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Peggy Lee Newspaper Clippings

VCTR 

December 31, 1936: “Miss Norma Egstrom of Wimbledon is visiting in Valley City this week.  Possessed with a remarkable voice, she will sing at the Eagles New Year’s Eve party tonight.  She has sung over KOVC” 

 

 

November 15, 1940 

Valley City Times Record 

 

Random Thoughts From The City Desk By Phil Mark 

 

Success Story: Success has come to a former Barnes County girl who got her start in Valley City. Norma Egstrom, of Wimbledon, better known as Peggy Lee in the radio and musical field, has reached the top of the ladder. After several years as a soloist over WDAY and entertainer at the Powers Hotel in Fargo she has signed with the Will Osborne orchestra currently playing at the Nicollet Hotel in Minneapolis. This same band, one of the top notchers in the country, is famed for its slide music and is leaving on a road tour November 4. They played at Jamestown a year ago last fall. Peggy Lee first received notice when she was singing over KOVC some five years ago. After singing over this station and with local dance bands, she was located at Jamestown for a time. Then she went to Fargo where she received wide recognition. With Will Osborne's band, she is now among the tops in her field. Her many friends here and at Wimbledon are happy to hear of her latest success. To Peggy or Norma we extend congratulations. 

 

 

November 14, 1941  

Valley City Time Record, Valley City, North Dakota  

From the City Desk By PHIL MARK  

Career Girl  

Peggy Lee is now one of the bright stars in New York’s night club firmament. A few years ago she was only Norma Egstrom, up Wimbledon (ND) way, but with a voice and ambition. She got her radio start with KOVC (Valley City, ND) and later went to Jamestown and then to Fargo. Recently she was featured in an article by Columnist Adelaide Kerr. This writer has interviewed the stars of the Big City and found that many have had to take heartaches so sharp and hurdles so high that most people would have quit. Take Peggy for instance, she says: At 17 she went to Hollywood to try her luck, lived on macaroni and nearly starved. Result of all that was a badly infected throat and three operations. During the last one in St. Louis while she was under anesthetic, hospital attendants dropped her on the floor and her two front teeth were knocked out. “That seemed to do something to me,” Peggy said. “I cried, then it seemed I was steel inside. I set out to meet the right people. Some friends got me a job in Chicago. Benny Goodman heard me there and now I’m singing with, his orchestra in New York.” Congratulations, Peggy! 

 

 

February 27, 1942  

Valley City Time Record 

Valley City, North Dakota 

Random Thoughts from the City Desk by Phil Mark 

Cupid Said Busy  

Are wedding bells soon to ring for Peggy Lee, the former Norma Egstrom of Wimbledon and present songstress with Benny Goodman in New York City?  Rumors have it that she is engaged to wed Benny, the “king’ of swing”, himself.  Engagements are nothing new to Goodman but this time it is the real thing, he says.  Singing with a top band is a far cry from the start Peggy got here, about six years ago.  Remember when she first sang with an orchestra at a dance at the Eagles here?  It was a New Year’s Eve party and it was her first public appearance.  Some of the girls snickered at her evening dress.  Peggy had a voice, alright, but not the clothes to go with it, and her outfit was a honey.  Bet she would get a laugh out of it now.  It was black, with an artificial flower of some kind hanging on her back, but she wasn’t worried about her dress.  She was concerned with her singing, which was to be the least of her worries.  That was her first job, and from then on her singing career has been meteoric.  Congratulations to a North Dakota Girl who made good in the big time.  In a latest Fawcett magazine titled, “Dance Band Album,” devoted to life stories and portraits of a dozen or so bandleaders and vocalists, Peggy rates a full-page picture. 

 

 

Valley City Time Record 

March 20, 1942  

From the City Desk  

By PHIL MARK  

The foreign correspondent from Japan, James B. Young, who spoke at the auditorium last Friday night as a wind-up to the Winter Show, brings good news of another North Dakotan who has done well—Norma Egstrom, singing as Peggy Lee for, Benny Goodman’s band. Young, who is known from the China coast to Manhattan’s Stork Club as Jimmy, saw Peggy two nights before he came to Valley City as she finished “Deep In the Heart of Texas” to the delight of a contingent of navy officers.  She’s been with the famous Benny Goodman for 14 months, quite a-record in a fast ever-changing turnover business. Their show at the Hotel New Yorker, with an ice carnival, has been rating top in drawing capacity crowds among all hotel name bands.  Nearly 20,000 have paid the cover charge to hear the Wimbledon born girl, who made the lights of Broadway via Valley City and Fargo.  Young says if he makes a movie this spring—he’s headed for Hollywood—he’ll include Dakota Peggy as the night club singer in the scene of the American ambassador’s party at the Cathay Club in Shanghai. Benny Goodman, Young relates, would enjoy the Winter Show ‘cause now he’s raising livestock on a farm up north of New York. For a birthday present, his band gave him a big party in a hotel suite and presented him with a cow, then left Benny to get the cow out of the suite and down the freight elevator to the street, and then to the farm. It cost him more to get the cow out of the hotel than it would have cost him to buy it on the open market, Young said. 

 

 

Valley City Times Record 

Valley City, North Dakota 

November 6, 1942 

Random Thoughts from the City Desk by Phil Mark 

“Corn Fed” 

More and more the fame, the singing, the beauty of Peggy Lee, Norma Egstrom to we home folks, grows.  This week the popular, national magazine LOOK carries a full page picture of Benny Goodman’s captivating star singer, explaining: “You can hear her electric blue voice from every juke box in America.  You will soon see her in United Artists’ “Power Girls.”  And, only a few years ago, she was just a corn fed waitress in Fargo.”  True, Peggy did a lot of singing over WDAY (she first sang over KOVC) but she wasn’t a waitress.  In corn has anything to do with her loveliness, let’s eat more corn!  “While singing in the Jade Room, Hollywood,” the Look article continues, “she was tortured by a sore throat, collapsed during her act.  But nothing could stop her- not even three throat operations.  Peggy started all over.  Finally her deep, whispery voice captured Benny Goodman, and the King of Swing rebuilt his band around her.  Now Peggy’s records are big sellers, and her army of fans eagerly await her debut on screen.”  Peggy is really this community’s Cinderella girl and her popularity is most deserving.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 20, 1942 

Phil Mark 

Indignant 

Folks up Wimbledon way are mighty indignant over LOOK’S treatment of their Norma Egstrom— Peggy Lee to the radio world. They were delighted to see her picture fill a full page but did not like the magazine’s reference to her a as being “corn-fed,” and we don’t blame them. “It was a corny write-up,” says a reader to this department and said we rang the bell a full hundred percent on our comment two weeks ago. The same reader went so far as to write the editors of LOOK to tell them what he thought of their treatment. “I am railroad man and have heard enough switch shanty and beanery in my time to know that when a lady is referred to as being ‘corn fed’ there may be some question about what kind of a lady,” he said, and “she is no more a “corn fed waitress from Fargo’ than are the Editors of Look.” We wonder if his letter will be carried among LOOK’s Letters to the Editor. 

 

 

March 19, 1943 

Valley City Times-Record  

By Phil Mark 

Peggy Again: 

A few months ago, she had a full page in Look. In the current issue of Click, Peggy Lee, Queen of the airwaves and soloist with Benny Goodman, is featured with Jane Leslie, also a soloist, in four full pages.  The story tells how the former Norma Egstrom, who got her start over KOVC, is solving the war time prices by living together, pooling their funds, etc.  They are seen in their apartment, doing each other’s hair, pressing their clothes, shopping for clothes and food, entertaining friends and exercising Torchy, their cocker spaniel. 

 

 

 

 

August 6, 1943 

Valley City Times Record 

By Phil Mark 

Success: 

The many friends of Peggy Lee, formerly Norma Egstrom of Wimbledon, were particularly pleased to see and hear her sing in “Powers Girl” at the Piller (theater) this week.  It was just a few years ago that she attempted to break into Hollywood and was turned down cold. But as Benny Goodman’s top singer, she was welcomed back and easily made the grade.  You will see more of her in pictures.  Billed with the “Powers Girls” too, she geld her own and was not less attractive.  Peggy reached the top the hard way and deserves every bit of congratulations that she receives. 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Lee Valley City 1950 

VCTR March 8, 1950 

Peggy Lee, glamorous Hollywood star, following her fourth performance at the North Dakota Winter Show before a packed house Tuesday Night, left later in the evening in a farm truck driven by her brother, Millard Egstrom, for the bedside of her father, ill with cancer at the farm home near Millarton. 

Millard Egstrom explained he brought the truck for it was necessary to wind through fields to avoid drifts and the truck provided the only sure means of getting Peggy Lee to the beside of her father. 

Tonight Peggy Lee leaves from Jamestown by plane, for she must appear in a show in San Bernardino, California, Saturday evening. 

Peggy Lee’s husband, Dave Barbour, with his quartet, was able to make a late Soo train out of Valley City after the show Tuesday night.  They will fly from Minneapolis to California. 

When officers of the Winter Show got the signature of Peggy Lee on the contract to appear as the principal star at the North Dakota Winter Show, the Barbour quartet was not included.  And now it is being told that the most generous donor to the winter show this season was the Same Peggy Lee.  Out of her contract she finances the quartet for their appearance here, giving home folks a chance to meet her husband, and to hear the music of the group. 

“Peggy Lee put on a great show,” said a Valley City businessman, who was with her through a series of receptions, appearance in the stock barns, parlors, restaurants, with camera continuously flashing from the time of the arrival of the plane in Fargo Sunday night until the farm truck rumbled out into the blizzard Tuesday night. 

“But where Peggy proved herself a truly great person was through her graciousness and thoughtfulness and her kindness to others.  She is truly humble.  Her great success has not made her forget the struggle she made to get to the top.  She was on her toes today and night and tried very hard to remember each acquaintance after an absence of a dozen years.  Even in the mad whirl she found time to write a note to the little Holiday girl, a Peggy Lee fan, who was unable to attend her show.” 

“And,” he added, “many may not realize it but Peggy Lee is deeply religious.  The other night she talked until two o-clock on her faith.” 

 

 

 

 

 

December 31, 1936: “Miss Norma Egstrom of Wimbledon is visiting in Valley City this week.  Possessed with a remarkable voice, she will sing at the Eagles New Year’s Eve party tonight.  She has sung over KOVC” 

 

 

 

November 15, 1940 

Valley City Times Record 

 

Random Thoughts From The City Desk By Phil Mark 

 

Success Story: Success has come to a former Barnes County girl who got her start in Valley City. Norma Egstrom, of Wimbledon, better known as Peggy Lee in the radio and musical field, has reached the top of the ladder. After several years as a soloist over WDAY and entertainer at the Powers Hotel in Fargo she has signed with the Will Osborne orchestra currently playing at the Nicollet Hotel in Minneapolis. This same band, one of the top notchers in the country, is famed for its slide music and is leaving on a road tour November 4. They played at Jamestown a year ago last fall. Peggy Lee first received notice when she was singing over KOVC some five years ago. After singing over this station and with local dance bands, she was located at Jamestown for a time. Then she went to Fargo where she received wide recognition. With Will Osborne's band, she is now among the tops in her field. Her many friends here and at Wimbledon are happy to hear of her latest success. To Peggy or Norma we extend congratulations. 

 

November 14, 1941  

Valley City Time Record, Valley City, North Dakota  

From the City Desk By PHIL MARK  

Career Girl  

Peggy Lee is now one of the bright stars in New York’s night club firmament. A few years ago she was only Norma Eggstrom, up Wimbledon (ND) way, but with a voice and ambition. She got her radio start with KOVC (Valley City, ND) and later went to Jamestown and then to Fargo. Recently she was featured in an article by Columnist Adelaide Kerr. This writer has interviewed the stars of the Big City and found that many have had to take heartaches so sharp and hurdles so high that most people would have quit. Take Peggy for instance, she says: At 17 she went to Hollywood to try her luck, lived on macaroni and nearly starved. Result of all that was a badly infected throat and three operations. During the last one in St. Louis while she was under anesthetic, hospital attendants dropped her on the floor and her two front teeth were knocked out. “That seemed to do something to me,” Peggy said. “I cried, then it seemed I was steel inside. I set out to meet the right people. Some friends got me a job in Chicago. Benny Goodman heard me there and now I’m singing with, his orchestra in New York.” Congratulations, Peggy!  

 

 

February 27, 1942  

Valley City Time Record 

Valley City, North Dakota 

Random Thoughts from the City Desk by Phil Mark 

Cupid Said Busy  

Are wedding bells soon to ring for Peggy Lee, the former Norma Egstrom of Wimbledon and present songstress with Benny Goodman in New York City?  Rumors have it that she is engaged to wed Benny, the “king’ of swing”, himself.  Engagements are nothing new to Goodman but this time it is the real thing, he says.  Singing with a top band is a far cry from the start Peggy got here, about six years ago.  Remember when she first sang with an orchestra at a dance at the Eagles here?  It was a New Year’s Eve party and it was her first public appearance.  Some of the girls snickered at her evening dress.  Peggy had a voice, alright, but not the clothes to go with it, and her outfit was a honey.  Bet she would get a laugh out of it now.  It was black, with an artificial flower of some kind hanging on her back, but she wasn’t worried about her dress.  She was concerned with her singing, which was to be the least of her worries.  That was her first job, and from then on her singing career has been meteoric.  Congratulations to a North Dakota Girl who made good in the big time.  In a latest Fawcett magazine titled, “Dance Band Album,” devoted to life stories and portraits of a dozen or so bandleaders and vocalists, Peggy rates a full-page picture. 

 

From the Wimbledon News early 1940's (it went out of biz in 1942) 

 

Rumors About Wimbledon Star Not So 

Benny Goodman Weds Miss Alice Hammond Duckworth 

It has been rumored, and even by folks supposedly on the “in” that Peggy Lee, who is Wimbledon’s own world famous star, Miss Norma Egstrom, was to be married to Benny Goodman, leader of the orchestra which plays the accompaniment for Norma when she sings.  This was not the case, evidently, as Benny Goodman was recently married to Miss Alice Hammond Duckworth, descendant of Cornelius Vanderbuilt. 

Perhaps, Benny Goodman has catered to Peggy, but what orchestra leader wouldn’t?  Perhaps he has liked her awfully well, but who in the world who ever met Norma wouldn’t like her awfully well?  Sweet personality and a heart of gold best describes this fine young lady, who graduated from Wimbledon High School a few years ago.  And now she sings for the noble and the great, but we still think her happiest moment in an illustrious career was reached when she was honored by home folks as she appeared with a group of WDAY entertainers on a benefit program in Wimbledon a few years ago.  And on this program Prof. Pull pulled rabbits out of a hat much to the bewilderment of many of us. 

Keep on making the world happy with your sweet voice and personality, Peggy, and remember Wimbledon will always be back of you. 

 

 

Valley City Time Record 

March 20, 1942  

From the City Desk  

By PHIL MARK  

The foreign correspondent from Japan, James B. Young, who spoke at the auditorium last Friday night as a wind-up to the Winter Show, brings good news of another North Dakotan who has done well—Norma Egstrom, singing as Peggy Lee for, Benny Goodman’s band. Young, who is known from the China coast to Manhattan’s Stork Club as Jimmy, saw Peggy two nights before he came to Valley City as she finished “Deep In the Heart of Texas” to the delight of a contingent of navy officers.  She’s been with the famous Benny Goodman for 14 months, quite a-record in a fast ever-changing turnover business. Their show at the Hotel New Yorker, with an ice carnival, has been rating top in drawing capacity crowds among all hotel name bands.  Nearly 20,000 have paid the cover charge to hear the Wimbledon born girl, who made the lights of Broadway via Valley City and Fargo.  Young says if he makes a movie this spring—he’s headed for Hollywood—he’ll include Dakota Peggy as the night club singer in the scene of the American ambassador’s party at the Cathay Club in Shanghai. Benny Goodman, Young relates, would enjoy the Winter Show ‘cause now he’s raising livestock on a farm up north of New York. For a birthday present, his band gave him a big party in a hotel suite and presented him with a cow, then left Benny to get the cow out of the suite and down the freight elevator to the street, and then to the farm. It cost him more to get the cow out of the hotel than it would have cost him to buy it on the open market, Young said. 

----- 

  

March 3, 1950 Valley City Times Record 

 

Dream of Singing Career Comes True 

First Sang over KOVC in 1937 

Hollywood. 

 

Norma Egstrom recognizes a big ambition to be a songstress while still a very little girl day-dreaming of a beautiful career over many a sinkful of dishes at her home in Wimbledon, ND.  Household chores didn’t leave her with dish pan hands, but did much to most the level-headed and unspoiled personality who wears the cloak of success so happily today.  She was an industrious student, and, inspired by her dream of a singing career, managed to conclude her high school education at the age of sixteen. 

 

Her first appearance on radio was over KOVC, Valley City, in November, 1936.  She became Peggy Lee at the suggestion of Ken Kennedy, manager of Radio Station WDAY in Fargo, N.D.  Ken was an important friend and guiding influence.  From him and his station she learned basic lessons about the radio ad entertainment world.  Peggy’s career at the station embraced 

 



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