Dave Barbour

Picture of Dave Barbour

Dave Barbour, at one point in his career, chose love over music.  While working as a guitarist for the Benny Goodman Orchestra, he and Peggy Lee fell in love.  Peggy Lee was the female lead for Goodman's band at the time and he had a strict rule: "No band members should fraternize with the girl singer." Well, Dave married Peggy, Benny fired Dave, Peggy left the band and the world moved on.

Barbour started off his career as a banjo player.  He played in the bands of some big names including Adrian Rollini and Wingy Manone.  Around 1935, Dave switched over to the guitar and was quite good.  He immediately found work with Red Norvo's band but also stayed very busy as a studio musician working with the likes of Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller and Raymond Scott to name only a few.

In the early 1940's, Barbour joined Benny Goodman's Orchestra and that is where he met Miss Peggy Lee.  After they left the band Dave was still finding a lot of work, but Peggy was quite content on staying home and being Mrs. Barbour.  Dave is credited for motivating and inspiring his wife into resuming her music career telling her that "she had too much talent to stay at home and someday she might regret it."


Watch: "Why Don't You Do Right" by Dave Barbour and Peggy Lee

Eventually, Barbour went on to be Peggy's co-writer, accompanist, and bandleader.  Together, they recorded and wrote a lot of fantastic music.  Barbour also performed without Peggy at times and his band was a real top-notch outfit.  Unfortunately, the couple divorced in 1951 and Barbour left the music industry and acted in a few Hollywood movies. 

Dave Barbour passed away in 1965 of a hemorrhaged ulcer.  He was only 53.

You can hear the music of David Barbour and Peggy Lee right here on Swing City Radio.

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