McGarrigle, Kate and Anna

Kate and Anna McGarrigle, singing duo and songwriters. Sisters Kate (b at Montréal 6 Feb 1946, d 18 Jan 2010) and Anna (b at Montréal 4 Dec 1944) began playing in coffee houses and colleges in the Montréal area during the early 1960s. Kate moved to New York in 1970; however, they continued to perform together occasionally and both began to write their own songs. Several of these were recorded by other artists, including Linda Ronstadt.

In 1975 the singers were reunited as a duo, releasing their self-titled debut album the following year. The critically acclaimed album was followed by Dancer with Bruised Knees (1977) and Pronto Monto (1978). Prior to the release of Love Over and Over in 1982, the McGarrigles released Entre la jeunesse et la sagesse, an album in French. They did not record another album until 1992. A third sister, Jane, has served as manager for the duo as well as contributing backing vocals and piano to some songs. The McGarrigles were named to the Order of Canada in 1994. In 2006 they received SOCAN's lifetime achievement award.

Joe Boyd, vice-president of the European label Rykodisc and the man who had produced the first 2 McGarrigle albums, signed the duo in 1995. Matapedia (1996) was produced by Boyd and featured such material as "Song for Gabby" (a tribute to their late mother) and a version of "Goin' Back to Harlan," originally recorded in 1995 by Emmylou Harris. The album earned the McGarrigles a Juno for Best Roots and Traditional Recording (Group) in 1997. They received the same award in March 1999 for The McGarrigle Hour, which featured performances by Kate's children Martha and Rufus Wainwright and her ex-husband, the American folk singer Loudon Wainwright III.