Musician Margo Guryan died Nov. 8 at the age of 84. Guryan was a songwriter signed to Atlantic Records in the late 1950s, but found notoriety 30 years later when her solo record resurfaced.
Guryan hailed from New York and had her songs recorded by established musicians Harry Belafonte, Mama Cass Elliot, Claudine Longet, Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry, as well as jazz artist Chris Connor.
Guryan studied classical music at Boston University and was passionate about pop and jazz music. In the late 1960s she was sent to Columbia’s publishing company to complete her first solo album. Take a Picture appeared on Bell Records in 1968 and Guryan found modest success with single “Sunday Morning.” Her success as a solo artist, however, was stifled by her aversion to performing. In 2001, she told a Phoenix publication that she found performing live fun, but the weeks leading up to any performance made her sick.
Roughly 30 years later, Take a Picture became a sleeper hit primarily in Europe and Japan. Her stepson and Los Angeles-based music publisher Jonathan Rosner told Buzzbands.LA that Guryan began to receive unexpected royalty checks from Japan where plants were repressing her work. In 2000, the album was reissued in the U.S., Japan and Spain and garnered the musician new fame.
In addition to the reissue of Take a Picture, Guryan released a collection of demos in 2001 titled 25 Demos. In 2009, she released The Chopsticks Variations, followed by 27 Demos in 2014 and 29 Demos in 2016.
Guryan carried on as a songwriter and lyricist for many years and also taught piano.
While recording her first album, Guryan met her eventual husband manager David Rosner. Rosner passed away in 2017. Guryan is survived by her stepson, Jonathan Rosner, stepdaughter-in-law Amy Rosner and two grandchildren, Rachel and Lauren Rosner.