Era Inducted To: Modern Era
Lyricist(s):: Anna McGarrigle
Composer(s):: Anna McGarrigle
Anna McGarrigle and her sister Kate were well known performers on Montreal’s folk scene of the 60s but it wasn’t till 1970 that Anna wrote her first song. Spurred on by Kate and fellow musician Roma Baran who were already out playing the Northeastern circuit she sat down one day at the old Steinway upright in the family home of St Sauveur QC and wrote Heart Like a Wheel. The next time Kate and Roma blew through town she played it for them. She remembers them working it up that very same evening, Kate on piano, Roma on cello.
They introduced the song at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in Summer in 1970 and then started closing their set with it. Jerry Jeff Walker of Mr. Bojangles fame heard Kate and Roma do it one night and asked them for a copy of it which he later played for his friend Linda Ronstadt.
Folk rock group McKendree Spring were the first to record Heart Like A Wheel on their 1972 record McKendree Spring 3. Ronstadt’s version appeared on her 1974 album Heart Like A Wheel. The album reached #1 and spent 51 weeks on Billboard’s top 200 album charts. Although the song did not make a prominent appearance on the charts, fans and critics alike agreed that it was one of the best tracks on Ronstadt’s record.
After Ronstadt’s success with the song, Anna and Kate recorded Heart Like a Wheel on their 1976 debut album Kate & Anna McGarrigle.
Anna and Kate were born in Montreal and raised in St Sauveur and Montreal, QC. Anna attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts and Kate studied Science at McGill University. While they were in school they formed part of the folk group the Mountain City Four with Peter Weldon and Jack Nissenson. Anna and Kate were signed to Warner Bros in 1975.
Cover artists include: Billy Bragg, Heidi Berry, Christine Collister, Bob Davenport, Dolores Keane, McKendree Spring, Linda Rondstadt, Sangsters, June Tabor and The Corrs