Peggy Connelly (vcl), Marty Paich, Russell Garcia (dir), Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Stu Williamson (tp), Russ Cheever (ss), Charlie Mariano (as), Bill Holman (ts), Jimmy Giuffre (bs), Al Hendrickson (g), Jimmy Rowles (p), Harry Babasin, Max Bennett (b), Roy Harte, Stan Levey (d), Jack Costanzo, Ramón Rivera, Willy Gallardo (perc)
Reference: FSRCD 964
Bar code: 8427328609647
By the time she was 15, Peggy Connelly (1931-2007) had a lovely voice that won her jobs singing with competitive big bands in her hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. At 18, she went in search of work as a model and singer, and after a difficult start, she moved to Hollywood. Once there, she landed two significant opportunities.
The first involved her appearance in motion pictures and TV shows. The second and more important opportunity was the start of her career as a single recording artist. When she sang, Connelly put to good use her beautiful, round tone and commendable lack of artifice to project the intent of any song with lucidity.
She was Frank Sinatra’s girlfriend for over two years, and their relationship opened many doors for her with musicians and the Hollywood studios. Even though Connelly had few significant opportunities in her career to show off her talent as a singer, the times she did resulted in these magnificent recordings. Sinatra, not very fond of praising his colleagues, had no qualms about praising Connelly. When he first heard her sing Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, he said: “Hi, beautiful lady, you are wonderful.”
01. You Make Me Feel So Young (Mirow-Gordon) 3:02
02. Trouble Is a Man (Joe Pasternack) 2:41
03. Where Did the Gentlemen Go? (Bobby Troup) 3:07
04. I Have Said Goodbye to Spring (Victor Young) 2:25
05. What Is There to Say? (Harburg-Burke) 2:54
06. Trav'lin' Light (Mercer-Mundy-Young) 2:29
07. Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye (Cole Porter) 3:18
08. Alone Together (Schwartz-Dietz) 3:16
09. I Got Plenty 'o Nuttin’ (G.& I. Gershwin) 2:40
10. Fools Rush In (Mercer-Bloom) 2:24
11. Ev'ry Time (Martin-Blane) 2:10
12. Gentleman Friend (Horwitt-Lezzine) 2:46
13. It Never Entered My Mind (Rodgers-Hart) 4:26
14. Why Shouldn't I? (Cole Porter) 2:59
15. That Old Black Magic (Arlen-Mercer) 3:14
16. He Was Too Good to Me (Rodgers-Hart) 2:44
Tracks #1-4, from the album “Peggy Connelly Sings” (Nocturne NLP-11/FSR-607)
Tracks #5-16, from the album “Peggy Connelly” (Bethlehem BCP-53)
Also entitled "That Old Black Magic"
Peggy Connelly, sings in all tracks
Personnel on #1-4: Marty Paich’s Orchestra
Jimmy Rowles, piano; Harry Babasin, bass; Roy Harte, drums; Stella Castellucci, harp; Edgar Lustgarten, Kurt Reher, Nat Shapiro, Karl Gottlieb, cellos.
Recorded at Western Recorders Studio, Hollywood, December 15, 1954
Personnel on #5-16: Russell Garcia’s Wigville Band
Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Stu Williamson, trumpets; Russ Cheever, soprano sax; Charlie Mariano, alto sax; Bill Holman, tenor sax; Jimmy Giuffre, baritone sax; Al Hendrickson, guitar; Max Bennett, bass; Stan Levey, drums. Featured percussion on #9 & 15: Jack Costanzo, bongos, Ramón Rivera, congas; Willy Gallardo, timbales.
Recorded at Radio Recorders Studio, Hollywood, January 16, 17 & 18, 1956
Original recordings produced by Harry Babasin and Red Clyde
Cover photo: Dave Pell © FSR Archives
Liner notes: Jordi Pujol
This CD release produced by Jordi Pujol
Hi Fi · 24-Bit Digitally Remastered
"It’s simply staggering how many excellent female vocalists were kept under the radar during the 1950s. Peggy Connelly is a perfect example, as this reissue by Fresh Sound Records demonstrates. Her relationship with Frank Sinatra got her foot in the recording door, but her talents got her the sessions, as she sounds like a muscular June Christy. The informative liner notes chronicle her career, but the music speaks for itself, and the two sessions are extremely strong. A four song 1954 date with a Jimmy Rowles/p trio and string quartet delivers wondrously moody reads of “Trouble is a Man” and a take of Bobby Troup’s “Where Did the Gentlemen Go?”. In front of Russell Garcia’s Band with pete & Conte Condoli/tp, Charlie Mariano/as, Bill Holman/ts, Jimmy Giuffre/bs, among others, she oozes over “What Is There To Say?” and is wonderfully shadowy for “Alone Together” with an almost soto-voce. She shows she can swing it as on “That Old Black Magic” with some nice rhythm provided by Jack Costanzo’s bongos and Willy Gallardo’s timbales, while cooing out “It Never Entered My Mind.” If you’re a fan of the O’Day-Christy-Connor side of singing, this gal’s for you."
George W. Harris (August 6, 2018)
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