Recorded by Peggy Lee
Arranged By Billy May, Prepared for Publication by Dylan Canterbury, Rob DuBoff, and Jeffrey Sultanof
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Cat #: JLP-9340DL


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Edition: Jazz Big Band Arrangement with Vocal

Description: Swing - Medium Difficult

Publisher: Jazz Lines Publications

Singer Peggy Lee's original version of 'Why Don't You Do Right?' with the Benny Goodman Orchestra played a key role in her emergence as one of popular music's greatest female vocalists. This version, arranged by Billy May, came from her 1948 recording 'Rendezvous with Peggy Lee,' and saw Lee accompanied by the orchestra of her then-husband, guitarist Dave Barbour. Although it is generally not overly difficult, there are a couple brief moments that will require a lead trumpet player with a strong upper register.

The performance begins with some musical devices that May would use frequently over his career - a sinewy unison saxophone line being egged on by a blaring brass section atop a solid foundation from the rhythm section. Barbour plays a brief solo break before Lee comes in with the melody at measure 7. A harmonically modified twelve-bar blues, Lee sings three verses with the backgrounds mostly handled in a repetitive fashion by the saxes. Some occasional brass punctuation and Barbour guitar fills sneak in to stave off monotony.

Lee gets a break at measure 43 while the band embarks on a typically brilliant May shout chorus. The horns don't stray far from the melody, but the slight deviations are enough to catch your listeners off guard. A recap of the introductory sax lick sets up Lee's final verse at measure 55, with an extended tag leading the band into one final charge before the arrangement ends on an appropriately sultry note.

This publication was prepared using the original Billy May pencil score - this is not a transcription.

Full Score
2 Alto Saxophones
2 Tenor Saxophones
Baritone Saxophone
4 Trumpets
4 Trombones
Vocal Key: D minor
Trumpet 1: E6
Trombone 1: G4