Steve Lawrence

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For other people named Steve Lawrence, see Steve Lawrence (disambiguation).
Steve Lawrence
Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gorme-publicity.jpg
Lawrence with wife Eydie Gormé.
Background information
Birth name Sidney Liebowitz
Born (1935-07-08) July 8, 1935 (age 79)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Big band, swing, traditional pop music
Occupation(s) Singer, actor
Years active 1957–present

Steve Lawrence (born July 8, 1935) is an American singer and actor, perhaps best known as a member of a duo with his wife Eydie Gormé, billed as "Steve and Eydie." The two appeared together since appearing regularly on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in the mid-1950s until Gormé's retirement.[1][2]

Personal life[edit]

Lawrence was born Sidney Liebowitz[2] in Brooklyn to Jewish parents, Victor, a baker who owned his own bakery on White Plains Road in The Bronx, and Helen, his mother who ran the business. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School. Steve also attended PS 174 in the East New York section across from his house, and later went to PS 109 in the Brownsville section. PS 174 is being used to this date.

Marriage and family[edit]

Lawrence and Gorme with sons David (left) and Michael (right). Gene Kelly is also pictured with his son, Tim (left) and daughter, Bridget (right). Kelly was a guest on the couple's 1975 television special, "Our Love Is Here to Stay".

Lawrence and Gormé married on December 29, 1957 at the El Rancho Hotel[2] in Las Vegas, Nevada.[1] They 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 (1962–1986) died suddenly from ventricular fibrillation resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 23.[3] 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.[3]

Eydie Gormé died on August 10, 2013, a week shy of her 85th birthday.

Career[edit]

In the late 1950s, Steve Lawrence was drafted into the Army and served as the official vocal soloist with The United States Army Band "Pershing's Own" in Washington, D.C.[citation needed]

Lawrence had success on the record charts in the late 1950s and early 1960s with such hits as "Go Away Little Girl" (U.S. #1), "Pretty Blue Eyes" (U.S. #9), "Footsteps" (U.S. #7), "Portrait of My Love" (U.S. #9), and "Party Doll" (U.S. #5). "Go Away Little Girl" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[4] However, much of his musical career has centered on nightclubs and the musical stage. He is also an actor, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950s,[5] in shows such as The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, Night Gallery, The Flip Wilson Show, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. In the fall of 1965, Lawrence was briefly the star of a variety show called The Steve Lawrence Show, "one of the last television shows in black and white on CBS."[2]

He and Gormé appeared together in the Broadway musical Golden Rainbow, which ran from February 1968 until January 1969. Although the show was not a huge success (a summary of this experience is chronicled in unflattering detail in William Goldman's 1968 book The Season),[6] the show contained the memorable song "I've Gotta Be Me." This song was originally sung by Lawrence at the end of the first act of the musical; Sammy Davis, Jr. would later record a version of the song that became a Top 40 hit in 1969.[7] None less than the Chairman of the Board himself, Francis Albert Sinatra, is known to have repeatedly stated that the best male vocalist Sinatra had ever heard was Steve Lawrence.

In 1980, Lawrence was introduced to a new generation of fans with his portrayal of Maury Sline in The Blues Brothers.

In 1984, he and comic Don Rickles hosted ABC's Foul-Ups, Bleeps & Blunders.

In 1985, Steve and Eydie Gorme played Tweedledee (Gorme) and Tweedledum (Lawrence) in Steve Allen's film adaption of "Alice in Wonderland"

He played Mark McCormick's father, Sonny Daye, in two episodes of Hardcastle and McCormick. In 1999, he appeared as the much-talked about, but never before seen, Morty Fine, father of Fran Fine on the final episode of The Nanny. In 2000, he co-starred in The Yards as Arthur Mydanick. In 2011, he portrayed Jack, a wealthy love interest of Betty White's character, Elka Ostrovsky, on Hot in Cleveland. In 2014, he guest-starred in an episode of Two and a Half Men on CBS, and sang the theme song to the parody miniseries The Spoils of Babylon.

Awards[edit]

Lawrence received a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Sammy Glick in What Makes Sammy Run? on Broadway (1964),[1] and two Emmy Awards, one for production for Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin (1978).

With Gormé, he has been the recipient of two Emmies for Our Love is Here to Stay, a tribute to George and Ira Gershwin; a "Best Performance By a Vocal Duo or Group" Grammy Award for We Got Us; a Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence and a Television Critics Circle Award for From This Moment On, a tribute to Cole Porter.

The duo also won a Las Vegas Entertainment Award for "Musical Variety Act of the Year" four times, three of them consecutively. They were honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame,[8] and in 1995 were the recipients of an Ella Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers,[1][8] a non-profit organization that helps professional singers with counseling and financial assistance.

Albums[edit]

  • Steve Lawrence (1953, King)
  • About 'That' Girl (1956, Coral)
  • Songs by Steve Lawrence (1957, Coral)
  • Here's Steve Lawrence (1958, Coral)
  • All About Love (1959, Coral)
  • Swing Softly with Me (1959, ABC-Paramount)
  • Songs Everybody Knows (1960, Coral)
  • We Got Us with Eydie Gorme (1960, ABC-Paramount)
  • Steve & Eydie Sing the Golden Hits with Eydie Gorme (1960, ABC-Paramount)
  • The Steve Lawrence Sound (1960, United Artists)
  • Steve Lawrence Goes Latin (1960, United Artists)
  • Portrait of My Love (1961, United Artists)
  • Our Best to You with Eydie Gorme (1961, ABC-Paramount)
  • Cozy with Eydie Gorme (1961, United Artists)
  • It's Us Again (1962, Silvirkin shampoo)
  • People Will Say We’re In Love (1962, United Artists)
  • Winners! (1962, Columbia)
  • Come Waltz With Me (1962, Columbia)
  • Two on the Aisle with Eydie Gorme (1962, United Artists)
  • Steve Lawrence Conquers Broadway (1963, United Artists)
  • Swinging West (1963)
  • Steve & Eydie At the Movies with Eydie Gorme (1963)
  • That Holiday Feeling with Eydie Gorme (1964)
  • Academy Award Losers (1964, Columbia)
  • What Makes Sammy Run? (1964, Columbia)
  • The Steve Lawrence Show (1965, Columbia)
  • Together on Broadway with Eydie Gorme (1967, Columbia)
  • Sing of Love and Sad Young Men (1967)
  • Bonfá & Brazil with Eydie Gorme (1967)
  • Golden Rainbow (1968)
  • I've Gotta Be Me (1969)
  • Real True Lovin' with Eydie Gorme (1969)
  • What It Was, Was Love with Eydie Gorme (1969)
  • On A Clear Day – Steve Sings Up A Storm (1970)
  • A Man and a Woman with Eydie Gorme (1970)
  • Portrait of Steve (1972)
  • The World of Steve & Eydie with Eydie Gorme (1972)
  • Feelin' with Eydie Gorme (1972, Stage 2)
  • Our Love is Here to Stay: The Gershwin Years with Eydie Gorme (1976)
  • Tu Seras Mi Musica (1977)
  • My Way (1977)
  • Take It On Home (1981)
  • Hallelujah with Eydie Gorme (1984)
  • Through the Years with Eydie Gorme (1984)
  • Alone Together with Eydie Gorme (1989)
  • Steve Lawrence Sings Sinatra (2003)

Single discography[edit]

Year Single Chart positions
US US
AC
US
R&B
UK[9]
1952 "Poinciana" 21
1953 "How Many Stars Have To Shine" 26
1957 "The Banana Boat Song" 18
"Party Doll" 5
"(The Bad Donkey) Pum-Pa-Lum" 45
"Can't Wait For Summer" 42
"Fabulous" 71
"Fraulein" 54
1958 "Uh-Huh, Oh Yeah" 73
"Many a Time" 97
1959 "(I Don't Care) Only Love Me" 62
"Pretty Blue Eyes" 9
1960 "Footsteps" 7 4
"Girls, Girls, Girls" 49
1961 "Portrait of My Love" 9
"My Clair De Lune" 68 13
"In Time" 94 19
"Somewhere Along the Way" 67 16
1962 "Our Concerto" 107
"The Lady Wants To Twist" 120
"Go Away Little Girl" 1 1 14
1963 "Don't Be Afraid, Little Darlin'" 26 12
"Poor Little Rich Girl" 27 11
"More" 117
"I Want To Stay Here"† 28 8 3
"Walking Proud" 26
"I Can't Stop Talking About You"† 35 14
1964 "My Home Town" 106
"A Room Without Windows" 120
"Everybody Knows" 72 18
"Yet...I Know" 77 15
1965 "Bewitched..." 103
"I Will Wait For You" 113
"Last Night I Made a Little Girl Cry" 126
"Millions of Roses" 106 11
1966 "The Week-end" 131 24
"The Ballad of the Sad Young Men" 36
1967 "The Honeymoon Is Over"† 14
"Sweet Maria" 23
"I've Gotta Be Me" 6
1968 "The Two of Us"# 33
"Runaround" 27
1969 "Real True Lovin'"† 119 20
"The Drifter" 14
1970 "Mama, a Rainbow" 38
"(You're My) Soul & Inspiration"† 21
"Groovin'" 25
1971 "Love is Blue/Autumn Leaves"† 37
1972 "Ain't No Sunshine/You Are My Sunshine" 24
"We Can Make It Together (featuring the Osmonds)"† 68 7
1973 "Feelin'"† 31
"The End (At the End of a Rainbow)" 46
1975 "Now That We're In Love" 16
"Two by Two, Side by Side" (Theme from The Dumplings)
1979 "Hallelujah"‡ 46

Code:
† Steve & Eydie (Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme)
‡ Parker & Penny (Steve & Eydie)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Biography from Las Vegas Online
  2. ^ a b c d 2003 Interview with Larry King, from a CNN website (web archive from Wayback Machine)
  3. ^ a b Ahmed, Saeed (August 11, 2013). "Singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84". CNN. Retrieved August 13, 2013. 
  4. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 147. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  5. ^ Steve Lawrence at the Internet Movie Database
  6. ^ William Goldman, The Season: A Candid Look at Broadway, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1969. p. 310. ("Harnick shook his head sadly and said, 'The trouble with washing garbage is that when you're done, it's still garbage.' This was the story of Golden Rainbow, as we shall see.")
  7. ^ AllMusic.com, "I've Gotta Be Me." (Davis' version peaked at number 24.)
  8. ^ a b Official website of Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 314. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]