|Birth name||Edith Gormezano|
|Born||August 16, 1928|
Bronx, New York, U.S.
|Died||August 10, 2013 (aged 84)|
Las Vegas, Nevada
|Genres||Pop, traditional pop, Latin pop, swing, bolero|
|Labels||Coral, ABC-Paramount, United Artists, Columbia, RCA Victor, MGM|
|Associated acts||Steve and Eydie, Los Panchos|
Eydie Gormé (born Edith Gormezano; August 16, 1928 – August 10, 2013) was an American singer who had hits on the pop and Latin pop charts. She sang solo and with her husband, Steve Lawrence, on albums, television, Broadway, and in Las Vegas.
Gormé was born in the Bronx to Sephardic Jewish parents Nessim Hasdai Gormezano and Fortuna "Fortunee" Gormezano (they had the same last name). Both her mother and father were born in Turkey, her father later would move to Sicily, her mother in Turkey, also of Sephardic descent as well. In the home Ladino a judaeo-Spanish was spoken, hence Eydie spoke and sang in Spanish. She was distantly related (by marriage) to Neil Sedaka; Eydie's paternal uncle Morris Gorman (né Gormezano) had married Rachel Cohen, daughter of Isaac Cohen and Calo Cohen (née Sedaca) and cousin of Mac Sedaka (Neil's father), the elder Sedaka was coincidentally also of Lebanese Jewish descent like her mother. The Gormezanos spoke several languages at home, including Ladino, which is rooted in Spanish. After graduating from William Howard Taft High School, which she attended with Stanley Kubrick, Gormé found a job as a translator. At night she studied at City College. On weekends she sang in a band led by Ken Greengrass.
She appeared on the Spanish-language radio program Cita Con Eydie (A Date with Eydie), changing her name from "Edith" to "Edie" and then "Eydie" because people mispronounced "Edie". She considered changing her last name, but her mother told her, "It's bad enough that you're in show business. How will the neighbors know if you're ever a success?"
Gormé sang with the Tommy Tucker band for two months in 1950, followed by a year with Tex Beneke's band. She signed as a solo act with Coral Records in 1952 and released her first single, "That Night of Heaven". She was hired by The Tonight Show in its early days with Steve Allen and formed a duo with another one of its staff singers, Steve Lawrence. As The Tonight Show was beginning to broadcast across the country in 1954, the duo released their first single, "Make Yourself Comfortable/I've Gotta Crow".
Gormé had her first chart hit, "Too Close for Comfort", in 1956 after moving from Coral to ABC-Paramount Records. Two more hits followed. "Mama, Teach Me to Dance" and "Love Me Forever" reached the Top 40 singles chart while her albums Eydie Gorme and Eydie Swings the Blues reached the Top 20 albums chart. In 1957 Gormé and Lawrence were married, and several months later they hosted Steve Allen Presents the Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gormé Show after Allen retired from The Tonight Show. Three more singles by Gormé and two more albums became chart hits. In 1960 they sang in clubs and released We Got Us, their first album as a duo. They received a Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group for the title track from the album. Gormé recorded "Yes My Darling Daughter" for Columbia Records, and it reached the Top Ten in the UK. In 1963, she reached the Top Ten in the U.S. with "Blame It on the Bossa Nova". The song earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Vocal Performance and was certified gold after selling one million copies. The album Blame It on the Bossa Nova entered the Top 40 with four more hit singles during the same year. Two were recorded as the duo Steve & Eydie. She recorded the Spanish albums Amor and More Amor with the Trio Los Panchos. Then she turned to show tunes. "If He Walked Into My Life" was an Easy Listening hit in 1966 and earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
Steve and Eydie moved on to Broadway, starring in the musical Golden Rainbow based on the play A Hole in the Head. "How Could I Be So Wrong" by Gormé, which was performed in the musical, was a hit on the Easy Listening chart. The musical had a successful one-year run. Steve and Eydie signed to RCA Victor and released a pair of albums while Gormé had another hit with the title track and album Tonight I'll Say a Prayer in 1970. Their last hit on the pop chart was the song "We Can Make It Together" with the Osmonds in 1973.
Gormé was successful in the Latin music market and internationally through albums she recorded in Spanish with the Trio Los Panchos. Her first recording with Los Panchos came about after the popular group with members from Mexico and Puerto Rico, composed of Alfredo Gil, Chucho Navarro, and Johnny Albino, saw her perform at Manhattan's Club Copacabana late in 1963. Gormé had achieved international fame from the song "Blame it on the Bossa Nova", which sold 250,000 copies in Spanish in addition to sales in English. Los Panchos were the top bolero singers in Latin America, so when they suggested a recording Columbia agreed.
In 1964, Columbia released the album Amor, which spent 22 weeks on the charts. The song "Sabor a Mí" became one of Gormé's signature tunes. In 1965, a sequel appeared called More Amor, later reissued as Cuatro Vidas. Her last album with Los Panchos was Navidad Means Christmas (1966), later reissued as Blanca Navidad. She recorded other Spanish albums in her career, including the Grammy-nominated La Gormé (1976). Muy Amigos/Close Friends (1977), a duet collection with Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera, also received a Grammy nomination.
Steve and Eydie performed a tribute to George Gershwin on their television special Our Love Is Here to Stay, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Music or Comedy Special. Two years later they sang on Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin and again won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Music or Comedy Special. In 1989 they started the record label GL Music. They sang with Frank Sinatra on his seventieth-birthday tour and on his album Duets II (1994). They recorded a cover version of the song "Black Hole Sun" by the rock band Soundgarden for the album Lounge-A-Palooza (1997).
As the twenty-first century arrived, the couple announced plans to reduce their touring, starting a One More for the Road Tour in 2002. In 2006, Gormé became a blogger. In November 2009, after his wife retired, Lawrence embarked on a solo music tour.
Gormé and Lawrence had two sons. 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 at the age of 23 of ventricular fibrillation from an undiagnosed heart condition.
Gormé and Lawrence were in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time of Michael Lawrence's death, having performed at the Fox Theater the night before. Frank Sinatra, a family friend, sent his private plane to fly the couple to New York to meet David Lawrence, who was attending school. After their son's death, Gormé and Lawrence suspended touring for a year.
Gormé died on August 10, 2013, six days before her 85th birthday, at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas after a brief, undisclosed illness. She was interred at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
Lawrence issued a statement: "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."
Awards and honors
- Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group, We Got Us with Steve Lawrence, 1960
- Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance, "If He Walked Into My Life", 1966
- Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award, 1995
- Inducted with Steve Lawrence into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, winning the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, 1995
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Music or Comedy Special, Our Love Is Here to Stay with Steve Lawrence, 1976
- Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Music or Comedy Special, Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin with Steve Lawrence, 1979
- Delight (1956)
- Eydie Gorme (1957)
- Eydie Swings the Blues (1957)
- Eydie Gorme Vamps the Roaring 20's (1958)
- Eydie in Love (1958)
- Gorme Sings Showstoppers (1958)
- Love Is a Season (1958)
- Eydie Gorme on Stage (1959)
- Eydie in Dixieland (1959)
- Come Sing with Me (1961)
- I Feel So Spanish (1961)
- Very Best of Eydie Gorme (1961)
- Best of Eydie Gorme (1962)
- Blame It on the Bossa Nova (1963)
- Let the Good Times Roll (1963)
- Gorme Country Style (1964)
- Great Songs from 'The Sound of Music' & Broadway (1965)
- Don't Go to Strangers (1966)
- Softly, as I Leave You (1967)
- The Look of Love (1968)
- Eydie (1968)
- Yes Indeed! (1969) Harmony
- With All My Heart (1969) Harmony
- Otra Vez (1969)
- Melodies of Love (1970) Harmony
- Tonight I'll Say a Prayer (1970)
- If He Walked into My Life (1971) Harmony
- It Was a Good Time (1971)
- La Gorme (1976)
- Muy Amigos/Close Friends with Danny Rivera (1977)
- Since I Fell for You (1981)
- Tomame O Dejame (1982)
- De Corazon a Corazon (1988)
- Eso Es El Amor (1992)
- Silver Screen (1992)
- Blame It on the Bossa Nova (+ 2 bonus tracks) (2002)
- Tonight I'll Say a Prayer/It Was a Good Time (2005)
- Don't Go to Strangers/Softly as I Leave You (2012)
- Since I Fell for You (+ 5 bonus tracks) (2014)
- An American Treasure (2015)
With Steve Lawrence
- Steve & Eydie (1958)
- We Got Us (1960)
- Sing the Golden Hits (1960)
- Our Best to You (1961)
- Cozy (1961)
- Two on the Aisle (1962)
- Steve & Eydie at the Movies (1963)
- That Holiday Feeling (1964)
- Steve & Eydie Together on Broadway (1967)
- Bonfa & Brazil with Luis Bonfa (1967)
- Golden Rainbow (1968)
- Real True Lovin' (1969)
- What It Was, Was Love (1969)
- A Man and a Woman (1970)
- This Is Steve & Eydie (1971)
- This Is Steve & Eydie, Vol. 2 (1972)
- The World of Steve & Eydie (1972)(2009)
- Feelin' (1972)
- Songs by Steve & Eydie (1972)
- Steve & Eydie Together (1975)
- Our Love Is Here to Stay (1976)
- Together Forever(1984)
- Hallelujah (1984)
- Through the Years (1985)
- Alone Together (1990)
- Happy Holidays (1990)
- Steve & Eydie and Friends Celebrate Gershwin (1990)
- Steve & Eydie and Friends Celebrate Porter (1990)
- Steve & Eydie and Friends Celebrate Berlin (1990)
- Together on Broadway/Two on the Isle (2001)
- To You from Us (2009)
- Cozy/A Man & a Woman (2013)
- Cozy/Two on the Isle (2013)
With Trio Los Panchos
- Amor (1964)
- More Amor (1965)
- Navidad Means Christmas (1966)
- Canta en Español (1970)
- Cuatro Vidas (1970)
|Year||Single (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
|1953||"I Danced with My Darling"
b/w "I'd Be Forgotten" (from Eydie Gorme's Delight)
b/w "All Night Long" (Non-album track)
|—||44||—||—||—||—||Eydie Gorme's Delight|
b/w "Gimme Gimme John" (Non-album track)
b/w "Come Home"
|1956||"Too Close for Comfort"
b/w "That's How" (Non-album track)
|"Mama, Teach Me to Dance"
b/w "You Bring Out the Lover in Me"
|"Soda Pop Hop"
b/w "I've Got a Right to Cry"
|"I'll Come Back"
b/w "It's a Pity to Say Goodnight"
|"Climb Up the Wall"
b/w "Uska Dara"
|1957||"Be Careful, It's My Heart"
b/w "Easter Parade" (from Love Is a Season)
|"I'll Take Romance"
b/w "First Impression"
|"Your Kisses Kill Me"
b/w "Kiss in Your Eyes"
|"When Your Lover Has Gone"
b/w "Until They Sail" (Non-album track)
|—||—||—||—||—||—||Eydie Swings the Blues|
|"Love Me Forever"
b/w "Let Me Be Loved"
|1958||"You Need Hands"
|"Gotta Have Rain"
b/w "To You, From Me" (from Our Best to You)
|"The Voice in My Heart"
b/w "Separate Tables"
|"Who's Sorry Now?"
b/w "Toot Toot Tootsie, Goodbye"
|—||—||—||—||—||—||Eydie Gorme Vamps The Roaring 20's|
b/w "Don't Take Your Love from Me" (Non-album track)
|—||—||—||—||—||—||Our Best to You|
|"Taking a Chance on Love"
b/w "The Years Between"
|1960||"The Dance Is Over"
b/w "Too Young to Know"
|"Be Sure My Love"
b/w "I Will Follow You"
|—||—||—||—||—||—||Our Best To You|
|"I Love to Dance (But Never on Sunday)"
b/w "Let Me Be the First to Wish You Merry Christmas"
b/w "What Happened to Our Love"
|1962||"Yes, My Darling Daughter"
b/w "Sonny Boy"
|"Before Your Time"
b/w "Where Is Love"
|"Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)"
b/w "I'm Yours"
|1963||"Blame It on the Bossa Nova"
b/w "Guess I Should Have Loved Him More" (from Softly, As I Leave You)
|7||6||—||16||—||32||Blame It on the Bossa Nova|
|"Don't Try to Fight It, Baby"
b/w "Theme from 'Light Fantastic' (My Secret World)"
|"Everybody Go Home"
b/w "The Message"
|1964||"The Friendliest Thing"
b/w "Something to Live For" (from With All My Heart)
|"I Want You to Meet My Baby" /||43||65||—||—||—||—|
|"Can't Get Over (The Bossa Nova)"||87||122||20||—||—||—|
|"The Moon and the Stars and a Little Bit of Wine"
b/w "Piel Canela" (from Amor, with Trio Los Panchos)
|1965||"Do I Hear a Waltz?"
b/w "After You've Gone" (from With All My Heart)
|"Just Dance on By"
b/w "Where Are You Now"
|"Don't Go to Strangers"
b/w "Mas Amor (More Love)" (from Mas Amor, with Trio Los Panchos)
|—||—||36||—||—||—||Don't Go to Strangers|
|1966||"What Did I Have That I Don't Have?"
b/w "Tell Him I Said Hello"
|"If He Walked Into My Life"
b/w "Tell Him I Said Hello"
|"What Is a Woman?"
b/w "Guess I Should Have Loved Him More"
|—||—||34||—||—||—||Softly, As I Leave You|
|"Navidad Y Ano Nuevo"
b/w "Alegre Navidad"
Both tracks with Trio Los Panchos
|—||—||—||—||—||—||Navidad Means Christmas|
|1967||"Softly, as I Leave You"
b/w "What's Good About Goodbye?"
|117||—||30||—||—||—||Softly, as I Leave You|
|"How Could I Be So Wrong"
b/w "He Needs Me Now"
|—||—||22||—||—||—||Golden Rainbow (Soundtrack)|
|1968||"Life Is But a Moment (Canta Ragazzina)"
b/w "What Makes Me Love Him?"
|115||—||35||—||—||—||The Look of Love|
|"This Girl's in Love with You"
b/w "It's You Again"
b/w "Girl with a Suitcase"
|"Tonight I'll Say a Prayer"
b/w "Wild One" (Non-album track)
|45||54||8||—||—||—||Tonight I'll Say a Prayer|
|1970||"My World Keeps Getting Smaller Every Day"
b/w "The Ladies Who Lunch"
|1971||"It Was a Good Time"
b/w "Mem'ries and Souvenirs" (Non-album track)
|—||—||23||—||—||—||It Was a Good Time|
b/w "Mr. Number One"
|1973||"Take One Step"
b/w "The Garden"
|"Touch the Wind (Eres tú)"
b/w "It Takes Too Long to Learn and Live Alone"
|1976||"What I Did for Love"
b/w "Can It Ever Be the Same"
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