|Birth name||Marilyn Maye McLaughlin|
|Born||April 10, 1928|
Wichita, Kansas, United States
Marilyn Maye McLaughlin (born April 10, 1928) is an American jazz singer, cabaret singer, and musical theater actress. She began her career as a young child, performing in Kansas in concerts and on the radio. After graduating from high school, she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she drew the attention of Steve Allen, performing first on The Steve Allen Show and then The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She is the most frequently heard singer on the program, having appeared 76 times.
Born Marilyn Maye McLaughlin in Wichita, Kansas, she began her career as a child, competing in amateur contests in Topeka, Kansas, where her father, a pharmacist, owned a drugstore. She was accompanied on piano by her mother, who named her after singer Marilyn Miller.
She began her musical training with her mother at the age of 3. At the age of 9 she began taking voice lessons with Rosamond Nyman in Topeka. In 1942, after her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Des Moines, Iowa.
At age 14, while attending Amos Hiatt Junior High School, she sang for songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. She was given a fifteen-minute radio show on KRNT in Des Moines. She graduated from East High School.
Moving to Kansas City, Missouri, she came to the attention of Steve Allen, who invited her to appear on his show; shortly after, she signed a recording contract with RCA Victor. She appeared on The Tonight Show 76 times and received a 1966 nomination for the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. Her version of the song "Cabaret" became a hit. After singing on a commercial for Lincoln Mercury, she was given a new car every year for four years.
Awards and honors
In 2008, she received a Distinguished Arts Award from the Governor of Kansas. Other honors include the Jazz Heritage Award, the Kansas City Jazz Ambassador's Award of Excellence, the Elder Statesmen of Jazz Award, and lifetime achievement awards from both the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame and Kansas City's CODA Jazz Fund.
She was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Jazz Museum and inducted into its Walk of Fame. She was also given a lifetime achievement award by The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. On October 14, 2012, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chicago Cabaret Professionals Association.
Her version of "Too Late Now" was included in the Smithsonian Institution recordings of the 20th Century. On September 18, 2012, the Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City honored Maye with the organization's Outstanding Kansas Citian Award.
- "Cabaret" (1966)
- "Sherry!" (1967)
- "When We All Get Together" (1967)
- "Step to the Rear" (1967)
- "Til You Come Back" (1968)
- "Feelin'" (1968)
- "Think Summer" with Ed Ames (1969)
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- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 162.