Peggy March, born Margaret Annemarie Battavio, is an American pop singer who rose to fame in the 1960s with a string of hits that showcased her distinctive voice and style. Over the course of her career, March established herself as a gifted songwriter and performer, crafting memorable songs that continue to resonate with listeners today.
Here, we will explore some of Peggy March’s most popular and enduring songs, as well as her musical style, influence, and impact on the music industry.
Life and Career
March was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, in 1948. Her interest in music began at an early age, and she started singing professionally when she was just 13 years old. Her big break came in 1963, when she was discovered by songwriters and producers Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. They signed her to RCA Records and helped her record her first hit song, “I Will Follow Him.”
“I Will Follow Him” was an instant sensation, reaching the top of the charts in both the US and the UK. The song showcased March’s powerful, soaring vocals, and its upbeat, optimistic tone struck a chord with audiences around the world. March continued to record successful singles throughout the 1960s, including “Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love,” “The Impossible Happened,” and “Watch What You Do With My Baby.”
March’s musical style was characterized by her strong, soulful voice and her ability to convey emotion through her performances. Her music was a blend of pop, soul, and R&B influences, and she drew inspiration from a wide range of sources, including Motown and the Brill Building songwriting teams.
One of the hallmarks of March’s style was her ability to infuse even the most upbeat songs with a touch of melancholy. For example, “I Will Follow Him” may sound like a happy, carefree tune on the surface, but there is a hint of sadness and longing in March’s voice that adds depth and complexity to the song.
Most Popular Songs
In addition to “I Will Follow Him,” March recorded a number of other popular hits during the 1960s. One of her most enduring songs is “If You Loved Me (Soul Coaxing),” which was released in 1968. The song features a catchy, upbeat melody and lyrics that express the joys of being in love. However, there is also a sense of vulnerability and uncertainty in March’s performance, which adds an element of realism to the song.
- “I Will Follow Him” (1963) This is Peggy March’s most famous song, and it reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1963. The song was originally written in French by Franck Pourcel and Paul Mauriat and was later adapted into English by Norman Gimbel. The main theme of the song is a declaration of love and commitment, with Peggy March vowing to follow her love wherever he goes.
- “If You Loved Me (Soul Coaxing)” (1968) This song was released in 1968 and became a top 10 hit in the US and UK. The main theme of the song is the joy of being in love and the desire to share that love with someone else. The catchy melody and Peggy March’s soulful vocals make this song a classic.
- “Watch What You Do With My Baby” (1964) Released in 1964, this song reached the top 40 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song is about a girl warning her boyfriend to be careful with her heart and not break it. Peggy March’s powerful vocals and the catchy melody make this song a standout.
- “Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love” (1964) This song was released in 1964 and became a top 30 hit in the US. The main theme of the song is heartbreak and moving on from a failed relationship. Peggy March’s emotional delivery and the soulful melody make this song a classic.
Another popular song from March’s discography is “Wind Up Doll,” which was released in 1964. The song features a jaunty, playful melody and lyrics that describe a woman who feels like she’s being treated like a toy. March’s performance captures the humor and pathos of the situation, making the song both funny and poignant.
March’s Enduring Legacy
Despite the fact that March hasn’t released a new album in many years, her music continues to resonate with audiences around the world. Her songs have been covered by numerous artists, and her influence can be heard in the work of many contemporary musicians.
One reason for March’s enduring popularity is the quality of her songwriting. Many of her songs deal with universal themes such as love, loss, and heartbreak, and her lyrics are often both poetic and relatable. In addition, her performances are marked by a sincerity and authenticity that makes her music timeless.
Another reason for March’s lasting impact is her role as a trailblazer for women in the music industry. She was one of the first female pop singers to achieve mainstream success in the 1960s, and she paved the way for future generations of female artists. Her success inspired countless young women to pursue careers in music, and her influence can be seen in the work of artists such as Carole King, Stevie Nicks, and Adele.
March’s cultural significance extends beyond the music industry as well. As a successful female artist in the 1960s, she was a symbol of women’s empowerment and a role model for young girls everywhere. Her success challenged traditional gender roles and helped pave the way for the feminist movement of the 1970s.
In conclusion, Peggy March’s impact on the music industry is undeniable. Her distinctive voice and style helped her become one of the most successful female pop singers of the 1960s, and her songs continue to resonate with audiences today. March’s music is characterized by its sincerity, authenticity, and emotional depth, and her influence can be heard in the work of countless artists who have come after her. She is a true trailblazer for women in music and a cultural icon whose legacy will endure for generations to come.