At fifteen, Peggy March became the youngest female artist to top the American music charts — a record that she still holds to this day — with her recording of "I Will Follow Him." The vocalist and songwriter was cheated out of many royalties; but recharged and found new fame as a leading schlager singer in Germany and an in-demand recording artist in Japan — performing in the native tongue. She talks with Justin Kantor about her career achievements and Always and Forever, her first English pop album in thirty years.
This is your first English pop album in quite awhile. How did Always and Forever come together?
When Darren Harvey-Beswick of Night Dance Records approached me, he told me that Soren Jensen was primarily a dance-song producer. I’d never done anything like that — except for a disco album in ’79 that really wasn’t up to par with what was happening. I thought it’d be interesting to do something like this; but I told Darren, the most important thing is the song — no matter what you do.
So, Soren sent me “Every Day’s a New Day.” The lyric wasn’t acceptable. It felt like it was written by someone who didn’t speak English well. I told him, “I like the song; but do you mind if I change a little bit here and there with this line?” I took a lot of what he had and just edited it. It was fun to do. Then he sent me the second song on the album, “I Can’t Say No to You,” and it all started to flow. He started sending me one song after another, and I sent him back lyrics. It became a relationship. This went over a few weeks. It’s what became the album. It’s not like we went in there and said, “This is the kind of album we’re going to make.” It was all done by e-mail.
How did the song “I Still Follow You” come to fruition?
When Darren first told me he wanted a follow-up — pardon the pun — to “I Will Follow Him,” I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. It sounded corny. Not that I wanted to get away from the song, but I didn’t want to be identified only with that. I thought about it for the longest time, and nothing came to me. One day I was going to take a nap in my living room. My computer was on the dining room table. I started to get the idea for a lyric as I was dozing off. “Oh, please, leave me alone. I just want to go to sleep now!” One line after another kept coming up until I finally said, “Okay, I’ll get up!” So, I went to the computer and literally wrote the lyric in twenty minutes. I sent it to Soren, and he had a melody the next morning!