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Marilyn Maye

2018 New standard award


Marilyn Maye’s entire life has been committed to the art of song and performance. A highly praised singer, actress, director, arranger, educator and Grammy-nominated recording artist, she is a musical treasure.

The multiple award-winning Maye appeared 76 times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – the record for a singer. Perhaps the simplest accolade came after one of her show-stopping appearances when, turning to his audience of millions, Johnny Carson said, “And that, young singers, is the way it's done.”

Marilyn began her professional singing career by winning a 13-week appearance on radio station WIBW in Topeka, Kansas, at age 9. The rest, as they say, is history. During her 11-year engagement at the Colony in Kansas City, she was “discovered” by Steve Allen, who was the first to present her various times to a national television audience. The Steve Allen performances led to an RCA recording contract.


Maye’s RCA recordings include seven albums and 34 singles, including the first hit recordings of “Cabaret” and “Step to the Rear.” Her album with full orchestra, The Lamp Is Low, is considered a classic.


Her place in American music history was assured when the Arts Council of the Smithsonian Institution selected one of her recordings, “Too Late Now,” for the Smithsonian-produced album of the 110 Best American Compositions of the Twentieth Century.


Marilyn continues to perform regularly in venues across the country.