1969 Song of the Day is- Is That All There Is- by Peggy Lee. Is That All There Is? was written by the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It wasn’t originally meant for Peggy Lee though. In 1967 singer Georgia Brown gave it a try, the they considered Marlene Dietrich who told them no thanks, a third option was Babs- Barbra Streisand- they sent the song to her manager but they heard no response so they went to Peggy Lee.
Peggy Lee had a long career that began back in the Big Band era with Benny Goodman’s big band and lasted until 2000- two years before her death at the age of 81. She wrote music, acted and sang. Her popularity peaked in the late 40’s early 50’s era. But her two signature songs came later- Fever and Is That All There Is?
The song was based on a short fiction story by Thomas Mann called The Disillusionment. The lyrics came straight from the story.
Peggy Lee came in to do the song and the final version that was released was Take 37. At first Capital Records didn’t want to release the single. Peggy Lee went on Joey Bishop’s talk show and sang the song and was then able to get them to release the single. Is That All There Is? would become the first hit for Peggy Lee since 1958’s Fever. It reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the 1960’s-the charts could be pretty diverse as far as types of music go. Is That All There Is? a good example of that. Note- The orchestral arrangement was by Randy Newman who also conducted the orchestra.
Is That All There Is? Is the favorite song ever by our President Donald Trump. “It’s a great song. Because I’ve had these tremendous successes and then I’m off to the next one, because, it’s like, ‘Oh, is that all there is?’ That’s a great song actually. That’s a very interesting song, especially sang by her, because she had such a troubled life.”