It has been covered by numerous artists from various musical genres, most notably by Peggy Lee, whose 1958 rendition became the most widely known version of “Fever” and the singer’s signature song. Lee’s version contained rewritten lyrics different from the original and an altered music arrangement. It became a top-five hit on the music charts in the UK and Australia in addition to entering the top ten in the US and the Netherlands. “Fever” was nominated in three categories at the 1st Annual Grammy Awards in 1959, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
Peggy Lee’s alluring tone, distinctive delivery, breadth of material, and ability to write many of her own songs made her one of the most captivating artists of the vocal era, from her breakthrough on the Benny Goodman hit “Why Don’t You Do Right” to her many solo successes, singles including “Mañana,” “Lover” and “Fever” that showed her bewitching vocal power, a balance between sultry swing and impeccable musicianship. Born Norma Egstrom in Jamestown, North Dakota, she suffered the death of her mother at the age of four and endured a difficult stepmother after her father remarried. Given her sense of swing by listening to Count Basie on the radio, she taught herself to sing and made her radio debut at the age of 14. She made the jump to Fargo (where she was christened Peggy Lee), then to Minneapolis and St. Louis to sing with a regional band. Lee twice journeyed to Hollywood to make her fortune, but returned unsuccessful from both trips.
“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” is an R&B song written by Gary Jackson, Raynard Miner, and Carl Smith. It was originally recorded by Jackie Wilson for his album Higher and Higher (1967), produced by Carl Davis, and became a Top 10 pop and number one R&B hit.
Rita Coolidge remade the song as “(Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher” for her album Anytime…Anywhere (1977). Her version has a more moderate tempo than that of the uptempo original, and largely omits the chorus which is evidenced only in the background vocals sung under the repetition of the first verse with which she closes the song. Coolidge and her sister Priscilla Coolidge had sung background on a version of the song for a prospective album by Priscilla’s husband Booker T. Jones; when that album was shelved, Coolidge asked him if she could cut the song using his arrangement.
Released as a single, Coolidge’s version became her first major hit in nine years of recording: the track peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was kept from the No. 1 spot by “Best of My Love” by The Emotions.Cash Box ranked it at No. 1. “Higher and Higher” also reached No. 1 in Canada. Both the song and a subsequent release, “We’re All Alone“, earned Coolidge gold records for each selling a million copies.
“Alice’s Restaurant Massacree“, commonly known as “Alice’s Restaurant“, is a satirical talking blues song by singer-songwriter Arlo Guthrie, released as the title track to his 1967 debut album Alice’s Restaurant. The song is a deadpan protest against the Vietnam War draft, in the form of a comically exaggerated but essentially true story from Guthrie’s own life: he is arrested and convicted of dumping trash illegally, which later leads to him being rejected by the draft board due to his criminal record of littering (and the way he reacted when the induction personnel brought it up). The title refers to a restaurant owned by one of Guthrie’s friends, which plays no role in the story aside from being the subject of the chorus.