Member of the All American League?
1992 saw that very rare thing – a hit movie starring Madonna! ‘A League Of Their Own‘ found Madonna acting the part of Mae Mordabito, a wise-cracking good time girl who drove the men wild in her short little baseball uniform. Her performance, if a little hammy, was generally well received and she showed her athleticism well in the ballgame action scenes.
Not content with just starring in it, Madonna also contributed the theme song to the movie, ‘This Used To Be My Playground‘, which went on to top the US charts and reaching the high end of the charts in most other territories around the world. The song was co-written with Shep Pettibone, and was a world away from the likes of ‘Vogue’ and ‘Rescue Me’ which they had previously recorded together. It is a pretty mournful ballad, speaking of times of the past and echoed nicely the sentiments of looking back at the glory days of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
In a display of just how popular Madonna had become by 1992, when Columbia Pictures teamed up with Sony Music Entertainment to release the soundtrack to the summer hit movie ‘A League Of Their Own‘, despite slapping her picture across the front cover and several times within the album’s booklet, they had to actually print on the sleeve of all copies a notice that there were no Madonna recordings (i.e. ‘This Used To Be My Playground’) contained within it so as not to disappoint would-be purchasers hoping to acquire Madonna’s smash hit:
Why they chose not to put the theme song on the album is unknown, but its licensing by Sony may have been blocked by Warner Publishing in an attempt to boost sales of the single – released on Warner Records – rather than the soundtrack (in a reverse move of what would later happen in the US with ‘Beautiful Stranger’ and the ‘Austin Powers 2’ soundtrack scenario). Also, the song featured on the compilation ‘Barcelona Gold‘ celebrating the 1992 Olympics, a Warner Bros release.
Strangely, the song didn’t appear on the ‘GHV2‘ compilation in 2002, probably due to its inclusion on the ‘Something To Remember‘ collection of ballads seven years earlier, despite being a bigger hit than most of the other tracks which did make the cut.
However, it is possible that, in fact, the ‘A League Of Their Own‘ soundtrack did include a Madonna recording – as an ensemble member of the final track – ‘The All American Girls Professional Baseball League Song‘ which is listed as being performed by ‘The Rockford Peaches‘. We don’t actually know who these singers actually were for the studio recording of the track, but considering the song is sung more than once in the movie by the actual female cast, and considering that one of those Peaches is actually rather famous for singing… well, it’s not beyond the reaches of logic… is it?