The Playlist: 10 Songs For 10 Famous Junes
To celebrate one of our favourite months, we’ve put together a playlist honouring some of the most famous women with that same summery name – June. Happy listening!
1. For June Carter Cash, country singer
“Rose of My Heart” by Johnny Cash (Click Here To Listen)
The legendary performer was a Grand Ole Opry star before she hooked up with the Man in Black, but she’s nevertheless best known as half of country music’s most enduring couple. This gorgeous ode to June from Johnny, included on 2006’s American V: A Hundred Highways, is a cover of the Hugh Moffat song that describes their relationship thusly: “We’re the best partners the world’s ever seen.”
2. For June Pointer, lead singer of the Pointer Sisters
“Pinball Number Count” by Maylee Todd (Click Here To Listen)
Fans of old-school Sesame Street have fond memories of the funky counting song (“One-two-three-FOUR-five, six-SEVEN-eight-nine-ten, eleven-twelve”) that provided the soundtrack for an animated ball’s route around a snazzy pinball machine. The original track was by the Pointer Sisters. This version, by Toronto dynamo Todd, is a faithful adaptation.
3. For June Thompson, Honey Boo Boo’s mom
“Our Lips Are Sealed” by The Go-Go’s (Click Here To Listen)
This song’s lyrics-about nasty rumours and being watched-are fitting, given Honey Boo Boo’s life spent under a microscope. But there’s more: the Go-Go’s share a name with Go-Go Juice, the vile concoction of Mountain Dew, Red Bull and heaven knows what else invented by Mama Boo Boo to help her pint-sized pageant queen go-go-go.
4. For June Allyson, silver-screen actress
“Girl Next Door” by Bobby Brown (Click Here To Listen)
Technically, this fresh-faced starlet went by Eleanor Geisman, but it was under her stage name that the one-time Broadway hoofer rose to fame, appearing as Jo March in the 1948 film version of Little Women and as girl-next-door types opposite the dapper Van Johnson in a number of other postwar hits.
5. For June Cleaver, Leave It to Beaver matriarch
“Good Mother” by Jann Arden (Click Here To Listen)
No parent was or will ever be as loving, adept and idealized as June Cleaver, the über-nurturing archetype of motherhood from American-as-apple-pie ’50s sitcom Leave It to Beaver.
6. For June Callwood, Canadian icon
“Kindness” by Ryan Adams (Click Here To Listen)
From her role in founding AIDS hospice Casey House to her tireless work for PEN Canada, the Toronto writer, activist and journalist Callwood spent her life doing good for others. This alt-country creation could have been her anthem.
7. For June Havoc, Gypsy Rose Lee’s sister
“If Momma Was Married” from the Gypsy television soundtrack (Click Here To Listen)
The flamboyant Vancouver-born little sis of burlesque babe Gypsy Rose Lee, Havoc was herself a child of vaudeville. She was immortalized in the musical Gypsy, which includes this song, a duet between June and Louise in which the two discuss their larger-than-life stage mom.
8. For June Lockhart, ’60s small-screen regular
“Lost in Space” by Neil Young (Click Here To Listen)
Along with playing Timmy’s mom on Lassie, Lockhart is best known as Dr. Maureen Robinson, the mother on late-’60s sci-fi series Lost in Space. (Fun fact: the Robinson family’s journey through the galaxy began in 1997 and was slated to last just under six years, so they’d be back on solid ground by now.) This Young ditty is suitably wistful and retro-futuristic.
9. For June Mansfield Miller, wife of Henry Miller
“Tropic of Capricorn” by Sammy Hagar (Click Here To Listen)
For Mansfield (née Juliet Smerdt), the worldly second wife of Henry Miller, nothing less than a lusty slab of cheesy ’80s rock-named after her husband’s notoriously racy tome-will do.
10. For June Foray, voice actor
“You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch” by Aimee Mann (Click Here To Listen)
Sweet-voiced Foray brought to life a host of cartoon characters, from The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show‘s titular rodent to Jokey Smurf to Grammi Gummi on Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Her most enduring performance, however, was voicing cute-as-a-button Cindy Lou Who, who helps the Christmas-hating Grinch see the error of his ways.