Tom Jones won the Best New Artist Grammy Award in 1966, beating other nominees such as The Byrds, Herman’s Hermits and Sonny & Cher … and Marilyn Maye, who had actually been performing since the 1940s, but had had a hit single that year with “Cabaret.”
Maye, who is still performing at the age of 87, is featured in the hour-long episode of the NJTV series, “American Songbook at NJPAC,” that debuts Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. She sings material such as “Over the Rainbow,” “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face,” Jerry Herman’s “It’s Today” and Steve Allen’s “This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” often grouping songs together in smooth-flowing medleys. I was the taping of this show, and was amazed by not only the flawlessness of her phrasing, but by the amount of personality she was able to inject into every song.
Upcoming performers in the series include:
• Catherine Russell (show debuts Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. on NJTV).
• KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar , performing songs by Stephen Sondheim (show debuts Feb. 3 at 8 p.m. on NJTV).
• Seth Rudetsky and Christine Ebersole (show debuts Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. on NJTV).
The shows will be rebroadcast at various times on NJTV, and also be shown on WNET (channel 13) and WLIW (channel 21) this spring.
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