OKLAHOMA - To really know Little Miss Peggy, we have to go way back to the 1950’s. She was just a teen, and when the father of her children died in the Korean War, Little Miss Peggy turned to the only thing she knew – her voice.
"It belongs to God,” she said.
Her personal life was riddled with as much pain as the rhythm and blues she so wholeheartedly belted out for crowds across the country.
"I was away a lot of the times, and while I would go up and down the road, I would think about my children with my mommy, and we were very poor,” Little Miss Peggy said.
But, the budding singer had something money can’t buy.
“The voice belongs to him,” she said.
And that voice took her all over the United States, touring with a band and opening for some of the biggest names in music.
“Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight. We all did things up and down the road,” she said. “Bobby Womack, Johnny Taylor, BB King, Bobby Blue, Temptations, Tina Turner and Elvis when we went to Memphis. He said I can't use the band, but I can sure use Little Miss Peggy. And I had to say no, because I couldn't read music."
Little Miss Peggy’s touring eventually brought her to Oklahoma.
“When I got to Oklahoma, they put us with Chuck Berry,” she said. “We met Danny Williams, and we began doing a thing for teenagers called Teen Hops.”
Little Miss Peggy never had an album of her own - certainly not because of a lack of talent. Sometimes life takes a different path, but that doesn’t mean Little Miss Peggy ever stopped singing.
"Nursing homes, senior citizens places, she goes at Christmas, and she performs,” Loretta said. “She does that just for the joy in her heart. She says 'I don't get paid for it, but it's just a joy for me.’”
Now, at almost 81 years old, Little Miss Peggy is still sharing that God-given talent, just not in the way she once thought she would.
"She's always going. She's always doing. Doing for somebody,” Loretta said. “She's always using her gifts and using her talents."
And that’s why Loretta nominated Little Miss Peggy for Pay It 4Ward.
"Loretta, we were so touched about Peggy and how she blesses other people with music. So on behalf of everyone at First Fidelity Bank, I am so honored to help you pay it forward with $400,” First Fidelity Bank President James Boggs said.
She may not be as well-known as some of the big names she’s shared a mic with, but Little Miss Peggy is still singing, still paying it forward with something you can’t put a price on.
Pay It 4Ward is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.