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Albany, NY – First on the program, we turn back the pages of time to talk about a woman who hit it big in the Jazz Era. Peggy Lee is considered by some to be the greatest female jazz singer of all time. She had a different approach from the triumverate we hear about today - Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. That's because Peggy Lee had a habit of almost whispering into the microphone when she sang. GQ reporter and author Peter Richmond wrote the first full-length biography of Peggy Lee, which has been recently released in paperback form. It's published Picador, and it's called Fever. Julia spoke with Peter Richmond about Peggy Lee's legacy.
Instead of whispering, Lea Herman uses a full, rich voice in her work. Herman is a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles, just about to release her very first album. She's been working part-time as a singer-songwriter since she graduated from college in 2007 - and hopes this record will be her big break. She talks about how things have changed since Peggy Lee's time, and the difficulties of trying to compete in a crowded field - and how the music bug first bit her.
Miranda July worked her way into many hearts with the award-winning independent film "Me, You and Everyone We Know." Rolling Stone Magazine called it a moonbeam romance laced with startling wit and gravity. Miranda July directed, wrote and starred in the movie. She's just released her latest work, a book of essays called "No One Belongs Here More Than You." 51%'s Jennifer Nathan talked to July about how she's succeeded in so many genres with her shy, quiet demeanor.
Not all successful performers are shy and demure...in fact, Melissa Joleand goes by Melicious when she's in front of others. She's a roller derby player from Texas, part of the movement to bring back the 1950's women's sport. She writes all about it in the book RollerGirl. Performance is a big part of the roller derby resurgence - Melicious wears ripped fishnets and short skirts when she's in a game. 51%'s Katie Britton spoke with her about how she got into the sport.