From Anthony we receive word that Peggy again this year will appear at the annual Doo Dah pageant and parade in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on March 22, 2014. Peggy, together with her regular accompanist on piano, Andrew Kahn, will sing one song and then receive an award honoring her for her long and successful career as singer and actress.
Peggy will also be appearing with the All-Star Jazz Trio at the Hedgerow Theatre Company in Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, on April 18th at 7:30 p.m. and on April 19th at 8:30 p.m. For complete information call (610) 565-4211 or click here to go to the Hedgerow Theatre Company website.
Anthony reminds us that Peggy King appeared on "Dragnet" on NBC-TV in the
episode "The Big Underground". She portrayed a singer "Betty Martin" and
introduced the Arthur Hamilton song, "Any Questions." The video has not
yet surfaced, but the radio version, which aired on January 22, 1955, is
posted online and the audio can be found here
on this website.
PEGGY KING and THE ALL STAR JAZZ TRIO - "While We're Young" at 54 Below 12-30-13
by Andrew Kahn
It was a memorable night at 54 Below. Peggy King and The All-Star Jazz Trio performed to an enthusiastic crowd of actors, critics, agents and music lovers. They came to see Peggy perform in NYC for the first time in four decades! An evening of marvelous musical magic, there was a ton of love flowing back and forth between the stage and the room packed with Peggy's fans - new and old!! Following The All-Star Jazz Trio performing a few numbers and a vintage video clip from Feb 16, 1958, when Steve Allen introduced "Pretty, Perky Peggy King, Peggy took the stage at 54 Below in NYC and swung into Alec Wilder's "While We're Young." Age has no barrier when timeless music is being performed by a timeless artist. Way to go, Peggy!
Anthony sends along two recordings by Peggy on the MGM label made very early in her career, to- gether with the promotional biographical material and publicity picture released by the company at the same time, July 24, 1952. Listen to the two songs simply by clicking on the appropriate label below.
In the spirit of the 2013 holiday season Anthony has posted two videos
on YouTube which he shares with us here. Justin
Hopkins introduces his mentor Peggy King, who sings her original, unrecorded
composition, Here Comes Christmas, accompanied by Andy Kahn.
Recorded at Justin's one-man show at the ACT II Playhouse in Ambler, Pennsylvania
on December 22, 2013, the two then join in duet singing Hugh Martin's Have
Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from the score of Meet Me in St.
Louis. Click the images below to view the videos.
Anthony brings us two rare recordings by Peggy on the Cameo label from early in her career. Click the images below to listen to Beautiful Love and Does He Really Love Me?
Anthony sends us this picture of Peggy King with her "discovery," Justin Hopkins, who was a member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir at age ten when they first met. Justin is now a professional singer of the classical repertoire, touring and continuing his studies throughout the world. He recently attended one of Peggy's performances with the All Star Jazz Trio at Andrea Clearfield's Salon in Philadelphia (October 20, 2013), posed with Peggy for this picture, and adds the following:
This woman is the reason I am a professional singer. I first heard Peggy King sing when I was 10 years old. She has been singing for over 60 years and brought the house down tonight. My first musical love, still going strong.
a Philadelphia Walk of Fame Candidate!
Anthony alerts us to some classic movies in which Peggy has appeared now available online and on a community-owned broadcast station in Edison, New Jersey, courtesy of Mr. Ron MacCloskey. You can learn more by going to Mr. MacCloskey's website here or by following this sequence of steps:
For classic movies with Peggy King on the internet go to Edison, New Jersey,
Then scroll down to the bottom:
More Vintage Peggy King Performances on YouTube Courtesy of Anthony . . .
Bruce Klauber, drummer in the All Star Jazz Trio (picture below), writes a comprehensive article about Peggy's return to performing on the website JazzTimes.com. You may read the story simply by clicking here.
Appears in Atlantic City Jazz Club on August 24th . . .
Click the link below to view a high definition video of Peggy singing more Jerome Kern.
Anthony also brings us this rare find of Peggy in October 1956 singing as part of a public service announcement:
Peggy Appears at Philadelphia Jazz Club . . .
On August 9, 2013, Peggy appeared at Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia
along with the All Star Jazz Trio featuring Andy Kahn on piano, Bruce Klauber
on drums and Bruce Kaminsky on bass. Anthony has posted three video
clips of Peggy singing some standards from the Great American Songbook
on YouTube. Click the links below to view each clip.
This Week on TV Confidential . . .
We’ll take you back to the Golden Age of Television along with our guest Peggy King. Fresh Air host Terry Gross once described Peggy King as “one of the foremost interpreters of American music,” and someone who “should be declared a national treasure.” Peggy began her career in radio as a vocalist with the big band orchestras of Charlie Spivak, Ray Anthony and Ralph Flanagan before moving into television, where she recorded a jingle for Hunt’s Tomato Sauce that led to appearances on The Jack Benny Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and The Hallmark Hall of Fame, starring roles in “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” (a famous episode of Maverick) and Zero Hour (the 1957 cult classic that served as the inspiration for Airplane!), and a regular stint on The George Gobel Show during the era of live television.
Peggy King still performs these days, plus she is the host of Off the Cuff, a radio talk show that you can hear every month on Yesteryear Radio. Peggy King will be joining us in our first hour.
You may listen to the archived TV Confidential broadcast by clicking here.
Anthony sends us this promotional post card for Peggy's appearance at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco during the mid-50's. Mitch Miller, Columbia Records A & R man at the time, suggested to the young Johnny Mathis, recently signed to a contract by Columbia, that he attend Peggy's appearance at the Fairmont as a practical learning experience for an aspiring singer.
We are happy to announce the return of Pretty, Perky Peggy King who will be our return guest of honor on Friday April 19, 2013, at the Cannstatter Club in the Philadelphia Northeast at 6:00pm. She was a mammoth success last spring and this year promises to be even finer. She is a charming lady who greeted the Two Tars Tent and sang some of those great songs of the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50’s at last year's banquet. She told us about her career in television, motion pictures and the stage. Below is a picture of Peggy, who starred on the George Gobel Show in the ‘50s. She talked about Abbott and Costello. She was featured in their film Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy in 1955. She also starred in the film Zero Hour (1957), which was the forerunner to those Airplane film spoofs that many of us remember.
You may also remember Peggy King from appearances on the Jack Benny Program, the Bob Hope Show, the Steve Allen Show, the Kraft Music Hall with Perry Como, the Gary Moore and Milton Berle Shows. We showed some clips from many of those shows. Peggy told us some previously unknown facts about her friends in show business: Liberace, Jeffrey Hunter and George Gobel himself.
Peggy will bring some newly discovered clips and will sing some more of the Great American Standard Songs. She will also sign autographs and pictures.
You would like to reserve tickets:
A very special Steel Pier Radio Show this Saturday with Ed Hurst and his very special guest film, television and recording star "Pretty Perky" Peggy King. Ed will have a great interview with Peggy in advance of her appearance in this years Ocean City's "Doo-Dah"Parade, where Peggy King will serve as Grand Marshall on Saturday, April 13th). Please tune in Saturday, April 6th from 4:00-5:00 PM on WPG-1450 AM and listen live at www.WPG1450.com
Peggy King will serve as grand marshal of the 28th annual Doo Dah Parade to be held in Ocean City, New Jersey on April 13, 2012. Read the complete details here.
These days fans can hear her reminiscing with stars of yesteryear on her radio show “Off the Cuff,” at www.wyyr.com, at 7 p.m. (EST) on the last Sunday every month. Recent guests have included Kaye Ballard, Pat Boone, Joel Grey and Rose Marie. Talent plus petite good looks, an effervescent personality and some amazing serendipity contributed to King’s becoming one of the most popular stars in the early days of television. Recently, relaxing in her Philadelphia apartment and looking out over the city’s skyline, she reminisced about her career.
“I graduated from high school at 16, and went to business college,” she says. “I took shorthand – I figured I would need money. I can still take shorthand and type like a fiend,” she says.
She fell back on her secretarial skills more than once, while working her way to the top in show business. When she was just 17, she went to Cleveland to try out for the show “Audition Ambition.” She won the prize, a week on the show.
“At the end of the week the [regular] girl singer ran off with the saxophone player and they offered me the job,” she says. At the time, the band playing at the Cleveland Hotel was looking for a singer; she got that gig too, and it came with lodging at the hotel.
“I come from real poverty,” she says, “All I could think was, ‘I could help my folks.’” When she told her parents about landing two singing jobs in one day, “They were just stunned.”
Her career got another boost when a critic who had panned the three singers before her reviewed her. “He said, ‘Rush to the Bronze Room and listen to the new girl singer. They finally have a singer who can sing!’”
She had been at the Cleveland Hotel for about nine months when Jack Owens, star of “The Breakfast Club” radio show, heard her. He introduced her to band leader Charlie Spivak. “I’m littler than him, so he liked that,” she said. That kicked off two years of touring with Big Bands – Charlie Spivak, Ralph Flanigan and Ray Anthony. Then she heard that Mel Tormé was getting ready to do a show on CBS. When she auditioned, she sang “The Boy Next Door.”
“Out of the control room came this man, he picked me up, twirled me around and kissed me and said, ‘I’m Hugh Martin – I wrote that song!’” He told Tormé, “Hire her or we’re not friends anymore!” After about nine months, the show changed direction; she got a gig at the Blue Angel night club in New York. There, at 19, she caught the eye of Arthur Freed, who had produced “Meet Me in St. Louis” and “Easter Parade” with Judy Garland. He signed King to a one-year contract with MGM. There she met Garland, who “was so wonderful to me,” Fred Astaire, and André Previn, among others. Although the film Freed had in mind was never made, she had a year of singing, dancing and diction lessons and lost her Pittsburgh accent. Diction coach Gertrude Fogler, “who got Greta Garbo to speak English,” told her she sounded “like a dog with a bone – she said I had the hardest “r” she’d ever heard.” There’s not a trace of it left.
Her television career began soon after, at NBC’s legendary West Coast studios at Hollywood and Vine, where she performed on a two-hour live show broadcast throughout the region.
“One day my agent came to me and said there is a new comedian and he has a show – his name is George Gobel, and he wants you.” Gobel was short, and King was not only talented, pretty and perky – she’s five-foot-two. She was a regular on the nationally broadcast program for almost two years.
“Three to four weeks after it began, people were stopping me on the street.” She appeared on "American Bandstand," the "Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, the "Jack Benny Show", the "Bob Hope Show", and the "Ed Sullivan Show," among others. In 1961, she married Sam Rudofker, founder of After Six formal wear, and settled in the Philadelphia area. Within a few years she gave birth to a son and a daughter.
“I stopped performing,” she says without regret. “I had it all.”
children were in their teens, she began accepting selected performing engagements
and still performs occasionally in addition to her monthly radio program.
Peggy attended the January 16th meeting of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, where she presented a special tribute to her friend and fellow singer Patti Page, who passed away on January 1, 2013. Peggy was accompanied on the piano by John Primerano as she sang two of Patti's most memorable hit songs from the 1950's, Tennessee Waltz and Allegheny Moon. While conditions at the meeting were less than ideal for making a live recording, Anthony managed to capture those moments for sharing with Peggy King fans here. Click on the links below to hear Peggy sing.
|Anthony DiFlorio is a longtime friend of Peggy King as well as a collector and archivist of Peggy King memorabilia. He has contributed this picture of Peggy along with Jack Benny and Art Linkletter from October 1955 and the following two pages from the June 1956 issue of TV Illustrated magazine:|
|Anthony has also contributed the complete six-page feature article titled Interview with Peggy King that appeared in issue No. 61 of the Abbott & Costello Quarterly. Below are pictures extracted from the article, but it may be read in its entirety by clicking here to download the .pdf file. (A .pdf file reader is required to view the file, and a free download of the Adobe reader is available here, if needed.)|