Peter Duchin was born in New York City, 1937, the son of pianist and band leader Eddy Duchin. His mother was Marjorie Oelrichs, a Newport, Rhode Island and New York City socialite who died unexpectedly when he was just five days old. He was raised by close family friends, statesman W. Averell Harriman and his wife, Marie Norton Whitney Harriman. Duchin was educated at Eaglebrook and Hotchkiss prep schools in New England. He spent time in Paris, France and studied at the Sorbonne before returning home and graduating from Yale University. Duchin's music was much-heard on MOR radio in the late 1960s and early 70s from albums and singles released on the Decca, Bell and Capitol labels.