Oh La La Lee

Peggy Lee

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Oh La La Lee Review

by William Ruhlmann

This 47-track, two-disc British compilation of Peggy Lee's early recordings draws on three sources: the first 18 tracks are Benny Goodman sides made for Columbia and OKeh Records in 1941 and 1942, among them the hits "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," "Blues in the Night," "Full Moon (Noche de Luna)," and "Why Don't You Do Right?"; there are five of Lee's first batch of hits for Capitol Records from 1946-1948, "I Don't Know Enough About You," "It's a Good Day," "Golden Earrings," "Mañana," and "Don't Smoke in Bed"; and the remaining 24 tracks are radio transcriptions made with accompaniment by bands led by Lee's husband, Dave Barbour, or Billy May, including such standards as "I Should Care," "That Old Feeling," "September in the Rain," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "Nice Work If You Can Get It," "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues," "What Is This Thing Called Love," "Just One of Those Things," and "I've Got the World on a String." There are better compilations of the Columbia and Capitol material (which presumably went out of print in Europe after 50 years, hence the 1948 cut-off), but the transcriptions make a welcome addition to Lee's discography of the late '40s.

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