The late actress Mary Tyler Moore will surely always be associated with “Love is All Around,” as evident in The Star Tribune’s headline for her obituary in this morning’s paper. She will likewise always be associated with the City of Minneapolis even though she was neither from here nor ever lived here. We heard on the radio this morning that people have already been leaving flowers at sites seen in the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Moore’s acclaimed performance as a caring, optimistic and sometimes neurotic associate producer at the fictional WJM network coincided with Minneapolis’ ascendency as a major economic power. It was in the middle of the series’ seven years that Time magazine proclaimed “the Good Life in Minnesota” with a cover story featuring Governor Wendell Anderson, and most anyone would agree our city looks like a pretty great place to live in the opening credits of the show.
Curtis recorded an unpopular country remake of “Love is All Around” in 1980, three years after The Mary Tyler Moore Show signed off. Curtis, a high school bandmate of Buddy Holly, also recorded a song about his friend in response to The Buddy Holly Story around the same time. He is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, having written hits for a variety of artists and a few which became rock and roll standards, notably “I Fought the Law.”
Although she later hosted a pair of short-lived musical variety shows, Mary Tyler Moore never made an album, other than her appearance in the 1966 cast of Holly Golightly, an adaptation of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The show ran for four preview performances before it was canned. The album from the widely-panned production is pretty rare — we’ve never even seen a copy — and probably only worth the hunt for the most die-hard MTM fans. The casually curious can hear a two-minute clip on Youtube instead.
During her early career as the tiny Hotpoint elf in advertisements (this is a not a joke) Moore modeled for a number of budget-label “cheesecake” record covers.
That’s a pretty inauspicious debut considering how legendarily barrier-breaking her career was. Of course, in one of the series’ most famous episodes Mary Richards learned it was okay to laugh in the face of death. In the words of Chuckles the Clown: “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”
Even though she wasn’t really from Minneapolis, we’re proud to claim Mary Tyler Moore as one of ours!