Eydie Gormé

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Eydie Gormé
Eydie Gorme.jpg
Eydie in 1962.
Background information
Birth name Edith Gormezano (some sources indicate Edith Garmezano)
Born (1928-08-16)August 16, 1928[1]
The Bronx, New York, U.S.
Died August 10, 2013(2013-08-10) (aged 84)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Genres Latin pop, big band, swing, traditional pop music
Occupations Singer
Years active 1950–2009
Website Official website

Eydie Gormé (also spelled Gorme;[2] August 16, 1928 – August 10, 2013) was an American singer who performed solo as well as with her husband, Steve Lawrence, in popular ballads and swing. She earned numerous awards, including a Grammy and an Emmy. She retired in 2009 and is survived by Lawrence, who continues to perform as a solo act.

Early years[edit]

Gormé was born Edith Gormezano[1] (census sources indicate Edith Garmezano) in The Bronx, New York, in 1928, the daughter of Nessim and Fortuna, Sephardic Jewish immigrants. Her father, a tailor, was from Sicily and her mother was from Turkey. Gormé was a cousin of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka.[3][4]

She graduated from William Howard Taft High School in 1946 with Stanley Kubrick in her class. She worked for the United Nations as an interpreter, using her fluency in the Ladino and Spanish languages, while singing in Ken Greenglass's band during the weekends.[citation needed]

Big band years[edit]

She got her big break and her recording debut in 1950 with the Tommy Tucker Orchestra and Don Brown. She made a second recording which featured Dick Noel. MGM issued these two recordings on 78.

Gormé worked in Tex Beneke's band. In 1951 she made several radio recordings that have been reissued on vinyl LP and recently on CD. In 1952 Gormé went on to record solo, and her first recordings were issued on the Coral label. During this time, she was featured on the radio program "Cita Con Eydie" ("A Date with Eydie"). She changed her name from Edith to Edie but later changed it to Eydie because people constantly mispronounced Edie as Eddie. Gorme also considered changing her family name; however, her mother protested, "It's bad enough that you're in show business. How will the neighbors know if you're ever a success?"[5]

Early releases[edit]

Powder And Paint

Original Issue: On 78 rpm only on MGM 10785[6]

Cherry Stones

Original Issue: On 78 rpm only on MGM 10767[6]

Tonight Show[edit]

In 1953, Gormé made her first television appearance, and met her future husband, when she and singer Steve Lawrence were booked to the original The Tonight Show, hosted by Steve Allen.[7]

In 1958, they starred together in The Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gorme Show, a summer replacement for The Steve Allen Show. During the 1970s, the two made guest appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, either with Eydie appearing as the guest and going into her song and Steve suddenly coming out from backstage and joining her or the other way around.[citation needed]

Marriage[edit]

Gormé and Lawrence were married in Las Vegas on December 29, 1957. They became famous on stage for their banter, which usually involved tart yet affectionate, and sometimes bawdy, references to their married life, which remained a feature of their live act. They had two sons. In 1995, Gormé and Lawrence were honored for their lifetime contribution to music by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[8]

Solo/duo[edit]

Gormé enjoyed hit singles of her own, none selling bigger than 1963's "Blame It on the Bossa Nova", which was also her final foray into the Top 40 pop charts. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[9] In the UK, "Yes, My Darling Daughter" reached #10.[10] She won a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967, for her version of "If He Walked Into My Life", from Mame. The latter made #5 on the Billboard magazine Easy Listening chart in 1966, despite failing to make the Billboard Hot 100. Many of Gormé's singles chart success from 1963 onward were on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary charts, where she placed 27 singles (both solo and with her husband) from 1963 to 1979 (of which "If He Walked Into My Life" was the most successful). As a soloist, her other biggest hits during that period included "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?" from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (#17 Easy Listening, 1966) and "Tonight I'll Say a Prayer" (#45 Pop and #8 Easy Listening, 1969, also her last Hot 100 entry as a solo artist).[citation needed]

She gained crossover success in the Latin music market through a series of albums she made in Spanish with the famed Trio Los Panchos. In 1964, the two acts joined forces for a collection of Spanish-language standards called Amor. "Sabor a Mí" became closely identified with Gormé and emerged as one of her signature tunes. The disc was later reissued as "Canta en Español". In 1965, a sequel appeared called More Amor (later reissued as "Cuatro Vidas"). Her last album with Los Panchos was a 1966 Christmas collection, "Navidad Means Christmas", later reissued as "Blanca Navidad". Gormé also recorded other Spanish albums in her career, including the Grammy-nominated La Gormé (1976), a contemporary outing. The 1977 release Muy Amigos/Close Friends, a duet collection with Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera, also received a Grammy nomination.[citation needed]

As a duo with her husband, the act was billed as Steve and Eydie. In 1960, Steve and Eydie were awarded the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group for the album "We Got Us". Their biggest hit single as a duo, "I Just Want to Stay Here", was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and reached #28 in 1963. Under the pseudonym "Parker and Penny", Lawrence and Gormé achieved their last chart single (#46 on the Adult Contemporary chart) with a cover of the 1979 Eurovision song contest winner, "Hallelujah". The song most closely identified with the duo, the Steve Allen composition "This Could Be the Start of Something", never reached the charts, though it remained a staple in their live act.[citation needed]

Gormé and Lawrence appeared on TV, including 13 appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, as well as The Nanny. She and Lawrence starred together on Broadway in the musical Golden Rainbow. After the 1970s, the couple focused strictly on the American pop repertoire, recording several albums themed around individual American pop composers. As the 21st century arrived, the couple announced their plans to cut back on their touring, launching a "One More For The Road" tour in 2002. In 2006, Gormé became a blogger, posting occasional messages on her official website. In November 2009, after his wife retired, Lawrence embarked on a solo musical tour.[11]

Children[edit]

Gormé and Lawrence had two sons together. David Nessim Lawrence (b. 1960) is an ASCAP Award-winning composer who composed the score for High School Musical. Michael Robert Lawrence (b. 1962) died suddenly from ventricular fibrillation resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition in 1986 at the age of 23.[12] Michael was an assistant editor for a television show at the time of his death and was apparently healthy despite a previous diagnosis of slight arrhythmia.

Gormé and Lawrence were in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time of Michael's death, having performed at the Fox Theater the night before. Upon learning of the tragedy, family friend Frank Sinatra sent his private plane to fly the couple to New York to meet David, who was attending school at the time. Following their son's death, Gormé and Lawrence took a year off before touring again.[12]

Death[edit]

Gormé died on August 10, 2013, six days before her 85th birthday, at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness. Her husband, Steve Lawrence, was at her bedside, along with their surviving son, David.[13] She is also survived by her granddaughter.

Following his wife's death, Lawrence issued a statement in which he paid tribute to her. "Eydie has been my partner on stage and in my life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time."[5]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Note:
[1] : Steve & Eydie (Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme)
[2] : Parker & Penny (Steve & Eydie)

Year Single Chart positions
US US
AC
US
R&B
US Country UK[10]
1954 "Fini" 19 -
1956 "Too Close For Comfort" 39 -
"Mama, Teach Me To Dance" 34 -
1957 "I'll Take Romance" 65 -
"Your Kisses Kill Me" 53 -
"Love Me Forever" 24 - 21
1958 "You Need Hands" 11 -
"Gotta Have Rain" 63 -
"The Voice In My Heart" 88 -
1962 "Yes, My Darling Daughter" - - - 10
1963 "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" 7 16 - 32
"Don't Try To Fight It, Baby" 53 18 -
"I Just Want To Stay Here" [1] 28 8 - 3
"Everybody Go Home" 80 -
"I Can't Stop Talking About You" [1] 35 14 -
1964 "The Friendliest Thing" 133 -
"I Want You To Meet My Baby" 43 -
"Can't Get Over (the Bossa Nova)" 87 20 -
1965 "Do I Hear a Waltz?" 122 -
"Just Dance On By" 124 39 -
"Don't Go To Strangers" - 36 -
1966 "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?" - 17 -
"If He Walked Into My Life" 120 5 -
"What Is a Woman?" - 34 -
1967 "The Honeymoon Is Over" [1] - 14 -
"Softly, As I Leave You" 117 30 -
"How Could I Be So Wrong" - 22 -
1968 "Life Is But a Moment (Canta Ragazzina)" 115 35 -
"The Two of Us" [1] - 33 -
"This Girl's In Love With You" - 22 -
1969 "Real True Lovin'" [1] 119 20 -
"Tonight I'll Say a Prayer" 45 8 -
1970 "(You're My) Soul & Inspiration" [1] - 21 -
"My World Keeps Getting Smaller Every Day" [1] - 24 -
1971 "Love is Blue/Autumn Leaves" [1] - 37 -
"It Was a Good Time" - 23 -
1972 "We Can Make It Together (featuring the Osmonds)" [1] 68 7 -
1973 "Feelin'" [1] - 31 -
"Take One Step" - 47 94
"Touch the Wind (Eres Tu)" - 41 -
1976 "What I Did For Love" - 23 -
1979 "Hallelujah" [2] - 46 -

Albums[edit]

  • 1951 Tex Beneke & The Glenn Miller Orchestra (Radio transmission recordings: features Gormé on vocals)
  • 1956 Delight
  • 1957 Eydie Gormé
  • 1957 Eydie Swings the Blues
  • 1958 Eydie Gormé Vamps the Roaring 20's
  • 1958 Eydie in Love
  • 1958 Gormé Sings Showstoppers
  • 1958 Love is a Season
  • 1959 Eydie Gormé On Stage
  • 1959 Eydie in Dixieland
  • 1960 We Got Us (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1960 Sing The Golden Hits (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1961 Come Sing with Me
  • 1961 I Feel So Spanish
  • 1962 Two On The Aisle (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1962 It's Us Again (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1963 Blame It on the Bossa Nova
  • 1963 Let the Good Times Roll'
  • 1963 Steve & Eydie At The Movies (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1964 Gormé Country Style
  • 1964 That Holiday Feeling (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1964 Amor (with Trio Los Panchos)
  • 1965 Eydie Gormé sings Great Songs from The Sound of Music And Other Broadway Hits
  • 1965 More Amor (with Trio Los Panchos)
  • 1966 Don't Go to Strangers
  • 1966 If He Walked Into My Life
  • 1966 Navidad Means Christmas (with Trio Los Panchos)
  • 1967 Bonfá & Brazil (with Luis Bonfá and Steve Lawrence)
  • 1967 Softly, As I Leave You
  • 1968 The Look of Love
  • 1968 Eydie
  • 1969 Otra Vez
  • 1970 Tonight I'll Say a Prayer
  • 1970 Canta en Español (with Trio Los Panchos)
  • 1970 Cuatro Vidas (with Trio Los Panchos)
  • 1971 It Was a Good Time
  • 1972 The World Of Steve and Eydie (with Steve Lawrence)
  • 1976 La Gormé
  • 1977 Muy Amigos/Close Friends (with Danny Rivera)
  • 1981 Since I Fell for You
  • 1982 Tomame O Dejame
  • 1988 De Corazon A Corazon
  • 1992 Eso Es El Amor
  • 1996 Silver Screen

Music samples[edit]

Performed in 1957

performed by Gormé in 1972

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Eydie Gorme, Voice of Sophisticated Pop, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  2. ^ "Eydie Gorme profile". TV.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  3. ^ "Steve Lawrence and Gormé; After 35 Years, Their Act Is Here to Stay", The New York Times, September 10, 1992.
  4. ^ "Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear", The New York Times, December 12, 2004.
  5. ^ a b Bob Thomas (reporter) (August 11, 2013). "Singer Eydie Gorme Dies at 84". Los Angeles Associated Press. Retrieved 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "MGM records - numerical listing discography 10500 - 11000". 78discography.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  7. ^ "Singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84". CNN.com. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  8. ^ "1995 Award and Induction Ceremony Induction Ceremonies". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  9. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. pp. 159–60. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  10. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 232. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ "Steve Lawrence, minus Eydie Gorme, set for Westbury". Newsday.com. 2009-11-03. Retrieved 2013-08-13. 
  12. ^ a b Ahmed, Saeed (August 11, 2013). "Singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84". CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84". CBS News. Retrieved August 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]