Watching that video was truly profound for me as it made me think about all of the people who have helped me along my way in my career. Everybody needs help, and I’ve received so much help from so many people.
Of course, not everyone I’ve met along the way has been supportive. I’ve also been through some terrible business dealings with sharks, but even those people have taught me a lot about what not to do in the future. But I think the ones who’ve made the biggest impact on my career are still looking down on me.
There was my first manager, Dorothy Danca, who submitted my demo tape of original songs when I was 14 to the WLS Big Break Radio Contest, which I not only got in, but won first place! I won a recording contract with Mercury Records and Ludwig drums.
Of course there was my mom, who was my first voice teacher and coach. She would tell me, “If you’re not going to enunciate, I can’t listen to your song.” ARGG! But to this day, I know people can understand the lyrics I am singing. And while there’s a thin line between help and pushing, between encouraging and being a stage mother, I will always be grateful for her advice, help and encouragement. It’s tough to be a parent of a kid who has a gift and passion for something. I’m pretty sure I was the most stubborn know-it-all at times! She was so smart about what worked, from fashion to song performance, and I didn’t want to admit that when I was young, but she was right every time.
And there was Sister Mary Martha who was my 5th grade teacher. She was from Ireland and about four years older than water. She would say, on a regular basis, “Dare to be different!” I took her advice!
And there was Bobby Monaco who produced my single for Mercury and who gave me a chance to move to California, live with him, his wife Patty and their two kids while he shopped for a record deal for me.
And I can’t forget Christine Lavin! I met Chris in 1979 in Aspen, CO, while playing a gig at The Jerome Hotel. She came in to the club after her gig to see if the woman singing was the same Megon McDonough whose LP she had heard while living in Florida, and loved. More good has come to me in my career as a result of my friendship with Chris than I can say.
And, of course, there were all of the amazing singers that I heard on the radio growing up: Dusty Springfield, Joni Mitchell, Patsy Cline, Cher. and more. I remember wanting to be these women, dressing like them, mimicking them by singing their songs into a hairbrush in the living room, hoping I could someday be in their shoes.
Recently, I’ve updated my show, Her Way, and renamed it Dedicated To The Ones I Love: Great Women Singers of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, where I am honoring some of these women who inspired me and my generation.
I’m so excited to put this show up and pay homage to all of those I’ve looked up to and those who looked out for me. Hope it inspires you, too!