Peggy Lee lived near Frank Sinatra in Hollywood and, according to Sinatra’s valet, would come spend the night with Sinatra when she was feeling down.  Sinatra was not that attracted to her, again according to the valet, but felt that making love to her was a form of service to a friend.  Nice work if you can get it.

You can sense the intimacy in the televised performance above, which is kind of sublime.  Lee and Sinatra were both brilliant at subtle off-beat phrasing.  With Sinatra it was usually in the service of the lyric, its meaning and emotion — with Lee more often in the service of a cool attitude, a hip style.  It’s wonderful to hear them playing off each other in the clip, each trying to anticipate and complement what the other is going to do.  It’s a bit like jazz improvisation, or good sex.

(Clip via Facebook friend Jerry Rosenblum, dish via George Jacobs, the valet . . .)

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