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The Peggy Lee Bio-Discography:
Soundtrack Performances
(Film, Part III)

by Iván Santiago

Page generated on Jul 12, 2021





This page is currently under construction. The contents will consist of recordings that Peggy Lee made for film soundtracks — not for the record retail labels to which she was contracted. For instance, Lee’s Decca recording of the theme from the movie Johnny Guitar is excluded from this page because it was expressly made for that record label, not for the movie's soundtrack. On the other hand, the Lee version of the same song that is heard in the film itself will be included herein. (Exceptions to these directives have been made when there is doubt or lack of information as to whether a version released by a record company is the exact same one heard on the movie. A master from Sharky’s Machine, listed below, exemplifies such a situation.) This page is not scheduled to open before the year 2022.


Date: Between 1952 And 1954
Location: Los Angeles
Label: Movie Soundtracks

Oliver Wallace (con), The Walt Disney Studio Orchestra and Ch (acc), Unknown (b, d), Sonny Burke (p, chi, mar), Peggy Lee (gng, bel, v), The Mellomen {Bill Lee, Thurl Ravenscroft, Max Smith, Bob Stevens} (bkv)

a. unknownMaster Take (Disney/Decca) La La Lu - 1:34(Joseph F. "Sonny" Burke, Peggy Lee)
b. unknownMaster Take (Disney/Decca) He's A Tramp - 1:35(Joseph F. "Sonny" Burke, Peggy Lee)
CAPITOL©EMI CS/CD(United Kingdom) 7243 5 27818 4 3 / 7243 5 27818 2 9 THE VERY BEST OF PEGGY LEE   (2000)
Disky Licensed CD(Netherlands) Sl 903647 (reissued in 2012 as Hx 906707) — Here's Peggy Lee ("The Here's Series" Set, Part 1)   (2006)
c. unknownMaster Take (Disney/Decca) The Siamese Cat Song - 2:07(Joseph F. "Sonny" Burke, Peggy Lee)
DISNEYLAND 45Lg 756 — Siamese Cat Song ("Little Gems" Series) {The Siamese Cat Song / Home, Sweet Home ["barked" by The Mellomen]}    (1962)
DISNEYLAND LPDq 1231 — Lady And The Tramp    (1964)
DISNEYLAND LP307/308 — Walt Disney's Story Of Lady And The Tramp    (1979)
DISNEYLAND CS/LPDc 1231 / Dq 1231 — Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp; All The Songs From The Film (spagetti scene from cover; not rainbow circles cover)   (1979)
DISNEY LP3103 — Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp [Picture Disc]   (1980)
[unknown label] CD(United Kingdom) unknown — Favourite Songs From Disney's Lady And The Tramp   
All titles on:
His Master's Voice EP(United Kingdom) 7eg 8921 — Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp (Disneyland Series)   (1965)
DISNEY CS/CD5008 60951 0 0 / 5008 60951 7 9 — Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp   (1997)
DISNEY CD861428 — Disney's Lady And The Tramp And Friends   (2006)
DISNEY CDD002066192 — Lady And The Tramp ("The Legacy Collection" Series)   (2015)


Masters

1. General Explanation
These are the three numbers that Peggy Lee sings in the soundtrack of the Walt Disney movie Lady And The Tramp, which premiered in 1955. Since I do not have any official documentation for Disney material, few of the most basic specifics can be definitively presented. For starters, the exact recording date is unknown. Also, it is only out of convenience that I have grouped these three numbers together. It is not clear if all they were recorded on the same day. Also unclear is their connection to the versions of the same songs that Decca released. On that last matter, see next entries.

2. "La La Lu"
Heard in the Disney film, this session's interpretation of "La La Lu" appears to be at least partially different from a version that Lee recorded for Decca on December 6, 1954. The Decca version is much longer, clocking in at 4:10. (Decca eventually edited it for release on a single, thereby creating a third version of this song.)
Furthermore, the two versions feature different vocal codas. In the Decca master and its edit, Peggy Lee closes with the spoken line "good night, little star sweeper." In this movie soundtrack counterpart, her spoken line is instead "there now, little star sweeper, dream on." Yet another difference pertains to an additional lyric line, rendered as "fold up your wings for tonight" on the Decca single, but as "fold up your wings, close your eyes" in the movie soundtrack. All in all, there is enough evidence to treat the film and Decca versions as different masters, as I have done here.

3. "He's A Tramp"
Also heard in the Disney film, this session's interpretation of "He's A Tramp" is shorter than the 2:10 variant which Lee recorded for Decca on December 20, 1954. However, close listening and comparison leads me to believe that the longer duration of the Decca master is the result of duplication and splicing. Strongly pointing toward that possibility is the fact that, during the last minute of the Decca performance, we hear the exact same vocal as before -- specifically, the bridge and the last verse. In short, there are valid reasons for considering the present version of "He's A Tramp" an edit of the December 20, 1954 Decca master. Nevertheless, lack of actual confirmation makes it more advisable to keep this possible edit on this page, separately from the officially acknowledged Disney masters.

4. "The Siamese Cat Song"
I have not detected any differences between this soundtrack version of "He's A Tramp" and its original Decca counterpart, recorded on December 20, 1954. However, I have chosen to give to "The Siamese Cat Song" the same treatment as "He's A Tramp," as least for the time being. The recording and issuing history of those two songs is intertwined.

5. "What Is A Baby?"
Viewers of the 1955 Disney movie Lady And The Tramp might recall that, in addition to the three numbers mentioned above, there is a fourth one sung by a female voice. It is a number called "What Is A Baby?," assigned to the character of Lady, the film's canine protagonist. The number was written by Peggy Lee, who recorded it for Decca. The label released her version on the album Songs From Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp," which also features her renditions of the above-discussed Decca interpretations. It is not Lee, however, who sing the number in the soundtrack of the movie. The vocalist is instead Barbara Luddy, the musically trained actress in charge of voicing the female canine. (For the record, the Luddy version is eight bars shorter than the Lee version.)

6. Editing
In his notes for Walt Disney CD #60951, audio engineer Randy Thornton explains that the Lady And The Tramp soundtrack versions are extant in the form of multi-track recordings. In other words, the various tracks or components (vocal, chorus, sound effects, music cues) exist separately from one another at Disney's reel library. Hence, over the years, engineers and producers with access to Disney's vaults have had the option of excluding any of those components, if they were so inclined.

Various components have indeed been edited out from a few LP and CD tracks. For instance, the spoken line "what a dog!," which the movie character Peg utters twice as she starts singing "He's A Tramp," is heard only once in the above-listed EMI and Disky CDs. (It is heard twice in Thornton's Disney CD.) Those EMI and Disky discs have also omitted the spoken utterances that one of the Pound Hounds makes right after Peg's aforementioned exclamations. (The hound's purged phrases: "Tell us about it, Peg!" "Peg used to be in the dog and pony follies"). These dog utterances have been kept intact, on the other hand, in issues that contain the longer, 2:10 Decca version of "He's A Tramp."


Issues

1. General Comment
The preceding paragraphs have pointed out that some of this session's numbers could simply be edits of those which Lee recorded for Decca in December of 1954. Were that to be proven the case, then the issues listed above (particularly under "The Siamese Cat Song" and "He's A Tramp") would need to be incorporated to those already entered in the Decca session from December 20, 1954, and viceversa. But, since no proof has hitherto come forward, I have chosen to listed under this session items which have been issue by Decca, and which are thus either known or believed to include the film versions (or, alternatively, the Lee versions that were available to Disney). The only exception is the 1975 Buena Vista album Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp. Although Buena Vista is a Disney label, that album is listed on the Decca page because it is a reissue of the Decca LP Songs From Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp.

2. Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp [CD]
3. A Stereophonic "Siamese Cat Song"
Before 1997, all issues of "He's A Tramp" and "The Siamese Cat Song" were monophonic. (Certain issues on Disney's Buena Vista label are said to be in stereo, but those are in reality 'fake' or mock stereo releases.)

In 1997, the producer of the CD Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp improved on the status of "The Siamese Cat Song." After discovering that the song's two feline vocals had been recorded on different tapes, Randy Thornton proceeded to create a stereo effect by keeping the vocals separate.

4. Disney's Lady And The Tramp And Friends [Disney CD]
5. The Very Best Of Peggy Lee [EMI CD]
6. Lady And The Tramp ("The Legacy Collection" Series) [Disney CD]
These two issues feature Thornton's stereo versions of "The Siamese Cat Song." They also include his remastered version of "He's A Tramp."

7. Lady And The Tramp [Disneyland LP Dq 1231]
8. Walt Disney Presents The Story And Songs From Lady And The Tramp (Disneyland LP #3917; Includes 12-page color booklet)
9. Walt Disney's Lady And The Tramp ... Plus Walt Disney's Mr. Toad And Rob Roy [Capitol LP J 3260]
Contrary to what some of the consulted sources suggest, the three above-listed LPs do not include any singing by Peggy Lee. They do contain songs from the movie, some written by her, but they are sung by singers other than Lee: Specifically: Teri York along with Bob Grabeau (Dq 1231), Ginny Tyler (3917), and in the case of the Capitol LP, by an unidentified vocalist.

10. CDs And LPs Missing From The Listing Of Issues
In addition to the points made in entry #1 (the general comment), it should be mentioned that there are quite a few Disney issues out, many of them compilations, on which songs such as "The Siamese Cat Song" and "He's A Tramp" can be found. This page has concerned itself only with the primary issues. See also my appendix of Lady And The Tramp album not featuring Lee; that appendix is located at the end of the pictorial Decca page.


Date: May 14, 1981
Location: Los Angeles
Label: Movie Soundtracks

Thomas L. "Snuff" Garrett (pdr), Grover Hesley, Chris McNary (eng), Allan A. "Al" Capps (arr, con), James Getzoff (ccm), Peggy Lee (v)

a. Master Take (Warner Bros.) Let's Keep Dancing - 3:13(Clifton T. Crofford, John Durrill, Bobby Troup, Samuel M. "Snuff" Garrett)
Warner Brothers CS/LPM5 3563 & Bsk 3563 — [Various Artists] The Soundtrack Music From Burt Reynolds' Sharky's Machine    (1981)
Warner's Rhino Handmade Licensed CDRhm2 7853LET'S LOVE   (2003)
Varèse Sarabande Licensed CD302 067 238 8 — [Various Artists] The Soundtrack Music From Burt Reynolds' Sharky's Machine   (2014)
Wounded Bird CDWou 8108 — Let's Love   (2016)

At The Recording Session

Found in the sleeve of the above-listed 2014 Varése Sarabande issue, the following comments were written by Laurence Zwisohn, annotator and reissue co-producer of that CD: "[a]t one session in May 1981, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan -- two consummate recording artists -- recorded their songs for the soundtrack. The studio was filled with an orchestra of over 30 musicians. First up was Peggy Lee. She did a rehearsal of her song and then sang it through on the first take. After she and Snuff listened to the playback, Snuff decided there was no need for a second take. Next up was Sarah Vaughan who arrived just as Peggy completed her song. Sarah too did a rehearsal and then sang her song letter-perfect, on the first take. Both artists were in and out of the studio in less than half an hour each. As Sarah said, 'it was the easiest money I ever made.' "


Source

I have never watched the film Sharky's Machine. According to reports from two actual watchers of the film, Lee's vocal is barely and briefly heard during the movie. All Sharky's Machine vocalists, including Lee, are believed to have recorded their vocals only once. Hence any Lee singing on the soundtrack would be a snippet from the same master recording featured on the soundtrack.


Dating

1. September 17, 1981
This is the date that a Warner Bros. discography attaches to the master recording of "Let's Keep Dancing." However, it is not clear whether this is a mastering or a recording date. At this point in time, I am inclined to believe that it is a mastering date.

2. December 18, 1981
This was the official premiere date of the film. The soundtrack album was probably released around that date, too. Advertisement for the album was prominently featured on the December 26 issue of Billboard magazine.

2. Sarah Vaughan Data
Sarah Vaughan is another vocalist heard on the album Sharky's Machine. According to her discographer Dennis Brown, Vaughan recorded one of her two vocals for this album on May 14, 1980 ("The Love Theme From Sharky's Machine," matrix number ZCA 1447) and the other on September 14, 1981 ("Before You," a duet with Joe Williams, matrix number ZCA 1452).

Note that the second alleged date is just three days shy of the above-discussed September 17 date. Note also that, according to commentary quoted in an earlier section (At The Recording Session), Lee and Vaughan recorded their respective solo vocals on the same day.

The over-a-year span between Vaughan's two performances is odd. Meanwhile, the matrix numbers of those two Vaughan performances are sequenced fairly close together (1447, 1452). Were we to take for granted that Brown's data is correct, then the explanation for this closeness would probably be that the movie theme was assigned its number at the same time as the later performances.

Nevertheless, I strongly suspect that Brown or his sources made one specific mistake. The correct date for Vaughn's solo master recording is likelier to be May 14, 1981. Acting on this suspicion, I have assigned that year to Lee's vocal.


Personnel

1. Recording Artists
Assembled by music fan and film star Burt Reynolds, the soundtrack album is an all-music-star affair. It features not only Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan but also Julie London (in her last recorded appearance), and Joe Williams (both solo and in a duet with Vaughan). Heard in other tracks as well are Chet Baker, Randy Crawford, Buddy DeFranco, Eddie Harris, The Manhattan Transfer, Flora Purim and, most prominently, Doc Severinsen.

2. Al Capps
3. Bill Holman
4. Bob Florence
5. Jim Gertzoff
Al Capps is one of three conductors listed on the original soundtrack LP. He is credited as the album's main arranger. Rhino Handmade CD 7853 specifically lists Al Capps as the arranger and conductor of "Let's Keep Dancing." He is also listed by Dennis Brown as the conductor of both Vaughan performances.

Credited with "additional arrangements" are both Bill Holman (who had worked with Peggy Lee in the late 1950s and early 1960s) and Bob Florence. Jim Gertzoff served as conductor of strings only.


Issues

1. Sharky's Machine In The Music Charts
During the week of February 6, 1982, the soundtrack of Sharky's Machine peaked at #171 on Top LP's & Tape (then the name of what would later become more commonly known as the The Billboard 200). This was its third out of eight weeks on that Billboard magazine chart.


Sessions Reported: 2

Performances Reported: 4

Unique Songs Reported: 4

Unique Issues Reported: 16