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Two giants from the music world named to Great American Songbook Hall of Fame

Singer Peggy Lee and songwriter Meredith Willson
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Posted at 9:16 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 21:17:43-04

CARMEL — The Carmel-based Great American Songbook Foundation is honoring singer-songwriter Peggy Lee and The Music Man creator Meredith Willson as the 2020 inductees to its Great American Songbook Hall of Fame.

The foundation celebrates composers, lyricists and performers for their contributions to American popular song. Hall of Fame inductees are selected based on factors including musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, and overall musical excellence.

Peggy Lee, who was born in 1920 and died in 2002, was a jazz and popular music singer, composes and actress, with a career spanning six decades. She rose to fame singing with Benny Goodman’s big band and went on to record decades of jazz and pop hits, including “Fever” and “Is That All There Is?” She also was an actress, composer and writer of over 200 songs, combining those talents to co-write six songs and voice four characters in the 1955 Disney classic Lady and the Tramp.

Meredith Willson is best known as the playwright and composer of The Music Man, one of the most popular musicals of all time. He was also a bandleader, broadcaster and songwriter, with works including It's beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas. Willson died in 1984.

The Songbook Foundation will celebrate the legacies of these artists with two weeks of livestreamed tributes, discussions and other activities shared through its Facebook page [facebook.com] and YouTube channel [youtube.com].

Peggy Lee Induction Week takes place September 10-12, and the Meredith Willson Induction Week is September 17-19.

The Great American Songbook Foundation was founded in 2007 by five-time Grammy Award nominee Michael Feinstein. It's headquartered at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.