Kate & Anna McGarrigle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Kate and Anna McGarrigle)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Kate & Anna McGarrigle.jpg
Kate (left) and Anna McGarrigle, 1981
Background information
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Folk rock
Occupation(s) Musicians, singer-songwriters
Years active 1975–2010
Associated acts Mountain City Four, Joel Zifkin, Wade Hemsworth, Dane Lanken, Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur, Emmylou Harris, Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright
Website mcgarrigles.com

Kate McGarrigle (February 6, 1946 – January 18, 2010) and Anna McGarrigle (born December 4, 1944) were a duo of Canadian singer-songwriters from Quebec, who performed until Kate McGarrigle's death on January 18, 2010.

Early years[edit]

Anna and Kate McGarrigle were born in Montreal of mixed Irish- and French-Canadian background, but lived their childhood in the Laurentian Mountains village of Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts, northwest of Montreal, where they learned piano from village nuns. In the 1960s, in Montreal, while Kate was studying engineering at McGill University and Anna art at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, they began performing in public and writing their own songs. From 1963 to 1967 they teamed up with Jack Nissenson and Peter Weldon to form the folk group Mountain City Four.

Music career[edit]

Into the 21st century, Kate and Anna McGarrigle continued to write, record and perform music with assorted accompanying artists including Gerry Conway, Pat Donaldson, Ken Pearson, Michel Pépin, Chaim Tannenbaum and Joel Zifkin.[citation needed]

Their songs have been covered by a variety of artists including Maria Muldaur, Nana Mouskouri, Linda Ronstadt,[1] Emmylou Harris,[1] Billy Bragg, Cyndi Lauper, Pet Shop Boys, Chloé Sainte-Marie, Judy Collins,[1] Anne Sofie von Otter and others. The covers of their songs by well-known artists led to the McGarrigles getting their first recording contract in 1974. They created ten albums from 1975 through 2008.[1]

Although associated with Quebec's anglophone community, the McGarrigles also recorded and performed many songs in French. Two of their albums, Entre la jeunesse et la sagesse (also known as French Record) and La vache qui pleure, are entirely in French, and many of their other records include one or two French songs as well. Most of their French songs were co-written by Philippe Tatartcheff, with occasional input from Kate McGarrigle's son, Canadian-American solo artist Rufus Wainwright.[citation needed]

Their version of Wade Hemsworth's song, "The Log Driver's Waltz" grew famous as the soundtrack for a 1979 animated film directed by John Weldon at Canada's National Film Board. They provided backing vocals on Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds's 2001 album No More Shall We Part. They appeared on the children's TV show Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show in Season 4, episode 50 entitled "Sibling Rivalry".[citation needed]

Personal lives[edit]

From 1971 Kate McGarrigle was married to singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III. Their children are Rufus and his sister Martha, both singers.[2][3][4] The two divorced in 1976. Kate McGarrigle died on January 18, 2010, aged 63, of a rare form of cancer.[5][6][7]

Anna McGarrigle is married to Canadian journalist and author Dane Lanken. The couple have two children, Lily Lanken and Sylvan Lanken, and live near the Eastern Ontario town of Alexandria, in North Glengarry. Dane has appeared as a vocalist on several of the sisters' albums and in 2007 wrote their career biography.

Another sister, Jane McGarrigle, is a film and television composer who acted as business manager for Kate and Anna, and also wrote and performed several songs with the duo.[8]:114

Honours and awards[edit]

They were appointed Members of the Order of Canada in 1993 and received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 2004.[9][10]

On November 22, 2006, they received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2006 SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[11]




  1. ^ Various sources use the recording date of '1975'[12]:315 also as the release date,[13] but reliable sources in books[8]:30–31[14]:316[15]:162 and newspaper articles, both in the US[16][17] and the UK,[18] indicate or cite '1976' and 'January 1976' as the release date.

With other artists[edit]



Film work[edit]


Lanken, Dane (2007). Kate and Anna McGarrigle Songs and Stories. Canada: Penumbra Press. ISBN 1-897323-04-2. 

Lanken, Dane (2007). Thirty-three Kate and Anna McGarrigle Songs. Canada: Penumbra Press. ISBN 1-897323-05-0. 

McGarrigle, Anna; McGarrigle, Jane (2015). Mountain City Girls. Canada: Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-0-345-81402-9. 

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "McGarrigle sisters writing a memoir". Toronto Daily Star, 14 April 2014, E2.
  2. ^ Browne, David (May 10, 2011). "The Wainwright-McGarrigles: The Dysfunctional First Family of Folk-Pop - TIME". Content.time.com. Retrieved February 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ Windolf, Jim. "Songs in the Key of Lacerating". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 22, 2016. 
  4. ^ Andy Gill (January 20, 2010). "The first family of folk loses its matriarch | News". The Independent. Retrieved February 22, 2016. 
  5. ^ Russell, Tony (January 19, 2010). "Kate McGarrigle obituary". The Guardian. London, England. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Kate McGarrigle:Singer-songwriter and head of a musical dynasty". The Telegraph. London, England. January 20, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  7. ^ Everett-Green, Robert (19 January 2010). "Goodbye Sweet Harmony". Globe & Mail. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Lanken, Dane (2007). Kate and Anna McGarrigle Songs and Stories. Canada: Penumbra Press. ISBN 1-897323-04-2. Kate & Anna McGarrigle January 1976 
  9. ^ Betty Nygaard King. "McGarrigle, Kate and Anna". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Thecanadianencyclopedia.com. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  10. ^ Clarkson, Adrienne (November 5, 2004). "Speech on the Occasion of the Presentation of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards". Archive.gg.ca. Retrieved January 24, 2010. 
  11. ^ http://www.socan.ca/about/awards/2006-socan-awards
  12. ^ McGarrigle, Anna & Jane (2015). Mountain City Girls. Canada: Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-0-345-81402-9. We began recording in New York City in late 1974 and finished nine months later in LA, with Joe [Boyd] and Greg [Prestopino] co-producing. 
  13. ^ "Kate & Anna McGarrigle". discogs.com. Retrieved February 22, 2016. 
  14. ^ McGarrigle, Anna & Jane (2015). Mountain City Girls. Canada: Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-0-345-81402-9. In preparation for the tour to support our new record, which was due out in January 1976, Kate and I began rehearsals with a band in NYC. 
  15. ^ Brend, Mark (2002). Rock and Roll Doctor. Google Books. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-4768-5201-0. Kate & Anna McGarrigle 1976 (US Warner Bros BS2862, UK 56218) 
  16. ^ Women Who Are Making Music, by John Rockwell in The New York Times, 15 January 1976. (See Lanken, Dane (2007), page 30)
  17. ^ Kate & Anna McGarrigle, in Billboard, 17 January 1976. (See Lanken, Dane (2007), page 31)
  18. ^ Russell, Tony (January 19, 2010). "Kate McGarrigle obituary". theguardian.com. The Guardian (London). Retrieved February 22, 2016. Their first album, [...] simply titled Kate & Anna McGarrigle (1976), ... 
  19. ^ a b c d e f Recording Credits
  20. ^ "Kate & Anna McGarrigle - Discography - Sunnyvista". Mcgarrigles.info. Retrieved February 22, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Kate and Anna McGarrigle". Documentary film. National Film Board of Canada. 1981. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 

External links[edit]