Monday, August 12, 2013
1928- 2013..Jewish Show Biz Legend Eydie Gorme Makes The Passage
Eydie Gorme(pronounced Gor-MAY), one of the world's great pop singers passed away in Las Vegas Saturday of an illness. She was 84, and died just a few day shy of her August 16th birthday.
Along with her husband, Steve Lawrence, she was one of the great pop singers of the 1950's and 1960's, starting out with Tex Beneke's Big Band, where Steve Allen, the originator of the 'Tonight Show ' format saw her and hired her back in 1953.
She met her husband Steve Lawrence on the show, where Lawrence was also working.
“Eydie has been my partner onstage and in life for more than 55 years,” Lawrence said in a statement. “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.”
The two became a vocal duo noted for their onstage back-and-forth banter long before Sonny and Cher, and had a successful TV show that ended in 1958 when Lawrence was drafted and spent two years in the army.
Her first album with Lawrence, We Got Us, won a Grammy in 1960. The two also recorded separately, Steve hitting Billboard’s top 10 with “Go Away Little Girl” in 1962 and Eydie having a hit with “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” in 1963 and winning a Grammy for “If He Walked into My Life” in 1966:
Yeah, she could sing.
Eydie Gorme was a Bronx girl, a Sephardi Jew whose father was a Sicilian tailor and whose mother was originally from Turkey. She grew up speaking Ladino, the equivalent of Yiddish for Sephardic Jews as well as English, and her Spanish was good enough for her to find work as a translator before her singing career took off.
Interestingly enough, she was a pioneer in Latino/Spanish language recording back in the mid 60's, fronting a group called Trio Los Panchos that had hits both in the U.S. and Latin America.
When rock n' roll hit, Steve and Eydie lost some of their audience because they stuck to traditional pop stylings, but they always were in demand in Vegas and had enough of a devoted following to do the odd television special, and to open for none other than Frank Sinatra as Ol' Blue Eyes' opening act on several tours.
A great singer and entertainer. RIP.