Amanda McBroom will be a guest of Peabody and Emmy Award winning journalist, Scott Simon, on Saturday, July 1st for an interview on Weekend Edition Saturday.
The popular show can be heard on NPR radio stations around the country, or listeners can tune in on their various personal devices and catch the stream. McBroom is widely known for her Golden Globe winning song, "The Rose," from the Bette Midler film. Midler's recording of the "The Rose" won a Grammy and was a worldwide mega-hit. McBroom and Simon will talk about her recently released new recording, voices, on Gecko Records, McBroom's career and more. voices has 13 tracks including 10 originals. One of those is a new recording of "The Rose" as a duet with country legend Vince Gill. The disc was produced by Fred Mollin, who is known for his work with Johnny Mathis, Kris Kristofferson, America, JD Souther and Jimmy Webb.
Primarily an actress who sang before she performed the song at the Golden Globes, The Grammys and on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, her appearances launched McBroom's career as an international concert artist. Her original music has been covered by artists as diverse as Kurt Cobain, Jack Black and Amy Poehler, Conway Twitty, Donnie Fritts, Betty Buckley and Judy Collins. In 2015, Ann Powers named McBroom's song, "Errol Flynn" to NPR's list of Songs We Love.
McBroom credits her 1970s turn in "Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris" with shaping her as a songwriter. She says, “I never would have written 'The Rose' without having done Brel - it's the reason I became a songwriter. I discovered the power a song could hold - all of them are astounding acting monologues, which is my original comfort zone. I started writing little musical stories as a hobby to kill time on the road.” Her husband, actor-singer George Ball,
whom she met at her audition for the iconic theatrical show, encouraged her songwriting, and when she played "The Rose" for him one day he remarked, "I think you've just written a standard." The song, however, was rejected by the producer of the film, The Rose, but the music supervisor sent it to Bette Midler, who wisely gave it the thumbs up. In 2009, McBroom released Chanson, a tribute to Brel's music.
One of the three songs McBroom didn't write on voices is "Southbound Train," by the masterful Julie Gold, the writer of another huge Bette Midler hit, "From a Distance."
Amanda McBroom photo: Mary Ann Halpin