First recorded by Little Willie John in 1956, Fever was written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell, who used the pseudonym John Davenport. In 1958, Peggy Lee recorded the first cover version of the song. Thinking some of original lyrics were risque, she rewrote some of the lyrics without crediting herself. She ended up using only the first and fourth verses from the original song. Her lyrics (including the verses beginning “Romeo loved Juliet,” and “Captain Smith and Pocahontas”) are now generally thought of as a standard part of the song, and have been included in most subsequent covers of “Fever”. Her version peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a signature song for her. Her recording was nominated for “Record of the Year” at the 1959 Grammy Awards. Elvis Presley released a near identical version to Lee’s two years later for his 1960 album, Elvis is Back. My favorite version of Fever was the version recorded by Peggy Lee. This video is of one of her live performances.

Inspiration

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't.”
by Richard Bach

Fine Art America

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