Peggy March is a name that may not be familiar to younger generations, but to those who grew up in the 60s and 70s, her voice and music were a ubiquitous presence. With a career that spanned over five decades, March established herself as one of the most versatile and enduring artists of her generation, with hits in multiple languages and genres.
Here, we’ll highlight just some of the March’s life and legacy, from her early days as a child prodigy to her current status as a respected elder stateswoman in the music industry.
Early Life and Career
Peggy March was born Margaret Annemarie Battavio in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, in 1948. She showed an early aptitude for music, singing and playing piano at a young age. At just 13 years old, she was discovered by the record producer duo Hugo & Luigi, who were impressed by her powerful voice and poise. They signed her to their RCA Victor label and changed her name to Peggy March, feeling that it would be more marketable.
March’s first hit came in 1963 with “I Will Follow Him”, a song that had already been a hit in France under the title “Chariot”. The song showcased March’s powerful vocals and showcased her ability to sing in multiple languages, as she recorded versions of the song in French, German, Italian, and Spanish. The song was an instant success, reaching number one on the US charts and becoming a worldwide hit.
Rise to Fame
“I Will Follow Him” was just the beginning of Peggy March’s success. She followed it up with several other hits, including “Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love” and “The Impossible Happened”. She toured extensively, performing with other popular artists of the day such as Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka.
One of March’s most memorable performances came in 1964 when she sang at the Vatican for Pope Paul VI. She performed “I Will Follow Him” in Italian and received a standing ovation from the crowd. This event helped solidify her status as an international star, and she continued to perform and record throughout the 60s.
Challenges and Changes
The late 60s and early 70s brought many changes to the music industry, and Peggy March was not immune to them. The rise of rock and roll and the decline of the traditional pop music market meant that March had to adapt to stay relevant. She experimented with different styles and genres, recording songs that were more rock-oriented and even dipping her toes into disco.
In the mid-70s, March moved to Germany, where she had a successful career singing in German. She recorded several albums in the language and had several hits, including “Mit 17 hat man noch Träume” (“At 17 You Still Have Dreams”). She also hosted her own television show and acted in several films.
Throughout her career, Peggy March has been private about her personal life. She was briefly married in the 60s, but the marriage ended in divorce. She has two children, a son, and a daughter, and has been with her partner for over 30 years.
Peggy March’s music has stood the test of time and remains beloved by many today. Her powerful voice and ability to sing in multiple languages helped her stand out in a crowded field, and her versatility allowed her to adapt to changing musical tastes. She has won several awards for her work, including a Goldene Europa in Germany and induction into the Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame.
March’s influence can be heard in the music of many artists who came after her, such as Celine Dion and Mariah Carey, who have both covered “I Will Follow Him”. Her impact on the music industry is also evident in her ability to seamlessly transition between different genres and languages, showcasing her versatility as a singer.
March’s legacy also extends beyond her music. She has been involved in numerous charitable organizations, including the March of Dimes and the American Cancer Society. She is also an advocate for animal rights and has supported organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States.
Peggy March may not be a household name to younger generations, but her impact on the music industry is undeniable. Her powerful voice, ability to sing in multiple languages, and versatility as a performer helped establish her as one of the most enduring artists of her generation. Her ability to adapt to changing musical tastes and genres allowed her to stay relevant throughout her career, and her influence can still be heard in the music of many artists today. Peggy March’s legacy extends beyond her music, as she has been involved in numerous charitable organizations and causes throughout her life. She is truly a trailblazer in the music industry and a role model for artists everywhere.
- Peggy March Discography on AllMusic
- “I Will Follow Him” Song Review on Songfacts
- Peggy March Biography on IMDb
- March of Dimes Website
- Humane Society of the United States Website
- Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame
- Peggy March on Spotify
- Peggy March on YouTube
- Peggy March on Last FM
- Peggy March on YouTube
- Peggy March on Apple Music
- Peggy March Interview on YouTube