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Peggy Lee news from 1969


North Dakota’s favorite home grown chanteuse, Peggy Lee, was the subject of an interesting article published in the New York Daily News on this date in 1969. Given the ever changing entertainment, societal and journalism standards, the story from the end of the turbulent 60s is especially interesting.

Here’s part of what reporter Ruth Kling wrote in that article:

Sultry Peggy Lee, internationally known for her lovely singing, has more than just her voice to be proud of. Peggy is one of those rare women who have managed to bring professionalism to all her undertakings, ranging from philanthropic activities to her individual beauty routine.

Peggy is a perfectionist about many things in her life, especially her performances. Quoting Peggy, Kling continues, "I literally go by the book. It’s a black loose-leaf book, filled with typed and mimeographed notes and data, all kept in order. I simply don’t think I could function without it."

The book is a record of every show that Peggy has done for the past two decades, each song she sang, where the performance took place and what she wore.

Although she has a tall, well-proportioned figure, Peggy has to fight excess weight constantly, since she loves to eat. When she finds the pounds adding up, she goes on a simplified light-protein diet, cutting down on everything else except green vegetables. For exercise, she prefers an electric bicycle that helps to subtract inches all over her body.

"If I weren’t a singer, I think I would simply want to be happily married," Peggy told us. "You know, a strong man resents a career woman. And it seems that most career women want only a strong type of man. It is just a vicious circle."

Peggy feels that good grooming is the secret of charm. Cleanliness is high on the list of her own beauty routines; she likes mineral baths because they give her a feeling of well-being. She says it is the next best thing to going to a spa. She takes mineral baths to relax after a long, hard day.

She told us that her Scandinavian ancestors endowed her with great spiritual and physical strength from which she has always drawn.

Peggy Lee passed away in January 2002. Among other honors, the Jamestown native, who performed for six decades, was a three-time Grammy Award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Oscar nominee, and a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Variety reported last year that a movie is planned about the North Dakota star.

Dakota Datebook written by Steve Stark