Peg LaCentra

The Complete Recordings

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AllMusic Review by

Peg LaCentra was a radio actress who could also sing pretty well. Largely forgotten today, she achieved her greatest recognition when she was the vocalist with Artie Shaw's first commercially unsuccessful band and for a couple months in 1937 with his second orchestra (before it made it big). Other than three inferior numbers with pianist Jerry Sears' combo, all of her recordings are on this two-CD set. Fully 33 of the 45 selections are with Artie Shaw's band, including her regular dates and radio transcription sessions. Most of these performances did not sell too well and only "Afraid to Dream" is a bit familiar. In addition, LaCentra is heard on one earlier number apiece with the orchestras of Victor Young (featuring trombonist Jack Teagarden) and Johnny Green, the three better songs with Sears, the soundtrack of a short with Al Cooper's combo, four songs from radio appearances, and two numbers that she dubbed for actress Ida Lupino for the 1946 film The Man I Love. Other than the latter, all of the music is from 1934 and 1936-1939. LaCentra had a deep voice and often sounds like a society rather than jazz singer, but she swung in her own way. If she had pursued jazz or a film career, she would probably be known today, but instead she worked on the radio, had small parts in movies, and did not sing very much after 1939. This two-fer is perfectly done and contains Peg LaCentra's complete musical legacy.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:49
2 3:01
3 3:17
4 3:10
5 3:29
6 3:25
7 3:28
8 3:22
9 2:59
10 2:46
11 2:56
12 2:42
13 3:08
14 2:56
15 2:41
16 3:40
17 2:56
18 3:05
19 3:53
20 3:25
21 3:33
22 3:43

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:42
2 3:23
3 3:12
4 3:21
5 3:12
6 3:18
7 3:36
8 2:52
9 3:14
10 2:50
11 2:44
12 3:00
13 3:08
14 3:25
15 3:02
16
3:16
17 2:45
18 1:56
19 2:05
20 3:06
21 1:11
22 2:24
23 3:04
blue highlight denotes track pick