Monday, January 04, 2021

Maureen Evans Like I Do (LP) 1963


Born at Cardiff on 25th March 1940 Maureen began singing in the school choir (being Welsh that`s not surprising) and graduated to taking the solo at school concerts. An appearance on a Lord Mayor`s charity concert when aged 14 brought her to the notice of Reg Phillips, manager of Cardiff`s New Theatre, who gave her a week in variety. At sixteen she made her radio debut on 'Welsh Rarebit'. More shows around Wales followed, including a number of summer seasons at Llandudno. Maureen also soon became a regular face on TWW, the local commercial television channel. During all this time she was still a full time student at Cardiff College of Music and Drama (Anthony Hopkins was a fellow student).
It was 1958 when Maureen, now 18 years of age, began recording for the Embassy label, each time travelling up to their London studio just for the session. Sold only in Woolworth stores they were all cover versions of current hits, and her first was a double helping of Connie Francis, with 'Stupid cupid' and 'Carolina moon'. Over the next fifteen months she made ten such cover discs, none of them ever being played on radio or turning up on any chart, or even getting recognition in the music press. Embassy issues never did.
In fact it took until October 1959 before she was "discovered" by Arthur Askey who gave her a spot on his ITV 'Saturday Spectacular' show, with the result that the next day she received much praise and numerous offers of work.
Oriole, the manufacturer of Embassy records, at last realised her value and promoted her to their own label. By the end of 1959 many reviewers were saying she was the "most exciting female prospect to hit British pop singing in years". It was her second Oriole disc 'The big hurt' in January 1960 that put Maureen into the hit parade, 26th on the New Musical Express listing, just ahead of Toni Fisher`s big US version. Radio Luxembourg made it their Record of the Week and this twenty year old veteran with over ten discs to her credit had finally 'arrived'. Her next recording, 'Love kisses and heartaches', also made the charts and was again chosen Record of the Week by Luxembourg.
Oriole began putting a new Maureen Evans disc out about every other month. Three more were hit parade entries: 'Paper roses' later in 1960 - also a top ten hit for The Kaye Sisters, 'I love how you love me' in 1964, but her biggest success by far came in February 1962 when 'Like I do', a song she made her very own (and used as title of her Oriole LP), reached No.5 on the NME chart (Music Week, the trade paper, put it at No.3).
Maureen was spending a lot of time in London at that time, not just recording but also at the radio and television studios. For over two years she was a regular on the BBC Light Programme`s Saturday evening series 'Easy Beat', introduced by Brian Matthew. She had teamed up with Brian before, on the Embassy cover version of Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren`s comedy number 'Goodness gracious me'. Only on that occasion they were labelled as Matt Bryant and Linda Joyce (Embassy had a habit of changing artists names). Maureen did many TV appearances on pop shows like 'Music Shop' and even sang with Ted Heath`s Orchestra on 'Bandstand'. But she kept returning to Cardiff, especially for a special day in March 1961 when she married local estate agent Tudor Thomas. After the birth of daughter Lynette a year later, Maureen began spending more time at home.
In 1963 she was back on the road touring with Frank Ifield, and she sang the Leslie Bricusse song 'Pick the petals' as one of the contenders for Britain`s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest (but Ronnie Carroll got the nomination with 'Say wonderful things'). She made a few more records and then faded from the scene.
Since then Maureen has played several summer seasons at Marbella in Spain. A CD, 'Timeless Memories', that was on sell in Tesco stores before Christmas 1998 had two tracks by her. Both Maureen`s children have followed in their mother`s footsteps, Lynette has appeared in cabaret and second daughter Susanna Tudor-Thomas is an opera singer voted Young Welsh Singer of the Year 1997.
Maureen, who says she was painfully shy as a child, had in 1999, with second husband Roger Godier, opened a music and stage school in Cardiff to help talented youngsters to overcome their fear of performing in public.


A1 The Big Hurt

A2 Time And Time Again

A3 What A Difference A Day Makes

A4 Like I Do

A5 Oh What A Guy

A6 Is Love Supposed To Hurt So

B1 Acapulco Mexico

B2 Melancholy Me

B3 My Colouring Book

B4 Tomorrow Is Another Day

B5 Pick The Petals

B6 Little Charm Bracelet


Ty to Original Sharer

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin


1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    It seems that uploaded tracks are in part different than on description and LP content scans. Also there are only 10 tracks instead of 12 from LP. Probably the upload was taken from different collection than described. Can you please verify?
    Best Wishes


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