KAILUA-KONA — In 1946, Peggy Lee first recorded the lyrics, “Yes, it’s a good day for singing a song.” On Saturday, Stacy Sullivan and local musician Keikilani Lindsey will echo those sentiments on stage.
Sullivan will be performing her concert, “It’s A Good Day: A Tribute to Peggy Lee” at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Kona Tap Room at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. She has performed the tribute concert all over the world since she started it seven years ago, including locations such as London and Mexico, but she has never performed in Hawaii. And for her Big Island show, Lindsey will be the opening act with one song.
“(Lindsey) will add another level to the concert, of celebration,” Sullivan said. “It is a good day. If we wake up in the morning and put our feet on the ground, it is a good day.”
This will be Lindsey’s first time performing on stage since a car crash on June 28 of last year left the Big Island musician in critical condition in a Colorado hospital with multiple severe injuries. Lindsey returned to the island in September, and his debut on stage has been long-awaited by his fans following his recovery closely.
“I have a line in the show where I say, ‘Peggy Lee took a life fraught with excuses for failure and turned it into a body of work that will be celebrated long after we’re gone and forgotten,’” Sullivan said. “And I think that’s the goal, to take these tragedies in life and turn them into something positive that people can learn from. And he’s certainly one of those people we can learn from about surviving and moving on.”
The concert is a benefit for Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii (VASH), a nonprofit organization that assists visitors to Hawaii who are victims of crimes while on the islands. This is the fifth annual benefit concert VASH has held, and all proceeds from the $75 tickets will benefit the organization.
“I’ve done a lot of benefit concerts with this evening of songs because it’s a nice fit,” Sullivan said. “We celebrate life with music.”
Lee was a popular singer-songwriter and actress in the 1940s and ‘50s, a 12-time Grammy Award nominee and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1999. Sullivan said she had little to no information about the music star when covering Lee’s music was first suggested to her.
“She was such a great actress as well as a wonderful singer,” Sullivan said. “The first thing I read about her, and the first line on her Wikipedia page, was she was the seventh of eight kids. And I just happened to be the seventh of eight kids. And it was just one of those coincidences that I just took and ran with.”
Like Lindsey can be a positive story for those recovering from health problems that have impacted their life, Sullivan sees Lee as an icon for trailblazers in the music industry, and as a different kind of survivor. It is one of Sullivan’s motivations for performing the tribute concert.
“She was one of the first famous female singer-songwriters, way before Carole King and Joni Mitchell and the people we know of,” Sullivan said. “She was a pioneer, and there’s a lot to respect there as a human being and a survivor of domestic abuse. She has all the trademarks of someone who really forged their own way, and I feel like she didn’t get enough attention for that.”
Info: Tickets for “It’s a Good Day: A Tribute to Peggy Lee” are $75 and can be purchased at vash.brownpapertickets.com.