Peggy (Margaret Annemarie Battavio) was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania on March 8th 1948 at 8.24pm. Peggy’s father, Carmen R, worked as an Engineering Tool and Die specialist after spending the war in the Pacific with the US Navy. Her mother (Margaret R, nee Cassano born Norristown), also called Peggy, undertook war work and then continued working in various factory jobs, in and around Lansdale, until she retired. Peggy grew up on East Third Street
According to her mother Peggy began copying the TV commercials at 2 years old.
November 14th 1952 Peggy’s sister Linda is born
An early photo of Peggy below
Peggy begins singing at family gatherings and at 5 years old performs at a local Womens Auxiliary League - her first ‘show’. A local music teacher Verna Kerr 'discovers' Peggy. Verna is effective at networking her students and Peggy, as Peggy Battavio, appears on in Rex Tailor's Stars of Tomorrows and other local TV programs. In the evenings, Peggy regularly travels to Philadelphia to appear on the Sally Starr Show. At weekends Peggy performs in Sally Starr's Country band the Tune Dusters.
At age 10 appears in Horn and Hardart's Children Hour.
Between the ages of 8 and 13, also through Verna Kerr, Peggy appears on the Tony Grant 'Stars of Tomorrow' summer shows in Atlantic City . Peggy and her mother spend a couple of weeks, twice over the summer. Peggy performs in 3 shows a day. (Clip below recorded 20th January 2013)
By the age of thirteen she has left the Tune Dusters.
Brooke Boyer, a resident of Silverdale Bucks county PA, recalls
“This may sound corney but I sang with Peggy when I was about 8-9 years old in Lansdale, Pa about 1959/1960. My music teacher Verna Rantz (Quakertown, Pa) had us together at a function. A great memory...I believe she sang "Makin' Whoopee".
'I don't really know if Verna Rantz was her (Peggy March's) teacher, although I do know that she (Verna) advertised that she was after Peggy had her hit. Wish I could give more details. I was reared in a small town called Silverdale and Verna Rantz's school was in Quakertown. Her husband was a prof drummer and gave lessons as well. My mother dragged me to voice lessons until I was about 11 years old.”
Peggy reports that she did have a music teacher called Verna Kerr and she remembers “doing a duet of HANSEL & GRETEL around that time” she also believes they are talking about the same Verna since Verna was not that common a name and Quakertown only had a total population of 6305 in 1960.
Michael Rantz sent me an e-mail in 2016 with more details. “Peggy (Peachy as we knew her) did take lessons from my step-mother, Verna. My Father Jerry was a professional drummer. We had a Studio in Quakertown, PA I can remember Peachy singing at the piano at our place and also going to Tony Grant's Stars of Tomorrow on the Atlantic City Steel Pier.”
Peggy remembers her childhood as one where her family and relatives spent lots of time together because everyone lived locally. At Christmas they put up their silver Christmas tree and her father built a train track under it.