Archive for the ‘The Rainbow Room’ Category

Peggy Lee

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Listen: Fever / Peggy Lee PeggyLeeFever.mp3

Ever driven through the eastern tip of Maine and up to Nova Scotia? It’s like Norway. And if you haven’t been there, well they’re all basically greener and cleaner than anywhere else. Nova Scotia is particularly another world onto itself. An oasis of cool, almost fall-like weather in August, amongst many other exotic things.

Do the drive sometime, with absolutely no plan in place, stop and flop wherever. The bed and breakfasts are mindblowing. Family friendliness, spotlessly clean, overly comfortable, they’re heaven. And the food – be ready – you will over eat, happily. For some real fun, fire up the scan function on the FM wireless, something called a radio that was popular during the last century and interestingly still in most cars. Our scan gives you a ten second soundbite per station. That means they have exactily ten seconds to stand and deliver or it’s ‘next’.

To their credit, the things you’ll hear are shocking. Remember, this is Canada, and they generally tend to be a bit more English in many ways. Through the years, lots of the UK acts got exposure and traction there, hence into the Canadian charts they went. Now, the most unexpected songs can be found on their oldies stations. I like this.

Then there’s the AC stations – absolutely fascinating time warps. Even more bizarre and inviting than those oldies formats. Believe me, that ten second scan function will have you amused for hours.

Peggy Lee’s rendition of ‘Fever’ is certainly a well known classic, you don’t need me to let you know that bit. But have you heard it lately? Wow. When it came on, it sounded truly fantastic.

Standing out like nothing I can describe, the production and arrangement brought me right back to her live performance. I was lucky enough to get tickets for one of Peggy Lee’s last New York performances in the 90′s, at The Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center, where she performed in a wheelchair. Didn’t matter. She blew everyone away.

All the lights went dark, and I mean pitch black, for ‘Fever’. The audience was ready, and religious. A single, intense, perfectly precise spotlight lit her snapping fingers as the extra long intro teased the crowd up to that first lyric. Sparsely lit throughout, beams highlighting just the right musicians, their musical body parts and instruments throughout. The visual direction was a work of art.

Listen to the song, your imagination won’t need to work hard to envision what went down. I really hope you all got to see her live too.