Peg o' My Heart
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The song was first performed publicly by Irving Kaufman in 1912 at The College Inn in New York City after he had stumbled across a draft of sheet music on a shelf at the Leo Feist offices.
The song was inspired by the main character in the very successful musical comedy of the time, Peg O’ My Heart by J. Hartley Manners, which starred Laurette Taylor in the title role. Taylor appeared on the cover of early published sheet music.
The song, performed by Max Harris and his Novelty Trio (based on a version by The Harmonicats), was used as the theme of the BBC miniseries The Singing Detective (1986). When recording engineer Bill Putnam recorded The Harmonicats version of the song, he became the first person to use artificial reverberation creatively on a pop recording, with the use of the first reverb chamber, which had been set up in the studio's bathroom.
Notable recordings of the song include:
- Charles W. Harrison
- Label: Victor 17412 (matrix: 13628-2)
- Recorded: July 24, 1913
- Henry Burr
- Label: Columbia A-1404 (matrix: 38980-2)
- Recorded: August 1, 1913
- Walter Van Brunt
- Bunny Berigan & his Orchestra
- Lester Young Trio
- The Harmonicats
- Buddy Clark with orchestra directed by Mitchell Ayres
- Label: Columbia 37392 (matrix: CO 37671)
- Recorded: New York City April 25, 1947
- First entered the Billboard magazine chart on June 27, on charts 7 weeks, peaking at #4
- Art Lund with orchestra conducted by Johnny Thompson
- Clark Dennis
- Label: Capitol 346
- First entered the Billboard magazine chart on July 4, 1947, on charts 1 week, at #10
- The Three Suns
- Label: RCA Victor 20-2272
- First entered the Billboard magazine chart on June 20, 1947, on charts 16 weeks, peaking at #2
- Joe Loss and his Orchestra
- Label: His Master's Voice BD 5987
- Recorded: London on October 13, 1947
- Gene Vincent and His Bluecaps
- Andy Williams
- Album: The Shadow of Your Smile (1966)
- Dropkick Murphys featuring Bruce Springsteen
In other mediaEdit
Peg O' My Heart featured in the film: "Oh, You Beautiful Doll" - a fictionalized biography of Fred Fisher, a German-born American writer of Tin Pan Alley songs. (Mark Stevens) turns serious composer Fred Breitenbach (S.Z. Sakall) into songwriter Fred Fisher. Fred Fisher is his assumed name in real life and Breitenbach is his birth surname. In the film, many Fisher songs were given a symphonic arrangement that was performed at Aeolian Hall. Among the Fisher songs heard were "Chicago, Dardanella, Peg 'O' My Heart, and Who paid the rent for Mrs. Rip Van Winkle". Mark Stevens & June Haver sing it as a duet. Released November 11. 1949.
In the 2010 ITV drama Downton Abbey, episode 4 season 1 features William, the second footman, playing "Peg o' My Heart" on the piano in the servants' hall.