Welcome to the third episode of season two of Holly Jolly X’masu! This month, for Women’s History Month, I’ll be discussing Peggy Hayama’s 1964 album, Peggy’s Christmas – Winter Wonderland.
When I first started researching her, I didn’t know much about Peggy Hayama. The more I read about her, though, the more I was impressed. She not only had a wonderful career, but she led an exemplary life. She overcame adversity on several occasions, and despite some extended absences from performing, whether due to health issues or starting her family, her popularity never seemed to suffer as a result. Her greatest comeback was the one she achieved later in her life. After devoting nearly a decade to caring for her ailing husband, she managed to not only become president of the Japanese Singers Association and embark on her role as an advocate for home caregivers, but she returned to the Oricon music charts with one final hit after an absence of nearly 40 years. She was an exceptional performer and a genuine role model.
I wanted to include videos of some of her most notable hits, including her first single from 1952, “Domino.”
Her biggest hit, “Having Left Tosa,” was released in 1959. I’ve seen multiple translations of the title, but “Having Left Tosa” is the English translation from Japan Today, which is likely a bit more accurate than Google.
Her next-biggest hit and her song that will likely have the longest-lasting cultural impact is her translation of “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music.”
My mom is a big Doris Day fan, so I had to include “Que Sera Sera.”
Another huge hit for Peggy was “School Days.”
Lastly, the song that got her back on the charts, “Dawn Melody.”
Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoyed learning about and listening to Peggy Hayama as much as I did. Next month, for my one-year anniversary, I’ll be discussing Jimmy Takeuchi’s White X’mas – Drum Drum Drum. I’ve had several people ask me about the funky, drum-heavy “Jingle Bells” that plays in my intro each episode. This is the album it came from. It’s a great album with a wonderful blend of Jazz, Rock and Soul. You don’t want to miss it.
Any feedback on this episode would be appreciated. If you’d like to recommend a song or album for a future episode, drop me a line and let me know.
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Listen to this episode of the Holly Jolly Xmasu Podcast
Author: Holly Jolly X’masu