PEGGY MARCH-IF YOU LOVED ME-RCA RECORDINGS FROM AROUND THE WORLD 1963-1969.
Peggy March-If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969.
The future Peggy March was born Margaret Annemarie Battavio in Lansdale, Pennsylvania on March ‘8th’ 1948. By the time she was two, Margaret was singing along to commercials on the radio. She just loved to sing, and three years later made already her live debut.
This came at the woman’s auxiliary meeting that Margaret’s mother attended. The women liked what they heard, and soon, Margaret was singing at their parties. For, this was a stepping stone, and she was soon attending auditions, and singing at talent shows and recitals in the Philly area. All of this was good experience for Margaret.
By the age of eight, Margaret embarked upon a national tour with a local country and western band The Tunedusters. The only downside for Margaret was that she wasn’t being paid. However, it was good experience. So was singing at various family events, including birthdays and weddings. Singing at one of these weddings would change young Margaret’s life.
When Margaret was thirteen, she was asked to sing at one of her cousin’s wedding. This she was happy to do, and enjoyed doing. She took to the stage and sang several songs, which went down will with everyone at the reception. This included a guest who was involved in the music industry.
Having heard Margaret sing, the guest approached her father and offered to become her business’ manager. At first, Margaret’s father wasn’t in favour of his daughter embarking upon a career as a singer, as he thought she was too young. When Margaret pointed out that she might never get another chance to follow her dream, he relented. Margaret was about to embark upon a career as a professional singer.
Margaret recorded a demo in Philly, which secured lead to an audition with the production duo Hugo and Luigi. They were, at that time, RCA’s top songwriting and production team, and had worked with Elvis Presley, Perry Como and Sam Cooke.
Hugo and Luigi were based in New York, which was where Margaret travelled to meet the production duo. When they were introduced to Margaret, they thought that she was an orphan, as her manager was also introduced as her manager and legal guardian. This was wrong, and would’ve important ramifications at a later date.
When Margaret first met Hugo and Luigi, any minor under the age of twenty-one, earning any type of income, had to be represented by a legal guardian. Usually, this would have been a parent or relation of the minor. In Margaret’s case, this would’ve been one of her parents. However, Margaret’s manager it has been alleged, misrepresented himself to be her legal guardian. As her legal guardian, Margaret’s manager had control of Margaret’s income. This was something she would later live to regret.
At the audition with Hugo and Luigi, the pianist that was meant to accompany Margaret failed to turn up. This resulted in Margaret having to sing unaccompanied, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. By the end of the song, Hugo and Luigi were spellbound and offered Margaret a contract on the spot. Margaret was now a professional singer.
There was one thought problem Margaret’s name. Hugo and Luigi thought that Margaret Annemarie Battavio was too long, and suggested she adopt the stage name Little Peggy March. While Margaret liked the name Peggy March, she wasn’t so keen on the Little part of the name. She was just four-foot ten, and didn’t want to be reminded her diminutive height on a daily basis. However, Hugo and Luigi thought that the name Little Peggy March would work, and she reluctantly accepted their advice.
In November 1962, fourteen year old Little Peggy March released the Hugo and Luigi production Little Me as her debut single. However, the single failed to chart and it was a case of back to the drawing board for Little Peggy March and Hugo and Luigi.
For the followup to Little Me, some time was spent looking for the right song and eventually, I Will Follow Him was chosen. Hugo and Luigi decided to record I Will Follow at RCA’s studios in 23rd Street in Manhattan. With a full orchestra accompanying Little Peggy March, she recorded the song that would shortly become synonymous with her.
When I Will Follow was released in March 1963, Little Peggy March had just turned fifteen. She would soon have something to celebrate when by mid-April 1963, I Will Follow reached number one on the US Billboard and US R&B charts. I Will Follow would go on to become the sixth biggest selling single of 1963. That was just part of the story. I Will Follow also reached number one in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa and Uruguay. Elsewhere, I Will Follow reached the top ten in Chile, Germany, Japan, Peru, Philippines and Sweden. I Will Follow had launched Little Peggy March’s nascent recording career.
I Will Follow is also one of twenty-six songs on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 which was recently released Ace Records. These songs were released by that Little Peggy March everywhere from America, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Japan. Indeed, the version of I Will Follow that features on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 is the Japanese version Wasurenaiwa, which reached number eight. Little Peggy March’s third single had a lot to live up to.
The song that was chosen was I Wish I Were a Princess, which was released in May 1963. However, the song stalled at thirty-two on the Billboard 100. This was disappointing for Little Peggy March.
When it came time for Little Peggy March to record her fourth single, the Hugo, Luigi and George David Weiss composition Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love was chosen. It was produced by Hugo and Luigi, and released in August 1963. Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love reached twenty-six in the Billboard 100 and twenty-nine in the UK. This was an improvement on I Wish I Were a Princess. However, it was a far cry from the success of I Will Follow Him. It was another disappointment for Little Peggy March.
It wasn’t her only worry though. By then, Little Peggy March had realised that fame was a double-edged sword. No longer was she being asked out on dates or to parties. However, she was enjoying travelling to across Europe and to Japan where her music was proving popular.
This included in France, where Little Peggy March released two EPs in during 1963. The first was I Will Follow Him, which was followed by Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love. It featured Johnny Cool, which features on You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. Little Peggy March’s success overseas made-up for her lack of success at home.
Just a year after she had released her debut single, Little Peggy March released The Impossible Happened as her fifth single. It stalled at a lowly fifty-seven in the US Billboard 100. For Little Peggy March, disappointing way to end 1963.
When Little Peggy March released (I’m Watching) Every Little Move You Make in January 1964, the single reached a lowly eighty-four in the US Billboard 100. Little did Little Peggy March know that this was her last single that would chart in America.
Two months later, Little Peggy March released (I’m Watching) Every Little Move You Make in Germany, which features on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. Germany would be one of the many countries where Little Peggy March enjoyed widespread success.
Apart from Germany, Little Peggy March enjoyed success in a number of European countries, including France, Holland and Italy. Little Peggy March was also enjoying success in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. After the release of (I’m Watching) Every Little Move You Make Little Peggy March was more popular abroad, than at home.
When Little Peggy March turned sixteen in March 1964, she became Peggy March in America. In Europe, she was still Little Peggy March until 1966. By then, she was enjoying widespread popularity.
In Canada, Peggy March released Takin’ The Long Way Home in May 1964. On the B-Side was Let Me Down Hard an emotive ballad, with a dramatic, string-drenched arrangement. It features on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 and shows how far Peggy March had come in a short time.
Little Peggy March’s popularity had spread to Italy and Turkey, were she released Gli Occhi Tuoi Sono Blu as a single. On the B-Side was Eh, Bravo which features on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. Eh, Bravo was one of the last Hugo and Luigi productions that Little Peggy March released.
By the time that Peggy March released Oh My What A Guy in Canada, in August 1964, she had parted company with producers Hugo and Luigi. Over the next few months, she worked with a variety of producers, including the Smith and Duke production team. They produced Oh My What A Guy, and its B-Side Only You Could Do That To My Heart. It’s a hidden gem, and makes a welcome appearance on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969.
Two month later, in October 1964, Peggy March released Watch What You Do With My Baby as a single in America. Tucked away on the B-Side was the Leon Huff composition Can’t Stop Thinkin’ About Him. Despite the quality of these two sides which feature on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969, they failed to chart. It was another disappointment for Peggy Mach at home.
Meanwhile, Peggy March’s career was going from strength-to-strength abroad. Just like the ye-ye singers, she recorded songs in various languages. This included Passo Su Passo in Italy, in 1964, and in 1965, Germany.
Peggy March enjoyed three top thirsty singles in Germany during 1965. Er schoss mir eine Rose was released in May 1965, and reached twenty-three. The followup Mit 17 hat man noch Träum was released in July 1965 and reached number two. Then when Die schönen Stunden gehen schnell vorbei was released in November 1965, it reached number twenty-five.
For her next American single, Peggy March chose the heartfelt, string-drenched ballad Losin’ My Touch. It was released by RCA in March 1965, but failed to chart. History repeated itself with He Couldn’t Care Less. Both these tracks feature on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. For Peggy March and her manager, the lack of success at home was a worry.
Given the commercial failure of Peggy March’s recent singles, her manager Bennie Thomas came up with the idea that she should form a duet with Bennie Thomas. Peggy March rejected the idea, but agreed to record an album with him. That was despite Bennie Thomas being way down her list of musical partners.
By then, Peggy March had already released two solo albums 1963s I Will Follow Him and Little Peggy March in 1964. Later in 1965, she would release Teen Idol Of The World in Japan and Tagebuch Einer 17-jährigen. Before that, In Our Fashion, which was a mixture of songs by Peggy March and Bennie Thomas and four duets was released. One of the duets between Peggy March and Bennie Thomas Catchin’ On Fast, which features on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. Catchin’ On Fast was the best duet on In Our Fashion, which was the only album that Peggy March and Bernie Thomas released.
Meanwhile, Peggy March’s popularity was growing in Europe, and she released the Ne Joue Pas Les Enfants EP in France. Let Her Go helped build on the success that Peggy March was enjoying in Europe. It would continue in 1966.
In May 1966, Peggy March released Kilindini Docks (Madi-Madi Song) with Too Long Away on the B-Side in Germany and Holland. The Peggy March success story continued. However, it was a very different story in America.
Peggy March released the Danny Davis production He’s Back Again as a single in America in July 1966. However, it was a familiar story for Peggy March when the single but failed to chart. Five months later, in December 1966, Peggy March released Fool, Fool, Fool (Look In The Mirror) as a single. On the B-Side was the tender, heartfelt ballad Try To See It My Way. It’s another of the hidden gems on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 which features these six tracks from 1966. By then, two years had passed since Peggy March enjoyed a hit single in America. Elsewhere, she was enjoying a successful career.
When Peggy March graduated high school in 1966, she gained access to the royalties that had accrued since 1963. Having enjoyed number one singles America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Peggy March must have been expecting a considerable sum of money. She was shocked to discover that all that remained for $500. The rest had been ‘borrowed’, but wasn’t repaid by her manager. Instead, he had squandered the money that he had ‘borrowed’. For eighteen year old Peggy March, this was a huge blow. With hardly any money left, it was a case of starting all over again for Peggy March.
She released Itsuwari No Koi (He Couldn’t Care Less) in Japan, in January 1967. This built on Peggy March’s popularity in Japan. It was a similar case when Peggy March released Memories Of Heidelberg in Germany, in March 1967. The single reached number five, and featured Male Nicht Den Teufel An Die Wan on the B-Side. Just like Itsuwari No Koi (He Couldn’t Care Less), Male Nicht Den Teufel An Die Wan on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. So does the defiant sounding single This Heart Wasn’t Made To Kick Around, which was released in America in August 1967 and Let Me Down Hard which was released in October. Sadly, for Peggy March, it was the same old story, and neither single failed to find the audience it deserved.
Despite no longer enjoying hit singles in America, Peggy March was still hugely popular in other parts of the world. Especially in Europe, and in particular, Germany, where Peggy March released Romeo und Julia in September 1967. It gave Peggy March her first number one in Germany. This was something to celebrate for Peggy March.
Her success continued in Germany when Telegramm aus Tennessee was released in January 1968, and reached number fifteen. The followup Canale Grande Number One was released in March, and reached number eighteen. Four months later, in July 1968, Peggy March released Das ist Musik für mi, which reached twenty-one. Peggy March’s fourth top thirty single of 1968 was Mississippi Shuffle Boat, which was released in September and reached number thirty. Over the next three decades, Peggy March enjoyed twenty-six hit singles in Germany between 1965 and 1980.
In May 1968, Peggy March released If You Loved Me (Soul Coaxing Ame Caline) as a single in New Zealand. On the B-Side was Thinking Through My Tears. By then, twenty year old Peggy March was maturing as vocalist and the ability to breath meaning and emotion into songs. Both of these sides feature on Peggy March-If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969. So does Aren’t You Glad, which was the B-Side to I’ve Been Here Before which was released in America in September 1968. While I’ve Been Here Before failed to find an audience, Peggy March’s star was still in the ascendancy.
As 1969 dawned, Peggy March released soul-baring Wasurenaiwa (I’ll Never Forget You) as a single in Japan. It was powerful reading of the song, and one that showcased Peggy March’s talents as a singer. She delivers the lyrics as if she’s lived and survived them. Given the quality of Wasurenaiwa (I’ll Never Forget You), it was no surprise that Peggy March was such a popular singer by 1969.
Ironically, by then, Philly born Peggy March was more popular abroad, than she was in America. That had been the case for the majority of her career. That was apart from her number one single I Will Follow Him in 1963, and a couple of minor hit singles. Apart from that, the majority of the success Peggy March was in Europe, Australasia, Japan and South America.
What helped was that like many of the European ye-ye singers, Peggy March was able to sing in a variety of languages. She released singles in French, German, Italian and Japanese. This endeared her to record buyers in these countries, and brought commercial success Peggy March’s way.
Between 1963 and 1969, which Ace Records’ twenty-six track compilation If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 covers, Peggy March had already enjoyed number one singles in America, Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa and Uruguay. Having enjoyed number singles ones in nine different counties, Peggy March should’ve been well on her to becoming a wealthy young woman by 1969.
Sadly, like many singers and bands, Peggy March never received the money she had earn. It was alleged that her manager had ‘borrowed’ money, but never repaid it. This meant that when Peggy March graduated from high school in 1966, the cupboard was almost bare. All that was left was $500, which meant all her hard work and the sacrifices she had made was for nothing.
At least Peggy March continued to enjoy commercial success after 1966 outside of America. This included a number one in Germany in 1967. However, the money that Peggy March had earned during the most successful period of her recording career was long gone, allegedly squandered by her ex-manager. This didn’t put Peggy March off music, and her career continues to his day.
Nowadays, sixty-nine year old Peggy March is still singing and can be found in Las Vegas. She’s a musical veteran, whose professional career began fifty-six years ago. The early years of her career is documented on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 which features singles, B-Sides and tracks from albums and EPs. The songs on If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 showcase the truly talented Peggy March, who already had the ability to breath life, meaning and emotion into lyrics. Over that next six years she matured and blossomed as a singer, during what was the most successful period of her recording career. During the period that If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969 documents, Peggy March enjoyed number one singles in nine different countries and enjoyed hit singles in Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America. By 1969, the former Little Peggy March had come a long way in the space of just six years.
Peggy March-If You Loved Me-RCA Recordings From Around The World 1963-1969.