Because it does what you want it to do

It only makes sense that her third album would have the rather drawn-out title, “Academy Award Performance: And the Envelope, Please”

After all, Maureen McGovern’s first album, “The Morning After” featured her 1972 Oscar-winning recording (ah yes) “The Morning After” from “The Poseidon Adventure.” And her second album, “Nice to Be Around” featured her 1973 Oscar-nominated recording (can you guess?) “Nice to Be Around” from “Cinderella Liberty”.  Clearly it was time to change things up a bit, even though this third album featured her 1974 Oscar-winning recording, “We May Never Love Like This Again” from “The Towering Inferno”.

Nice niche if you can get it.  The remaining tracks were covers of other Oscar-winning songs including today’s selection from the 1934 Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers film, “The Gay Divorcee” which was adapted from the Broadway musical, “Gay Divorce” also starring Astaire. The Hays Office is responsible for the name change because, while a divorcee can be gay (and why not in every sense), it would be “unseemly” to have people thinking of divorce itself as being a lighthearted endeavor.

Although the screenplay followed the stage version’s plot line most of Cole Porter’s musical numbers (except for “Night and Day”) weren’t included.  Yet it seems to have been the right decision, as this number, written by Con Conrad with lyrics by Herb Magidson, won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Original Song.

McGovern’s subsequent cover version proved to be her only hit on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at Number 16. Unfortunately her musical finesse didn’t extend to talent management. Not only did her manager receive an outrageous 40 percent commission and grossly overpay her musicians, he also allowed her contract with 20th Century Fox to expire, leaving her in financial straits and forcing her to quit the business.

Eventually she would return to the lime light with better management – first with select performances, then with another Top 20 hit (this time for the theme song to the sitcom, “Angie”) and then with a successful career on Broadway – but in 1976 the two-time Oscar winner was reduced to taking a secretarial job under the assumed name, Glenda Schwartz…  Well slip me a slug o’ that wonderful Krug. Let’s hear it for second acts..!

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Saturday 15 December 

The Continental

 Beautiful music

Dangerous rhythm

 It’s something daring, the Continental

A way of dancing that’s really ultra new

It’s very subtle, the Continental

Because it does what you want it to do

 It has a passion, the Continental

An invitation to moonlight and romance

It’s quite the fashion, the Continental

Because you tell of your love while you dance

 Your lips whisper so tenderly

His eyes answer your song

 Two bodies swaying, the Continental

And you are saying just what you’re thinking of

So, keep on dancing the Continental

For it’s a song of romance and of love

 You kiss while you’re dancing

It’s continental, oh oh oh, it’s continental

You sing while you’re dancing

Your voice is gentle, oh oh oh, and sentimental

 You’ll know before the dance is through

That you’re in love with him and

He’s in love with you

 You’ll find while you’re dancing

That there’s a rhythm in your heart and soul,

A certain rhythm that you can’t control

And you will do the Continental all the time

Beautiful music

Dangerous rhythm

Beautiful music

Dangerous rhythm

The Continental

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