Lesley Gore

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For the English footballer, see Les Gore.
Lesley Gore
Leslie Gore Batman 1967.JPG
Gore as a Batman guest star, 1967
Background information
Born (1946-05-02) May 2, 1946 (age 68)
New York City, New York, United States
Genres Pop
Rock music
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1963–present
Website lesleygore.com

Lesley Gore (born Lesley Sue Goldstein,[1] May 2, 1946) is an American singer. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party".

Early life[edit]

Gore was born in New York City. She was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, in a Jewish family.[2] Her father, Leo Gore, was a wealthy manufacturer of children's clothes and swimwear.

Lesley was a junior at the Dwight School for Girls in nearby Englewood when "It's My Party" became a #1 hit. It was later nominated for a Grammy Award for rock and roll recording.[3] It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[4]

1960s career[edit]

"It's My Party" was followed by many other hits, including the sequel "Judy's Turn to Cry" (US #5); "She's a Fool" (US #5); the protofeminist million-selling "You Don't Own Me",[4] which held at #2 for three weeks behind the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "That's the Way Boys Are" (US #12); "Maybe I Know" (US #14/UK #20); "Look of Love" (US #27); and Grammy-nominated "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" (US #13), from the 1965 movie Ski Party. In 1965, she appeared in the beach party film The Girls on the Beach in which she performed three songs: "Leave Me Alone", "It's Gotta Be You" and "I Don't Want to Be a Loser". Her record producer Quincy Jones, who worked with Gore from 1963 to 1965, would later become one of the most famous producers in American music.

Gore was given first shot at recording "A Groovy Kind of Love" by songwriters Carole Bayer and Toni Wine, but Shelby Singleton, a producer for Smash Records, a Mercury subsidiary, refused to let her record a song with the word "groovy" in it. The Mindbenders went on to record the song, and it went to #2 on the Billboard charts.[5]

Gore recorded composer Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" on May 21, 1963, as "It's My Party" was bounding up the charts. Quincy Jones' dentist was Marvin Hamlisch's uncle, and Hamlisch asked his uncle to get several songs to Jones. "Sunshine, Lollipops, & Rainbows" sat in the Mercury vaults for two years, when someone at Mercury saw the hit potential, and Mercury released it in June 1965. Hamlisch authored three additional Gore tracks, one of which was "California Nights".[6] Other Hamlisch tracks recorded by Gore were "That's the Way the Ball Bounces", recorded September 21, 1963 at A&R Studios, New York, NY, released as the B-side of "That's the Way Boys Are" and appearing on the LP "Boys Boys Boys"; and "One by One", an unreleased track recorded on July 31, 1969 in New York, produced by Paul Leka, first appearing on the Bear Family five-CD anthology of Gore's Mercury work titled, It's My Party (1994).

Gore performed on two consecutive episodes of the Batman TV series (January 19 and 25, 1967), in which she guest-starred as Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions. In the January 19 episode "That Darn Catwoman", she lip-synched to the Bob Crewe-produced "California Nights", and in the January 25 episode "Scat! Darn Catwoman" to "Maybe Now".[5] "California Nights", which Gore recorded for her 1967 hit album of the same name, returned her to the upper reaches of the Hot 100. The single peaked at number 16 in March 1967 (14 weeks on the chart) – her first top 40 hit since "My Town, My Guy and Me" in late 1965 and her first top 20 since "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows", which, like "California Nights", was co-written by Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Liebling.

Gore also performed the single "We Know We're in Love" ten months earlier on the final episode of The Donna Reed Show, which aired on March 19, 1966.

After high school, while continuing to work, Gore attended Sarah Lawrence College and studied English and American literature. At college folk music was considered chic and pop music was uncool. "Had I been tall with blond hair, had I been Mary Travers, I would have gotten along fine."[7] She graduated in 1968.[8][9]

Later career[edit]

Gore composed songs for the soundtrack of the 1980 film Fame, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for "Out Here on My Own", written with her brother Michael.[10] Michael won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme song of the same film.

Gore played concerts and appeared on television throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

In 2005, Gore recorded Ever Since (her first album of new material since Love Me By Name in 1976), with producer/songwriter Blake Morgan, for the small independent label Engine Company Records. In addition to extensive national radio coverage and critical acclaim from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, and other national press, three songs from Ever Since have been used in television shows and films: "Better Angels", in CSI: Miami's fourth season premiere episode; "Words We Don't Say", in an episode of The L Word; and "It's Gone", in the Jeff Lipsky-directed film Flannel Pajamas.

In 2009, "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" was featured in the film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" was also used in the Simpsons episode "Marge on the Lam", for the Butlins Company TV advertisements in 2008 and for the Target Australia homewares TV advertisement in 2010.

Personal life[edit]

Beginning in 2004, Gore hosted the PBS television series In the Life, which focused on LGBT issues.[11] She stated in a 2005 interview that she was a lesbian.[11] At the time of the interview, Gore had been living with her partner for more than 23 years.[11]


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions
1963 I'll Cry If I Want to
  • Released: June 1963
  • Label: Mercury
Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts
  • Released: November 1963
  • Label: Mercury
1964 Boys, Boys, Boys
  • Released: April 1964
  • Label: Mercury
Girl Talk
  • Released: October 1964
  • Label: Mercury
1965 My Town, My Guy & Me
  • Released: September 1965
  • Label: Mercury
1966 Lesley Gore Sings All About Love
  • Released: January 1966
  • Label: Mercury
1967 California Nights
  • Released: February 1967
  • Label: Mercury
Magic Colors
  • Cancelled (Was scheduled for November 1967 release)
  • Label: Mercury
1972 Someplace Else Now
  • Released: 1972
  • Label: Mowest
1976 Love Me by Name
  • Released: May 1976
  • Label: A&M
1982 The Canvas Can Do Miracles
  • Released: July 1, 1982
  • Label: 51 West
2005 Ever Since
  • Released: June 28, 2005
  • Label: Engine Company
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details Chart positions
1965 The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore
  • Released: 1965
  • Label: Mercury
1968 Lesley Gore Golden Hits, Vol. 2
  • Released: 1968
  • Label: Mercury
1986 The Lesley Gore Anthology
1994 Lesley Gore: It's My Party
1998 Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows: The Best of Lesley Gore
  • Released: June 16, 1998
  • Label: Rhino
2000 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection
  • Released: September 26, 2000
  • Label: Mercury
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.


Year Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Peak chart positions Album
1963 "It's My Party"
b/w "Danny" (from Boys, Boys, Boys)
1 1 9 1 I'll Cry If I Want to
"Judy's Turn to Cry"
b/w "Just Let Me Cry"
5 10 19
"She's a Fool"
b/w "The Old Crowd"
5 26 28 Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts
1964 "You Don't Own Me"
b/w "Run, Bobby, Run"
2 4
"Je Ne Sais Plus (You Don't Own Me)"
b/w "Je N'Ose Pas (Run, Bobby, Run)"
Non-album tracks
"That's the Way Boys Are"
b/w "That's The Way The Ball Bounces"
12 16 Boys, Boys, Boys
"I Don't Wanna Be a Loser"
b/w "It's Gotta Be You"
37 12
"Maybe I Know"
b/w "Wonder Boy"
14 20 37 Girl Talk
"Hey Now" /
"Sometimes I Wish I Were A Boy"
1965 "Look of Love"
b/w "Little Girl Go Home"
27 89
"All Of My Life"
b/w "I Cannot Hope For Anyone" (Non-album track)
71 The Golden Hits of Lesley Gore
"Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows"
b/w "You've Come Back" (from Girl Talk)
13 53 Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts
"My Town, My Guy and Me"
b/w "A Girl In Love"
32 88 My Town, My Guy & Me
"I Won't Love You Anymore (Sorry)"
b/w "No Matter What You Do" (from My Town, My Guy & Me)
80 92 Lesley Gore Sings All About Love
1966 "We Know We're in Love"
b/w "That's What I'll Do"
"Young Love"
b/w "I Just Don't Know If I Can" (Non-album track)
50 24
"Off and Running"
b/w "I Don't Care" (from My Town, My Guy & Me)
108 75 California Nights
"Treat Me Like a Lady"
b/w "Maybe Now"
1967 "California Nights"
b/w "I'm Going Out (The Same Way I Came In)"
"Summer and Sandy"
b/w "I'm Fallin' Down" (from Magic Colors, unreleased)
65 Lesley Gore Golden Hits, Vol. 2[16]
"Brink of Disaster"
b/w "On A Day Like Today"
82 Magic Colors (unreleased)
"Magic Colors"
b/w "It's A Happening World"
1968 "Small Talk"
b/w "Say What You See"
124 Non-album tracks
"He Gives Me Love (La, La, La)"
b/w "Brand New Me" (Non-album track)
119 Lesley Gore Golden Hits, Vol. 2[16]
"I Can't Make It Without You"
b/w "Where Can I Go" (from Magic Colors, unreleased)
"I'll Be Standing By"
b/w "Look The Other Way"
Non-album tracks
1969 "Take Good Care (Of My Heart)"
b/w "I Can't Make It Without You" (from Golden Hits Volume 2)
"Take Good Care (Of My Heart)"
b/w "You Sent Me Silver Bells" (from Magic Colors, unreleased)
"98.6-Lazy Day"
b/w "Summer Symphony"
"Wedding Bell Blues"
b/w "One By One"
1970 "Why Doesn't Love Make Me Happy"
b/w "Tomorrow's Children"
"Come Softly to Me"
b/w "Billy 'N Sue's Love Scene"
"When Yesterday Was Tomorrow"
b/w "Why Me, Why You"
1971 "Back Together"
b/w "Quiet Love"
1972 "She Said That"
b/w "The Road I Walk"
Someplace Else Now
1975 "Immortality"
b/w "Give It To Me, Sweet Thing"
Love Me by Name
"Sometimes" (with The Brothers Johnson)
b/w "Give It To Me, Sweet Thing"
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Lesley Gore : Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  2. ^ Fine, Arlene. "It’s Lesley Gore’s party at Cain Park", Cleveland Jewish News, July 31, 2008. Accessed September 18, 2011."
  3. ^ Retro, Ricky. "It's her party, and it's Spector's turn to cry", The Star-Ledger, May 24, 2004.
  4. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 159. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ a b c Hoekstra, Dave. "Our favorite Lesley Gore moments", Chicago Sun-Times, March 11, 2007. Accessed May 31, 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ PBS "American Masters: Marvin Hamlisch" edition
  7. ^ David Tipmore (April 14, 1975). "It's My Comeback and I'll Try If I Want To". Village Voice. p. 126. Retrieved June 24, 2014. 
  8. ^ Patricia E. Davis, "Lesley Core In Comeback With Her College Degree", Pittsburgh Press, June 6, 1969.
  9. ^ Jon Bream, "It's Lesley Gore's party", Star Tribune, January 10, 2010.
  10. ^ Jones, Chad. "It's still her party, and Lesley Gore's not crying", Oakland Tribune, April 21, 2006. Accessed May 31, 2007.[dead link]
  11. ^ a b c afterellen.com - Interview with Lesley Gore Retrieved 25 February 2013
  12. ^ a b "Billboard chart positions > albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  13. ^ a b c "Billboard chart positions > singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "UK Singles Chart Run – Lesley Gore". Polyhex. Retrieved 18 January 2010. 
  15. ^ Steffen Hung. "Forum - CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989, part 2 (ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts)". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  16. ^ a b [1][dead link]

External links[edit]