Peg (song)

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Peg - Steely Dan.jpg
International picture sleeve
Single by Steely Dan
from the album Aja
B-side"I Got the News"
ReleasedNovember 1977
GenreSoft rock[1]
Songwriter(s)Walter Becker, Donald Fagen
Producer(s)Gary Katz
Steely Dan singles chronology
"Haitian Divorce"
"Deacon Blues"
45 RPM vinyl record
A-side label of the U.S. vinyl single
A-side label of the U.S. vinyl single

"Peg" is a song by American rock group Steely Dan, first released on the band's 1977 album Aja. The track was released as single in 1977 and reached number 11 on the US Billboard chart in 1978 and number eight on the Cash Box chart.[2] With a chart run of 19 weeks, "Peg" is tied with "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" and "Hey Nineteen" for being their longest-running chart hit. In Canada, "Peg" spent three weeks at number seven during March 1978.[3]

The song's guitar solo was attempted by seven top studio session guitarists‒including Robben Ford and recurring guitarist Larry Carlton‒before Jay Graydon's version became the "keeper".[4] He worked on the song for about six hours before the band was satisfied.[5]

Jay Graydon spoke about his famous guitar solo in a 2014 interview:

Michael McDonald can be heard providing multi-tracked backup vocals in the choruses, and keyboardist Paul Griffin can also be heard talking and improvising background vocals in the final chorus and fadeout.[7]

The song could be a reference to Broadway star and one-time Hollywood actress Peg Entwistle, who became famous in 1932 by jumping to her death off the Hollywoodland Sign before her first film was ever released.[8]


Pitchfork rated "Peg" as its 87th best song of the 1970s, describing it as the "perfect Steely Dan song, and one of the strangest hits to ever grace the mainstream."[4] Drummer Rick Marotta calls "Peg" one of the greatest tracks he has ever played on.[9]

The song became famous as the theme music used for a celebrity paparazzi segment for the syndicated news magazine Entertainment Tonight from 1981 to 1985.

"Peg" was heavily sampled on the 1989 De La Soul song, "Eye Know". In 2007, the song was covered by Nerina Pallot and in 2014 by Donny Osmond

Chart performance[edit]



  1. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "Soft Rock Music and Songs - Oldies Music". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  2. ^ Steely Dan USA chart history, Retrieved May 28, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  4. ^ a b "The 200 Best Songs of the 1970s - Page 6 | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  5. ^ Schonfeld, Zach (September 24, 2017). "Steely Dan's 'Aja' at 40: The Inside Story of the Band's Most Legendary Guitar Solo". Newsweek. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  6. ^ 2014 interview with guitarist Jay Graydon on [1].
  7. ^ Classic Albums DVD: Aja
  8. ^ "Steely Dan fan Q&A".
  9. ^ Russ Harris (2008-08-04), Peg - Steely Dan - The Making Of, retrieved 2016-09-09
  10. ^ "Music lyrics, charts, Games, & more". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  11. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, March 11, 1978
  12. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1978/Top 100 Songs of 1978". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  13. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  14. ^ Original 1977 Album liner notes

External links[edit]