Mostly forgotten, Susan Maughan was a sixties singer who fell between the cracks. She scored her biggest hit Bobby’s Girl in 1963 (a cover of Marcie Blane’s Cashbox US No.2) but the style was more in keeping with the fifties sound, a throwback to a period that was rapidly disintegrating as the youth took to the burgeoning sixties scene. She found herself careering at great speed towards the variety show circuit and although she had her moments singing standards as seen in this clip she never built a proper fan base.
She appeared in Pop Gear a British Invasion film that featured The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, Spencer Davis, The Animals and others. She starred in What A Crazy World with Joe Brown as a result of her early success and she sang the theme song to spoof spy movie Where Bullets Fly in 1966. The clip featured here has long close-ups and might be the perfect guide if you are studying sixties make-up techniques.
Maughan was actually an accomplished singer, starting her career fronting orchestra style bands but despite minor hits after Bobby’s Girl, she got lost stylistically, trapped between Pop and Cabaret.
In 1971 Maughan was the understudy for Clodagh Rogers for Meet Me In London at The Adelphi Theatre. Just before the curtain went up Rodgers was told they were cutting one of her songs, Rodgers refused to perform and Maughan replaced her with a moment’s notice – can you imagine the scene back stage!
In this clip she seamlessly steers Fly Me To The Moon into Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars (Corcovado) and then back again. Corcovado is the original Portugese title of the song and is the name of the mountain that overlooks Rio De Janeiro and boasts the Statue of Cristo Redentor, Christ The Redeemer. It was written in 1960 by Antonio Carlos Jobim and has become a classic, covered by many different artists from Frank Sinatra to Queen Latifah. The English lyric was written by Canadian Gene Lees.
Fly Me To The Moon, originally called, In Other Words, is another classic song recorded by a multitude of artists. It was written in 1954 by Bart Howard and was first recorded by Kaye Ballard. By the time Sinatra had recorded it in 1964 there were 100 recorded versions. By 1995, 300 artists had recorded the song.
Susan Maughan’s last album was recorded in 1979 and since then she has appeared on the nostalgia circuit and starred in Pantomime. This clip from 1966 gives a glimpse of what might have been.