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Pop Singer, Comedian Are Offering a Valentine to Rodgers

February 09, 2001|ROSEMARY CLANDOS | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Singer Maureen McGovern will join comedian Kaye Ballard Sunday at Cal State Northridge for a Valentine's Day tribute to the music of Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame.

McGovern's vocals will highlight Rodgers' compositions, and Ballard will supply the laughs and also play the flute in the afternoon and evening concerts.

"Richard Rodgers gave us some of the most enduring romantic songs," said McGovern, who has recorded 25 albums. "He was one of the greatest songwriters and melody writers we ever had. His music is timeless."

McGovern, whose career spans 28 years in concerts, theater, film and TV, will take audiences on a musical journey through two chapters of Rodgers' musical life.

"Some composers write for the feet and not the heart," McGovern said. "I look for songs that are for the heart."

McGovern calls "The Morning After," her top-selling hit of nearly 28 years ago, "the generic hope song." She still receives letters from listeners grateful for the song's positive message.

She plans to release an album in the spring concentrated on the power of music to promote healing.

"Sometimes the [lyrics] of a great song are specific enough, but generic enough, so people will read into them what they need in their lives," she said.

On the other hand, Ballard said some of the best healing comes from laughter.

"You have to have humor to get through life," Ballard said. "If you don't, it's very difficult."

BE THERE

Valentine's Day Concert featuring Maureen McGovern and Kaye Ballard, Sunday at 3 and 7 p.m., Cal State Northridge Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. $35. Call (818) 785-8885.

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