended to be for singles from the get-go, because its performances weren't recorded in three-track and they are the typical Lee that the disc jockeys and record-buying public expected of the time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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  9. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    But then why not all 12 for The Man I Love? And why not a February 1957 Margaret Whiting session that produced a master with a doo-wop arrangement very similar to Peggy's April recordings?

    It's definitely a mystery.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  10. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I deleted my post, but you replied quickly! I mis-read one important detail.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  11. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    No worries!
     
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  12. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    For comparison:

    Margaret Whiting "Tippy-Toe" (February 1957, no three-track recording)

    Peggy Lee "Every Night" (April 13, 1957, mixed to stereo)


    Peggy was not the first Capitol thrush to get a doo-wop treatment at the label, and that's probably the same unidentified male chorus singing with both artists.

    Note the crappy sound quality of the former video. Record labels don't seem to give a damn about the great Margaret Whiting anymore, and that's a needledrop from the 45 single, of which Capitol seems to have compressed to hellish levels for AM radio. The song has never been properly remastered for a digital release. Meanwhile, Peggy's recording of "Every Night" has been beautifully remixed from a three-track tape and reissued on CD in scintillating stereo. Anyway, I digress . . . my point is that the stylistic similarities are remarkable.

    And so, the mystery endures . . . why stereo for April 13, 1957? Did Peggy pay out of pocket for three-track because she was curious to hear the results of this newfangled and seemingly fad-like technology? Who knows.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
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  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    My guess on the Margaret Whiting situation? Two things:
    1. If the songs were intended for an album, which seems questionable, it's T vs. W pricing. Yes, some T albums (lower cost) got the stereo treatment, but with W pricing, it was easier to recoup expenses of running double inventory.
    2. She was on her way out at Capitol. (Was that her last Capitol session? She hadn't done an "album" session in about a year and a half, no? That session strikes me as having contractual obligation or, at minimum, one last shot, written all over it.)

    Regarding Peggy:
    As far as I know, it was Capitol SOP for entire sessions to be assigned a stereo set-up or not, so since some of the songs on April 13 and April 22 have appeared in stereo, it's a safe bet that all of those songs were captured on both mono and 3-track tape, and I'd say odds are good that somebody saw potential for something from those sessions appearing on an actual album. (Sinatra had a session for Only the Lonely that also included the recording of Monique for single release, so Monique was given the 3-track, dual-set-up treatment right along with the OTL album tracks. Several months later, on September 11, 1958, Sinatra & Riddle recorded three songs. One was Rodgers and Hart's Where or When, which would have been a very atypical choice for a single. Capitol recorded all three songs in mono and 3-track, even though two of the three songs were clearly for the singles market.) The August 30, 1957, Peggy Lee session could certainly have been a mono-only session. (Sinatra had one about two weeks earlier.)
     
  14. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Excellent insight, Matt. The session that produced "Tippy-Toe" was indeed Whiting's last before moving on to Dot. Her last album sessions for Capitol were held in September of '55. The flip side of the "Tippy-Toe" single was a leftover track from a previous singles session, and the other two masters from the February session remain unissued to this day, probably intended for one last single that was never pressed because the former didn't sell.

    That said, Peggy's albums were never W priced, and the material from the April '57 sessions was all in the same vein as "Tippy-Toe". If anything, that strengthens the possibility that some sort of doo-wop album might have been envisioned for Peggy to closely follow on the heels of The Man I Love.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  15. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    I realize that Peggy was T not W. My thought, though, was that if even one song was viewed as being "album bound" and worthy of stereo coverage, the entire session would have been covered that way.
     
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  16. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    The fact that Peggy's April 13, 1957 session was recorded in multi-track (if not also April 22) raises another interesting possibility: this session may have produced the earliest recordings of doo-wop that have since been mixed to stereo. April 1957 was still early for stereo recording in any genre - relatively new for classical, especially new for popular music, and almost certainly a very early example of stereo for a sub-genre of rhythm and blues. Although I'm not well versed in doo-wop, it's a very real possibility that our gal Peggy may've been the first artist to ever record doo-wop in stereo, in the entire history of recorded music, or at least having done so for a major label. She beat Margaret by nearly one month (Whiting's first stereo session for Dot was held at Radio Recorders sometime in late April/early May 1957, and it was another doo-wop date).
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
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  17. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Let's ask Pure Pleasure Records to reissue Jump For Joy on 180g vinyl in its original mono mix, expanded to 14 tracks by adding "Listen To The Rockin' Bird" and "It Keeps You Young"! :)
     
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  18. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter




    For the record, Peggy Lee's very first stereo single can be seen below. Released in 1959, this single came out in both mono and stereo. Audio of the B side can be heard above.


    [​IMG][​IMG]


    That's an interesting possibility! Thanks for bringing it up. Before confirmation or denial, we'd need to do a lot of checking, of course. But I totally agree that her chances are good.

    Well, I just did a preliminary check-up -- with the thought that there could be some well-known release, unbeknownst to us. But no, from this early time period, I wasn't able to find any traces of doo-wop in stereo.

    If we might stray a bit ... For the benefit of those of us who are interested in the topic of early stereo, let me share a couple of curious details, found during this search.

    There is a 1955 stereo album by a boogie boogie pianist-singer:


    [​IMG]


    Not having listened to Butterfield's album, I do not know if he is performing here in that style, or in a jazzy vein. (What we read in the front cover suggests that it might be a jazz album.)

    Another detail of interest: some of the mid-1950s dates of the Hi-Lo's were recorded in stereo. From 1956, this particular tape apparently combines stereo and mono tracks:


    [​IMG]


    I haven't listened to those early Hi-Lo's albums, either, except for a sample or two. I assume that the group stayed clear of doo-wop, though.

    I just came across a very neat site dedicated to Omega stereo tapes such as the one above. If you haven't yet, check it out: The Omega Site.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
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  19. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    "Boogie-woogie on the piano!"
    [​IMG]

    Sacrilege! :D
     
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  20. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    That single is a stunner!​

    Fascinating! Thanks for the link. That site may very well cost me some money ... :)
     
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  21. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter



    Since my previous post contains the B side of Peggy Lee's first stereo 45, I've added the A side to this one. (Takes a few seconds before it starts playing.) It's a Ray Charles classic that was also a minor hit for Peggy.


    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for going through the three sessions & locating the stereo performances. I was hoping for that.



    Exactly. That would make perfect sense.

    I'm sure that we could come up with other possible set-ups (though perhaps those would not be as likely as the set-up quoted above).

    In all set-ups, the point shall remain the same, though. For these two April 1957 sessions, there are discrepancies between what we hear on audio and what is claimed in some of the discographical paperwork.

    Here is another set-up that I'm currently considering: we could be looking into one session which was somehow entered as two. Clues pointing in that direction would include:

    a) the duplication of all three songs
    b) the perfectly aligned catalogue numbers.

    (Granted, we do have two versions of "Baby, Baby Wait for Me," but they are relatively similar. One could be the master and the other an alternate.)



    Ah, I see now.

    I tend to automatically treat all three of those sessions as if they were an unit.

    Glad that you are leading me in another direction.



    To echo .crystalised, great insight into the Sinatra side of the equation.

    For the reasons that I gave in a previous post, I remain very doubtful that the idea of a full rock 'n' roll / doo-wop album could have ben entertained by the artist and her label. I am also hesitant about the notion that these three April 1957 arrangements could have been slated to a Peggy Lee album.

    Doubting Thomas, that's me. However, your comments have made me realize that there is another possibility.

    What if Capitol was contemplating the making of a various-artists stereo album of "new sounds of the 1950s" ...? Peggy's session would have been recorded in stereo as part of a plan to incorporate maybe two of her three songs in such a compilation. Of course, other Capitol artists should have been scheduled for stereo dates, with the same prospective album in mind.

    For reasons unknown, the album project would have been abandoned before long. No big deal -- not, at least, from the perspective of Capitol's brass. After all, the numbers had been simultaneously recorded in mono, and they could be released on 45 at any time.

    Does this make sense, as far as imaginary scenarios go?



    Leaving the realm of speculation now ...


    It's worth adding that Capitol had already done various-artists stereo albums. Those earlier tries had inaugurated their stereo tape series.

    On vinyl, the first such album was this one, from 1958:


    [​IMG]

    It features the pictured artists. Not a whiff of estrogen in the mix.

    That last omission was rectified on the following year:


    [​IMG]


    That statement sadly captures our entire discussion, in a nutshell.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018
  22. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    This, good sir, is the most plausible explanation for rolling stereo at an April 1957 singles session. A various artist compilation intended to showcase some of the exciting "new" musical styles of the 1950s makes perfect sense. Thanks!
     
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  23. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Another interesting possibility. Alas, we'd have to be able to hear the unissued versions of "Uninvited Dream" and "Every Night" to be sure the results are similar enough to belong to one session. The two versions of "Baby, Baby Wait For Me" definitely share some stylistic tendencies, but I'm left to wonder if they are similar enough for one to be an alternate of the other. There would have to be some serious re-working of the chorus vocals between takes, and that would eat up recording time better spent during rehearsal.
     
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  24. Ridin'High

    Ridin'High Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Right.

    In the case of "Every Night," a listening of the unissued version might be impossible. That's because it's still unclear whether such a version really ever existed.

    On the one hand, it is not listed at all in Capitol's artist file for Peggy.

    On the other hand, it is listed in one of the company's master inventories, which are usually far more reliable sources than the artist files.

    Then again ...

    Efforts to retrieve this unissued version from the vaults were once made, and no further traces of it were found. (That happened over a decade ago. I do not have further specifics about the search. Hence I can't say if the efforts involved trying to locate the actual, original tape at Iron Mountain, or if the efforts were circumscribed to the Mountain's computerized database. The latter would seem far likelier. Be that as it may, I do recall being told that repeated efforts had been made.)


    [​IMG]


    Ah. Pleased to read this assessment. If such is the case, then I will probably be discarding my proposal that we might be dealing with one single session, instead of two. (I have to confess that I haven't truly given a back-to-back listening to the two versions of "Baby, Baby, Wait for Me." I'll do so whenever I get in the mood.)

    Update: I just went to check up on this ... and found proof that you are right. (My proposal must thus be rejected).

    The proof: existence of AFM reports for both the April 13 and April 22 sessions. (I had forgotten having seen them.) So: two sessions, not one.

    Now, the reports do not tell us anything about the songs. Their titles are not listed. We are not told even the total of songs per date. (Oh well.)


    That'd be neat.


     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2018
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  25. .crystalised.

    .crystalised. Forum Resident

    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    To your knowledge, has anyone with access to the Capitol tapes ever heard the third (unissued) version of "Uninvited Dream"? Is there a chance that it doesn't exist, same as the second version of "Every Night"? If so, it's entirely possible that the April 22nd session was solely dedicated to producing a remake of "Baby, Baby Wait For Me". Perhaps it was a split session with another artist?
     

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