Jul 18, 2023
By Sandi Durell . . .
With Jon Weber on piano and Steve Doyle on bass at Don’t Tell Mama, July 15th was the last album celebration date with Floridian Margo Brown flying up for the occasion, revealing how and why love has such special meaning in her multi-faceted, creative life.
She grew up in Boston, with a silver spoon in her mouth having many advantages as a child of loving parents; prototype of days gone by – mother totally devoted to not only her children but especially to her husband who one could say ruled the roost being catered to by his spouse for 62 years. A child of such a home may have expectations of love that lead to a desire to lead a similar life. At age 19, while in college, Margo met her then to be husband. But something was wrong . . . she just couldn’t put her finger on it until she did, admitting to herself and family that she just didn’t love him. Divorced!
And so the evening unfolded with a song list of favorites that expressed every emotion and feeling – sadness, confusion, joy and happiness. Margo Brown’s life story was well connected and intertwined in the choice of songs/lyrics and her abilities as a good storyteller.
From opener “Someone to Watch Over Me” (George and Ira Gershwin) to “Make Someone Happy” (Comden, Green, Styne), melding into “Two for the Road/Summer Me Winter Me” (Bricusse, Mancini), she relived life on stage sharing the details. Successful in the corporate world in computer hardware sales, she was content to travel extensively on business until one evening, a tall Texan came into view who made her heart skip a beat. He was a ruggedly good looking country boy and it didn’t take long for her to be walking down the aisle again. Alas, this just wasn’t meant to be and another divorce ensued 18 months later. Mom said “you don’t have to marry them, just live with them.” She was only in her early 30s!
The songs followed her life’s path: Kern/Hammerstein’s “All the Things You Are “ to “Where Do You Start” (Mandel, the Bergmans) until one evening the tall, handsome George wandered into her life and similarities emerged, he a software salesman. They continued seeing one another, traveling their mutually exclusive business trips as their romance grew – “If I Were in Love” (the Bergmans, John T Williams). It is now 33 years later. Three times the charm! “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” (Legrand, the Bergmans) remains an open question that has its own answer- “The Nearness of You” (Brourman, Gottlieb).
Margo Brown looks stunning on stage with long blonde hair, slim, trim figure in black dress and hi heeled stilts, and a sense of self. She is direct in her delivery of both songs and stories. It’s obvious her wisdom is based in truth and choosing songs that make your heart stand still or leap for joy are cleverly woven.
I would have liked to see her more relaxed and moving easily about the stage rather than placed in various spots to deliver songs. However, what Ms. Brown has accomplished are all her dreams: a successful business woman, a competitive ballroom dancer and, most importantly, being acknowledged as a paid singer.
Her performance is credited to her director Tanya Moberly who fine-tuned all aspects of her two evening follow up performances with the release of her CD Forever Me With Love on July 13 and 15.