Maureen McGovern

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Maureen McGovern
Maureen McGovern.jpg
McGovern in 2009
Background information
Birth nameMaureen Therese McGovern
Born(1949-07-27) July 27, 1949 (age 64)
Youngstown, Ohio, United States
GenresBroadway, Pop
OccupationsSinger, actress
Years active1972–present
Labels20th Century Fox, Columbia, Sterling
Websitewww.maureenmcgovern.com
 
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Maureen McGovern
Maureen McGovern.jpg
McGovern in 2009
Background information
Birth nameMaureen Therese McGovern
Born(1949-07-27) July 27, 1949 (age 64)
Youngstown, Ohio, United States
GenresBroadway, Pop
OccupationsSinger, actress
Years active1972–present
Labels20th Century Fox, Columbia, Sterling
Websitewww.maureenmcgovern.com

Maureen Therese McGovern (born July 27, 1949) is an American singer and Broadway actress, well known for her premier renditions of the Oscar-winning songs "The Morning After" from the 1972 film The Poseidon Adventure and "We May Never Love Like This Again" from The Towering Inferno in 1974.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

McGovern was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of James Terrence McGovern and Mary Rita (née Welsh).[3] She has Irish ancestry.[1] As a child, McGovern would listen to her father's singing quartet rehearse in their home. She was told by her elders that she began singing at the age of three, and would sometimes sing herself to sleep with things she heard on the radio. She decided at age eight that she wanted to be a professional singer. Her influences include Barbra Streisand and Dionne Warwick.

Breakthrough recording[edit]

After graduating from Boardman High School in 1967, she worked as a secretary and performed part-time as a singer for a local folk band called Sweet Rain. Her singing caught the attention of Russ Regan (then head of 20th Century Records) in 1972 when he heard a demonstration she had recorded. At the time, Regan was searching for a singer to record "The Morning After" (the theme from The Poseidon Adventure) for release as a record.[2] He hired McGovern sight unseen to record the song, which resulted in her contracting with 20th Century Records. After it won an Oscar for Best Original Song,[2] "The Morning After" scored well on the popular music charts, reaching #1 during 1973.[1] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in August 1973.[4] Following the success of "The Morning After," she received a Grammy Award nomination in 1974 for Best New Artist.

During 1974, she recorded two movie themes: "We May Never Love Like This Again" from the disaster film The Towering Inferno,[2] in which she made a short appearance when she is seen singing the song as the evening's entertainment, and "Wherever Love Takes Me" from the British disaster film Gold. The former won an Oscar[2] (though it was only a minor pop hit), and the latter received an Oscar nomination.

In 1976, she recorded her cover version of "The Continental", the very first Oscar-winning track for Best Original Song.[2] It proved to be her only hit in the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at #16.[2]

Challenges[edit]

McGovern's contract with 20th Century ended during 1976. Her career declined and so did her finances.[citation needed] In an interview on BBC Woman's Hour on 18 May 2009, McGovern stated that exorbitant fees charged by her manager (40%) together with her band being on a full-time salary, whether she was performing or not, were the cause of her perilous financial state. Ready to begin her life over again, she moved to Marina del Rey and took a secretarial job under an assumed name, Glenda Schwartz. Nevertheless, she was still in demand occasionally for international live concerts. Her career improved when McGovern was asked to record a version of "Can You Read My Mind", the love theme from 1978's Superman, which was not recorded for the film. The single achieved minor success on the Popular charts. Toward the end of the decade, McGovern recorded "Different Worlds," the theme from the ABC-TV sitcom Angie. The song, her only other Top 40 Pop single aside from "The Morning After," soared to #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 during 1979 and hit at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[5] During 1980, McGovern made a brief appearance as Sister Angelina, the singing nun, in the comedy-disaster movie Airplane!.

Broadway career[edit]

At the beginning of the 1980s, McGovern gave up singing movie themes to begin a career on Broadway, despite not having any acting experience. During 1981, she made her Broadway debut as Mabel in a revival of Gilbert & Sullivan's musical The Pirates of Penzance, taking over for fellow 1970s popular singer Linda Ronstadt. She then performed in two productions with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera: The Sound of Music (1981; as Maria) and South Pacific (1982; as Nellie Forbush). She continued her theatrical career throughout the 1980s and originated the role of Mary in the Off-Broadway production of Brownstone in 1985. She also was in Little Women The Musical as Marmee.

Carnegie Hall performance[edit]

She slowly returned to music during the mid-1980s, contributing songs to musical soundtracks and recording for various-artist compilations. She also returned to touring and performing in concerts and began establishing herself as a nightclub and cabaret performer. Starting in 1987, she released three albums for CBS in three years - Another Woman in Love (a voice/piano album), State of the Heart (a fully orchestrated album), and Naughty Baby (Recorded LIVE on November 20, 1988, Studio A at Clinton Recording Studios, New York City - it features a very first recording of a lost Gershwin song, "A Corner of Heaven With You" (written ca. 1917). The album was released in 1989 coinciding with McGovern's Gershwin concert at Carnegie Hall). In 1989, she performed her first concert in Carnegie Hall, singing a collection of songs by George Gershwin.

Recent career[edit]

From the 1990s into the 21st century, McGovern continued her careers in musical theatre, performing in concerts, and recording albums, and she occasionally made guest appearances on television. Other recordings include Baby I'm Yours (1992), a collection of her favorite songs from 1955 to 1970, and Out of This World (1996), a collection of songs by Harold Arlen. She was nominated twice for a Grammy, for her albums The Music Never Ends (1997), a collection of songs by Alan & Marilyn Bergman, and The Pleasure of His Company (1998), another voice/piano album.

In 2003, Out of This World and The Music Never Ends were re-released by Fynsworth Alley Records; both albums included bonus tracks, the former two, and the latter three.

In 2005, McGovern returned to the Broadway stage as Marmee opposite Sutton Foster's Jo in the musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. With negative reviews, it ended quickly, but McGovern reprised her role for the successful subsequent national tour.[1]

She continues to appear in concert as a headliner and as a guest with symphony orchestras around the country. Her new CD A Long and Winding Road, on the PS Classics label, salutes singer–songwriters of the 1960s like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Lennon–McCartney and Randy Newman. She performed a concert act based on this material at the Metropolitan Room in New York City, the Rrazz Room in San Francisco and will tour with it throughout the next few years.

McGovern also continues her work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, where she appears annually on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.

She created, along with Philip Himberg, a one woman biographical musical Carry It On which premiered at Geva Theatre Center October 12 - November 14, 2010.[6][7]

In 2012 she was listed as a guest star with The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies at the Plaza Theatre in Palm Springs, California.[8]

Other projects[edit]

McGovern voiced the character of Rachel in the animated film Joseph: King of Dreams.

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

Compilations[edit]

Singles[edit]

YearSingleChart positionsAlbum
U.S.ACUK[9]
1973"The Morning After"
(Oscar-winning; recorded in 1972)
16-The Morning After
"I Won't Last a Day Without You"8914-
1974"Nice to Be Around"
(Oscar-nominated)
10128-Nice to Be Around
"Give Me a Reason to Be Gone"7112-
"We May Never Love Like This Again"
(Oscar-winning)
8320-Academy Award Performance
1975"Even Better Than I Know Myself"---
"Love Songs Are Getting Harder to Sing"-24-
1976"The Continental"
(Oscar-winning in 1934)
--16Academy Award Performance
1978"Can You Read My Mind"525-Maureen McGovern
"Very Special Love"---
1979"Different Worlds"181-
"Can't Take My Eyes off You"-27-
1980"We Could Have It All"-16-
1981"Halfway Home"-24-
1987"I Could Have Been a Sailor"---Another Woman in Love
1988"The Same Moon"---State of the Heart
1992"You Belong To Me"---Baby I'm Yours
1996"Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home"---Out of This World

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Irish American Post". Gaelicweb.com. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 136. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Maureen McGovern Biography". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2007-11-09. 
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 331. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 165. 
  6. ^ Gevatheatrecenter.org
  7. ^ Maureenmcgovern.com
  8. ^ Fabulous Palm Springs Follies: Maureen McGovern
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 339. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]