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
Born Lesley Sue Goldstein
(1946-05-02)May 2, 1946
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States
Died February 16, 2015(2015-02-16) (aged 68)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Cause of death Lung cancer
Education Sarah Lawrence, 1968
Occupation
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actress
  • activist
Years active 1963–2014
Notable work
  • "It's My Party"
  • "Judy's Turn to Cry"
  • "You Don't Own Me".
Partner(s)
  • Lois Sasson
  • (1982–2015; Gore's death)
Parent(s)
  • Leo Goldstein
  • Ronny Gore
Relatives
Website lesleygore.com
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Vocals
Labels

Lesley Sue Goldstein (May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015), better known as Lesley Gore, was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. At the age of 16 (in 1963) she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party", and followed it up with other hits including "Judy's Turn to Cry", "You Don't Own Me", and "California Nights".

Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother, Michael Gore, for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.[1] She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014.

Early life[edit]

Gore was born Lesley Sue Goldstein[2] in Brooklyn, New York City,[1] into a Jewish family, the daughter of Leo and Ronny Gore.[3] Her father was the owner of Peter Pan, a children's swimwear and underwear manufacturer,[3] and later became a leading brand licensing agent in the apparel industry.[4] She was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey,[5] and was a junior at the Dwight School for Girls in nearby Englewood when her 1963 cover of "It's My Party" became a number-one, nationwide hit. Gore's version sold over one million copies and was certified as a gold record.[6] In 2004, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for rock and roll recording.[7]

Career[edit]

1963–1979: Commercial success[edit]

"It's My Party" was followed by many other hits for Gore, including the sequel, "Judy's Turn to Cry" (US No. 5); "She's a Fool" (US No. 5); the protofeminist million-selling "You Don't Own Me",[6] which held at No. 2 for three weeks behind the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "That's the Way Boys Are" (US No. 12); "Maybe I Know" (US No. 14/UK No. 20); "Look of Love" (US No. 27); and the Grammy-nominated "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" (US No. 13), from the 1965 movie, Ski Party.[8] 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".

Gore was given first shot at recording "A Groovy Kind of Love" by songwriters Carole Bayer and Toni Wine with a melody from a sonatina by Muzio Clementi,[9] but Shelby Singleton, a producer for Mercury subsidiary Smash Records, refused to let Gore record a song with the word "groovy" in its lyrics.[8] The Mindbenders went on to record it, and it reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts.[10]

Gore recorded composer Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows", on May 21, 1963 while "It's My Party" was climbing the charts.[8] Her record producer from 1963 to 1965 was Quincy Jones. Jones' dentist was Marvin Hamlisch's uncle, and Hamlisch asked his uncle to convey several songs to Jones.[8] "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" was released on the LP Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts, but did not surface as a single until June 1965.[8] Hamlisch composed three other Gore associated songs: "California Nights",[11] "That's the Way the Ball Bounces" and "One by One". "That's the Way the Ball Bounces" was recorded September 21, 1963 at A&R Studios in New York; it was released as the B-side of "That's the Way Boys Are" and appeared on the LP Boys Boys Boys. "One by One" was an unreleased track recorded on July 31, 1969 in New York and produced by Paul Leka; it first appeared on the Bear Family five-CD anthology of Gore's Mercury work entitled It's My Party (1994).[1][8]

Gore was one of the featured performers in the T.A.M.I. Show concert film, which was recorded and released in 1964 by American International Pictures, and placed in the National Film Registry in 2006. Gore had one of the longest sets in the film, performing six songs including "It's My Party", "You Don't Own Me", and "Judy's Turn to Cry".[12]

Gore performed on two consecutive episodes of the Batman television series (January 19 and 25, 1967), in which she guest-starred as Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions.[1] 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" she lip-synched to "Maybe Now".[10] "California Nights", which Gore recorded for her 1967 album of the same name, returned her to the upper reaches of the Hot 100.[8] The single peaked at number 16 in March 1967 (14 weeks on the chart). It was 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".[1]

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.[8]

After high school, while continuing to make appearances as a singer, Gore attended Sarah Lawrence College, studying British and American English literature. At college folk music was popularly lauded as 'chic', whereas pop music was often derided as 'uncool.'[1] "Had I been tall with blonde hair, had I been Mary Travers, I would have gotten along fine."[13] She graduated in 1968.[14][15]

1980–2015: Career as a composer and Ever Since[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.[16] 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.[8]

Gore co-wrote a song, "My Secret Love", for the 1996 film Grace of My Heart. The film includes a subplot about a young singer named Kelly Porter, who is based in part on Gore and is played by Bridget Fonda. The character, who is a closeted lesbian, performs "My Secret Love" in the film.[17][18]

In 2005 Gore recorded Ever Since (her first album of new material since Love Me By Name in 1976), with producer/songwriter Blake Morgan, with the label Engine Company Records. The album received favorable reviews from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine and other national press.[8] The album also included a revised version of "You Don't Own Me", about which the New York Daily News wrote: "In Lesley Gore's new version of 'You Don't Own Me'—cut more than 40 years after its initial recording—she lends a pop classic new life."[19] Gore commented: "Without the loud backing track, I could wring more meaning from the lyric". And: "It's a song that takes on new meaning every time you sing it."[19]

Personal life[edit]

Beginning in 2004, Gore hosted the PBS television series In the Life, which focused on LGBT issues.[20] In a 2005 interview with After Ellen, she stated she was a lesbian and had been in a relationship with luxury jewelry designer Lois Sasson since 1982.[20]

Gore had been working on a memoir and a Broadway show based on her life[21] when she died of lung cancer on February 16, 2015, at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, New York City; she was 68 years old.[22][23] At the time of her death, Gore had been together with Sasson for 33 years.[24]

Her New York Times obituary stated that with her songs, all recorded before she was 18, such as "the indelibly defiant" 1964 hit “You Don’t Own Me,” Lesley Gore made herself "the voice of teenage girls aggrieved by fickle boyfriends, moving quickly from tearful self-pity to fierce self-assertion."[21]

Gore's funeral was held on February 19, 2015 in New York City.

Discography[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1964 The T.A.M.I Show Herself Documentary
1965 The Girls on the Beach Herself Sings "Leave Me Alone" and "It's Gotta Be You"
1965 Ski Party Herself Sings Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows"
1968 The Pied Piper of Astroworld Bo Peep Television film
1977 Good Old Days Herself Television film
1985 Good Time Rock 'n' Roll Herself Television documentary
1986 Deja View Herself
1988 Legendary Ladies of Rock & Roll Herself Television special
1990 Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones Herself Documentary
1991 Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll Herself Television documentary
1992 In the Life Herself Television documentary
1998 Quincy Jones... The First 50 Years Herself Television documentary
2000 Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The Early Years (1955-1970 Herself Television documentary
2003 Rock at Fifty Herself Television documentary
2008 An Evening with Quincy Jones Herself Television documentary
2008 Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio Herself Documentary

Television[edit]

Year Name Role Notes
1960 Club 1270 Herself A teen-oriented dance-party television show on WXYZ-TV in Detroit ("1270" was a reference to the frequency of WXYZ-AM radio, a leading Top 40 station in the Detroit area at the time, now WXYT).[25]
1963 The Keefe Brasselle Show Herself
1963 American Bandstand Herself Season 6, Episode 194, AB-1528: Lesley Gore - aired 5/30/63.[26]
1963–
64
Thank Your Lucky Stars Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes
1963–
70
The Ed Sullivan Show Herself Recurring guest; 4 episodes: Season 16, Episode 3 – Other guests: Tony Bennett, Frank Gorshin, Bob & Ray – aired 10/13/63; Season 17, Episode 18 – Other guests: Burt Lancaster, Mickey Rooney, Miriam Makeba, Shelley Berman – aired 1/31/65; Season 21, Episode 32 – Other guests: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gwen Verdon; Season 22, Episode 30 – Other guests: Richie Havens, Moms Mabley, Stiller & Meara – aired 4/26/70.[26]
1963–
75
New American Bandstand 1965 Herself Recurring guest; 3 episodes: Season 10, Episode 31 - Other guest: The Music Machine - aired 4/8/67; Season 10, Episode 4 - Other guest: ? (Question Mark) and the Mysterians - aired 10/1/66; Season 19, Episode 4 - aired 9/27/75.[26]
1964 The Beat Room Herself
1964 The Lloyd Thaxton Show Herself Season 4, Episode 10 – aired September 28, 1964[26]
1965 Fanfare Herself Season 1, Episode 7 – other guests: Tom Jones, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass - aired July 31, 1965[26]
1965 Shindig! Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes: Season 1, Episode 30 - Show 30 - April 7, 1965 - other guests: Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, Larry Hovis, Martha and the Vandellas, Righteous Brothers

Season 2, Episode 5 - Show 56 - September 30, 1965 - other guests: Mickey Rooney (guest host), Major Lance, The Turtles[26]

1965 Hollywood A Go-Go Herself
1965–
66
Hullabaloo Herself Recurring guest; 3 episodes: Season 1, Episode 8 – Show #8 - Host: Trini Lopez – aired 3/2/65; Season 2, Episode 7 – Show#25 – Host: Peter Noon (of Herman’s Hermits) – aired 11/1/65; Season 2, Episode 16 – Show #34 – Host: Roger Smith – aired 1/3/66; Season 2, Episode 30 – Show $48 0 Host: Paul Anka – aired 4/11/68.[26]
1965-70 Merv Griffin Show Herself Recurring guest: 8 episodes: Season 2, Episode 76 – aired 8/23/65; Season 5, Episode 104 – aired 1/25/68; Season 5, Episode 157 – aired 4/9/68; Season 6, Episode 96 – aired 1/13/69; Season 6, Episode 154 – aired 4/3/69; Season 7, Episode 162 – aired 4/2/70; Season 7, Episode 239 – aired 7/16/70; Season 7, Episode 243 – aired 7/22/70.[26]

Aired April 2, 1970[27]

1965–
71
The Mike Douglas Show Herself Recurring guest; 13 episodes: The Mike Douglas Show Herself

Season 4: Episode 237 - aired 8/4/65, Season 5: Episode 47 - aired 11/9/65, Season 5, Episode 216 – aired 7/11/66, Season 6: Episode 16 - aired 9/26/66, Season 6: Episode 92 - aired 1/10/67, Season 6: Episode 176 - aired 5/8/67, Season 7: Episode 106 - aired 1/29/68, Season 7: Episode 201 - aired 6/10/68, Season 8: Episode 42 - aired 11/5/68, Season 8: Episode 150 - aired 4/4/69, Season 9: Episode 25 - - aired 10/3/69, Season 9: Episode 51 - aired 11/10/69, Season 9: Episode 136 - aired 3/9/70, Season 10: Episode 118 - aired 2/17/71[26]

1965 Shivaree Herself Season 2, Episode 16 – Show #48 0 aired 12/25/658.[26]
1966 The Andy Williams Show Herself Season 5, Episode 10 – aired November 13, 1966.[26]
1966 The Donna Reed Show Herself Episode 27: "By-Line--Jeff Stone" - aired 2/19/66 [28]
1966 Where the Action Is Herself Season 6, Episode 237 – aired 9/10/66, other guests: The Four Tops[26]
1967 The Match Game Herself Season 6, Episode 6 - Lesley Gore & Soupy Sales – aired 10/9/67[26]
1967 Batman Pussycat Recurring role; 2 episodes: Season 2 Episodes 40 – That Darn Catwoman – aired 1/19/67; Season 2, Episode 41 – Scat! Darn Catwoman – aired 1/25/67.[26]
1967 Dream Girl of '67 Herself Recurring role; 5 episodes
1967 Malibu U Herself Season 1, Episode 4 – aired 8/11/67 – Other guests include The Turtles and Lou Rawls[26]
1967 Binnen en Buiten Herself
1967–
68
The Joey Bishop Show Herself Recurring guest; 3 episodes: Season 1, Episode 78 – aired 8/2/67; Season 2, Episode 122 – aired 3/8/68; Season 2, Episode 128 – aired 3/18/68.[26]
1968 Happening '68 Herself Rock music series on the ABC network. It aired Saturday afternoons following American Bandstand. Happening, aired Mon through Fri from 7/15/68-10/25/68.[29]
1969–
70
Della Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes: Season 1, Episode 14 – aired 6/26/69; Season 1, Episode 154 – aired 1/13/70.[26]
1970 Playboy After Dark Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes - Season 2, Episode 11 – Other guests: Don Adams, Fleetwood Mac, Arte Johnson – aired 1/8/70.[26]
1970 The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson Herself Season 8, Episode 41 700701 – aired 7/1/70.[26]
1970–
71
The Rolf Harris Show Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes
1970 The David Frost Show Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes - Season 2, Episode 104 – aired January 22, 1970; Season 3, Episode 59 – aired December 17, 1970.[26]
1970 The Dick Cavett Show Herself Season 5, Episode 55 – aired January 22, 1970.[26]
1971 The Virginia Graham Show Herself
1975-1976 The Midnight Special Herself Guest Host – Season 5, Episode 2 – aired 9/24/76. Guest on 2 episodes: Season 3, Episode 34 – Host: Chubby Checker; Season 4, Episode 21 – Host: David Brenner, Other guest: Fleetwood Mac[26]
1976 Dinah! Herself Season 2, Episode 167 – aired May 24, 1976[26]
1977 Sha Na Na Herself
1977 $20,000 Pyramid Herself $20,000 Pyramid - Season 6, Episode 6 – Soupy Sales & 5 female stars – aired 10/10/77[26]
1970 Our Time Herself
1982/1983 All My Children June Gordan A music publicist for 6 episodes; performed the song "Easy to Say, Hard to Do" which was written for the show
1998 Murphy Brown Herself Episode: Season 10 Episode 16: "Opus One"[30] Frank recreates 'American Bandstand' for Murphy's 50th birthday; guests Dick Clark; Fabian; Lesley Gore; Chubby Checker; Sally Field.
1998 A Capitol Fourth[31] Herself Lesley performed in concert for the annual "A Capitol Fourth" July 4 celebration in Washington. The show was nationally televised by PBS on the evening of July 4, 1998. (Frank Dixon original source on this).
2001 Walk on By: The Story of Popular Song Herself Episode: "Producer Pop"
2001 Biography Herself Episode: "Lesley Gore: 'It's Her Party'"
2002 Hollywood Squares Herself Recurring guest; 2 episodes
2005 Party Planner with David Tutera Herself Episode: "Broadway Legend's Soiree"
2006 In The Life Herself Season 1, Episode 116 on Logo Borders – aired 1/1/06[26]
2007 TV Land Confidential Herself Episode: "Music"
Unknown What's My Line? Herself
Unknown Days of Our Lives Unknown
Unknown Gay USA Unknown

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Lesley Gore, who sang 'It's My Party,' dead at 68". New York Daily News.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Lesley Gore : Biography". Biography.com. Retrieved June 29, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Laing, Dave (February 17, 2015). "Lesley Gore obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved February 21, 2015.  "Daughter of Ronny and Leo, she was born Lesley Sue Goldstein into a middle-class Jewish family in New York City and grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey."
  4. ^ Salmans, Sandra (May 24, 1981). "Finding the Products for Famous Names". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-07. 
  5. ^ Fine, Arlene. "It’s Lesley Gore’s party at Cain Park", Cleveland Jewish News, July 31, 2008. Accessed September 18, 2011."
  6. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 159. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  7. ^ Retro, Ricky. "It's her party, and it's Spector's turn to cry", The Star-Ledger, May 24, 2004.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "'It's My Party' singer-songwriter Lesley Gore dies at 68". MSN.com. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  9. ^ Clementi, Muzio. Sonatina, Opus 36, Number 5 [see movement III, Rondo, measures 1–12]
  10. ^ a b Hoekstra, Dave. "Our favorite Lesley Gore moments", Chicago Sun-Times, March 11, 2007. Accessed May 31, 2007.[dead link]
  11. ^ PBS "American Masters: Marvin Hamlisch" edition
  12. ^ Vincent, Alice. "Lesley Gore: Nine things you didn't know". The Independent, February 17, 2015.
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Patricia E. Davis, "Lesley Core In Comeback With Her College Degree", Pittsburgh Press, June 6, 1969.
  15. ^ Jon Bream, "It's Lesley Gore's party", Star Tribune, January 10, 2010.
  16. ^ Jones, Chad. "It's still her party, and Lesley Gore's not crying", Oakland Tribune, April 21, 2006. Accessed May 31, 2007.[dead link]
  17. ^ Glitz, Michael. "Singing Her Own Tune: Lesley Gore Is on Her Second Run of Celebrity-From the "It's My Party" Songbird of the '60S to the out Singer-Songwriter of 2005's Quietly Haunting Indie CD Ever Since." The Advocate, January 17, 2006. ("Gore could have been out more prominently in the mid '90s in connection with the movie Grace of My Heart, which included a subplot about a Gore-like teen idol (played by Bridget Fonda) who was gay. Gore worked on the character's song--'My Secret Love'--until she was comfortable having her name on it as a cowriter. But she felt wary that she'd been brought in too late for a real collaboration, and when she wasn't even invited to the premiere, Gore was convinced the filmmakers had used her primarily for publicity. 'It turned into the opposite of what I would have wanted,' she says."
  18. ^ Childs, T. Mike. The Rocklopedia Fakebandica (St. Martin's Griffin, 2014), ISBN 978-1466873018, p. 167. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  19. ^ a b "IT'S HER PARTY... Early '60s legend Lesley Gore cuts her first studio album in 30 years". NY Daily News. 2005-07-24. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  20. ^ a b "Interview with Lesley Gore", After Ellen, June 3, 2005
  21. ^ a b "Lesley Gore, Teenage Voice of Heartbreak, Dies at 68" by Jon Pareles, The New York Times, 16 February 2015
  22. ^ "Lesley Gore Dead: 'It's My Party' Singer-Songwriter Dies at 68 – Variety". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  23. ^ "'It's My Party' Singer-Songwriter Lesley Gore Dies at 68". ABC News. Retrieved February 16, 2015. 
  24. ^ Furness, Hannah. "Lesley Gore, the singer, dies aged 68". Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-08-18. 
  25. ^ "Remembering Swingin Time and Club 1270". February 13, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "http://www.tv.com/people/lesley-gore"
  27. ^ "The Merv Griffin Show, April 2, 1970". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  28. ^ "A Minor Consideration Website". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  29. ^ TV.com. "Happening '68". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  30. ^ "LocateTV.com Is Closed". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  31. ^ "Lesley's News". Retrieved June 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]