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..!
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