Maureen Therese McGovern
(born July 27, 1949) is an American singer and Broadway actress, well-known for her premier rendition of the
song, "We May Never Love Like This Again" for the movie The Towering Inferno
was born in Youngstown,
Ohio, the daughter of James Terrence McGovern and Mary
Rita (née Welsh)..
She has Irish
ancestry. 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 tender 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
and Dionne Warwick
After graduating from Boardman High
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
(then head of 20th
) in 1972 when he heard a demonstration she had
recorded. At the time, Regan was searching for a singer to record
" (the theme from The Poseidon
) for release as a record. He hired McGovern
sight unseen to record the song, which resulted in her contracting
with 20th Century Records
After it won an Oscar
Original Song, "The Morning After" scored well on the popular music
charts, reaching #1 during 1973.
During 1974, she recorded two movie themes: "We May Never Love Like
This Again" (from the disaster film The Towering Inferno
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 (though
it was only a minor pop hit), and the latter received an Oscar
nomination. These two songs (along with "The Morning After")
resulted in media people referring to McGovern "the Disaster Theme
McGovern's contract with 20th Century ended during 1976. Her career
declined and so did her finances. In an interview on BBC
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, was 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,
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 a short-lived TV sitcom entitled Angie
. The song, her only other Top
40 single aside from "The Morning After", scored #18 on the Popular
charts during 1979 and scored two weeks at #1 on the Adult
Contemporary chart. During 1980, McGovern made a brief appearance
as Sister Angelina, the singing nun, in the comedy-disaster movie
beginning of the 1980s, McGovern gave up 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 1970's 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
production of Brownstone
in 1985. She also was in Little
Women The Musical as Marmee
Carnegie Hall performance
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
(a voice/piano album), State of the
(a fully orchestrated album), and Naughty Baby
she performed her first concert in Carnegie Hall, singing a collection of songs by George Gershwin.
The concert was
recorded live and released that year as an album entitled
; it features a very first recording of a lost
Gershwin song "A Corner of Heaven With You" (written ca.
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
collection of her favorite songs from 1955 to 1970, and Out of
(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
(1998), another voice/piano album.
In 2003, Out of This World
and The Music Never
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
's Jo in the musical
adaptation of Louisa May Alcott
negative reviews, it ended quickly, but McGovern reprised her role
for the successful subsequent national tour.
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
salutes singer/songwriters of the 1960s like Paul Simon
, Lennon &
and Randy Newman
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.
She also continues her work with the Muscular Dystrophy
, where she appears annually on the Jerry Lewis
McGovern voiced Rachel in a film called Joseph: King of Dreams
(Oscar-winning; recorded in 1972)
||The Morning After
Last a Day Without You"
||"Nice to Be
||Nice to Be Around
|"Give Me a Reason to Be Gone"
|"We May Never Love Like This Again"
||Academy Award Performance
||"Even Better Than I Know Myself"
||20th Century Masters - The
Millennium Collection: The Best of Maureen McGovern
|"Love Songs Are Getting Harder to Sing"
||Academy Award Performance
||"Can You Read My Mind"
|"Can't Take My Eyes off You"
||"We Could Have It All"