The Life and Music of Miss Peggy Lee

By Peter Richmond

Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312426613, 576pp.

Publication Date: April 17, 2007


"I learned courage from Buddha, Jesus, Lincoln, and Mr. Cary Grant." So said Miss Peggy Lee. Albert Einstein adored her; Duke Ellington dubbed her "the Queen." With her platinum cool and inimitable whisper, Peggy Lee sold twenty million records, made more money than Mickey Mantle, and presided over music's greatest generation alongside pals Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

Drawing on exclusive interviews and never-before-seen information, Peter Richmond delivers a complex, compelling portrait of an artist that begins with a girl plagued by loss, her father's alcoholism, and her stepmother's abuse. One day she boards a train, following her muse and hoping her music will lead her someplace better. And it does: to the pantheon of great American singers.

Praise For Fever

"Peter Richmond gives the great singer-composer her due. . . . A vivid montage of American pop at its peak."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Here is a fan who has immersed himself in Lee's music deeply enough to understand it to the core. . . . He grasps every nuance of an artist who was all about nuance and minute calculation."--The New York Times Book Review
"Richmond tells a fascinating tale of the singer's rise to stardom."--Baltimore Sun
"This is the rare bio of a golden-age entertainer that doesn't skimp on scandal but is quadruply concerned with conveying musical brilliance."--Entertainment Weekly "Richmond writes smoothly and researches diligently. . . . A gorgeous, eye-opening corrective."--The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) "Loaded with worthwhile detail . . . Richmond writes perceptively about Lee's various albums, never afraid to comment frankly on what worked and what did not."--The Washington Post