Many Dietrich admirers know that Marlene never got around to singing two songs written for her, which have gone on to become standards: Autumn Leaves and Speak Low. (In both cases, she withdrew from the projects they were written for).
Peggy Lee's biographer, James Gavin, adds another unsung classic to the list: Is That All There Is?, which became a late-career hit for Lee. (It is also the title of Gavin's book).
According to Gavin, songwriters Leiber and Stoller had Dietrich in mind when they wrote the song. Burt Bacharach arranged a meeting with Dietrich at her New York apartment where Jerry Leiber performed the song for Marlene, accompanied by Bacharach. Dietrich called the song "a lovely piece of material", and asked whether Leiber had ever seen one of her shows. Leiber admitted that he hadn't.
Then, in what Leiber called "the most consummate response" ever, Dietrich explained that she couldn't perform the song as "That song is about who I am, and not what I do."
Luckily for us, Lee did :
Gavin writes that Lee was a great admirer of Dietrich's performance style and costumes; and, impressed by Dietrich's flattering lighting, insisted on the same. Lee, taken by the René Bouché sketch always used to promote Dietrich's concerts, commissioned similar artwork of herself:
The admiration was mutual: to Dietrich, Peggy Lee awakened "no memories of other voices, but awaken[s] all senses to a unique feast":
(Thank you Robbie for bringing this information to our attention!)