Talking Music: Maureen Evans Discusses Like I Do: The Sixties Recordings
1960s pop singer Maureen Evans may not have troubled the pop charts in over half a century but the Welsh singing star who had hits with songs such as The Big Hurt and Like I Do still has a strong fan following.
A retrospective album Like I Do: The Sixties Recordings was recently released by RPM Records and brought together many of Maureen’s releases she recorded for Oriole and CBS Records.
Maureen officially retired from the music business in the late 60s to raise her family. She has since run a stage school in Cardiff and more recently helps with local charity work.
Maureen tells Andy Howells that she has the internet to thank for the revival of interest in her music.
“Things went very quiet which is fine because of my family,” she says, “then because of the internet, I’ve been doing broadcasts to South Africa and I have a fan base in various parts of the world!”
Maureen’s career began in the 1950s after her aunt auditioned her with local impresario Waldini which lead her to do several Summer Seasons in Llandudno. However, it would be a recording contract with Embassy Records, owned by Woolworths stores that would give Maureen her first taste of recording, specialising in covering popular chart sounds of the day by artists such as Shirley Bassey and Connie Francis.
Maureen recalls a funny moment when she was called upon by record producers to cover a rendition of Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren's chart hit Goodness Gracious Me with the late radio presenter, Brian Matthew.
“ I’d made them laugh because when they said, “Next week you’re covering Sophia Loren”. They heard a cry of “Agh!” down the phone. They said, “Don’t worry love, We want you to sound like her, not look like her!”
Following her year with Embassy Records, Maureen moved to Oriole Records in 1960 and recorded the single The Big Hurt which lead to TV appearances with Morecambe and Wise and Arthur Askey as well as slots on BBC Radio’s Workers Playtime. In 1962, Maureen would reach Number 3 with her rendition of Like I Do.
Maureen was pleased to be involved with the release of the new 31 track compilation and wrote the sleeve notes that accompany it. Yet, despite requests to get back on stage to perform, she’s still happy to be in Wales with her family and her dog.
“I’ve always lived in Wales,” says Maureen, “All my childhood was spent in Nantyglo and Brynmawr where I still have cousins and Wales has always been my home and they’ve always been good to me!”
Maureen Evans – Like I Do: The Sixties Recordings is available on the RPM Records label by visiting cherryred.co.uk