Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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GORMÉ, Eydie

(b Edith Gormezano, 16 August 1928, Bronx, NY; d 10 August 2013, Las Vegas) Singer. Her parents were both Jewish immigrants, her father from Sicily and her mother from Turkey; a cousin was Neil Sedaka. She sang on the radio at age three, worked as a Spanish interpreter after high school, turned to music making a debut with Tommy Tucker, and got a Coral record contract '53. She began appearing on the Steve Allen TV show, where she met Steve Lawrence. They married '57 and remained a popular club act until she retired in 2009.

Her bright, clear voice and swinging style were a godsend to writers of good songs like 'Too Close For Comfort' (from musical Mr Wonderful), first of her 14 Hot 100 entries '56-69, most on ABC-Paramount, arranged and conducted by Don Costa (but her talent was unfashionable: only five reached the top 40, one the top ten). An album later called Guess Who I Saw Today included a fine selection of standards, a third chart hit with 'I'll Take Romance', a song from 1937 with words by Ben Oakland (b 24 September 1907, NYC; d 26 August 1979, Beverly Hills), music by Oscar Hammerstein II. Her biggest hit single at no. 7 '63 was 'Blame It On The Bossa Nova', a song by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. She made her Broadway debut with Lawrence in Golden Rainbow; there were Emmy awards for TV specials featuring the songs of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin; a  Grammy for best female vocalist '67. Twelve chart LPs included Eydie Gormé, Swings The Blues, Vamps The Roaring 20's and In Love, all '57-8, all top 20 LPs, all on ABC-Paramount, all long out of print. To Columbia for LPs Blame It On The Bossa Nova '63, Gormé Country Style '64, Amor and More Amor '64-5 (sung in Spanish, with Trio Los Panchos), Don't Go To Strangers '66, Softly, As I Leave You '67; to RCA for Tonight I'll Say A Prayer '70. Steve and Eydie had a TV show '59, top 40 duet hits '63 on Columbia 'I Want To Stay Here' and 'I Can't Stop Talking About You'. Duo albums (also all out of print) included We Got Us, At The Movies, Together Forever; Together On Broadway on Columbia charted in USA '67; What It Was, Was Love and Real True Lovin' '69 on RCA; Our Love Is Here To Stay was a Gershwin LP on EMI labels.

She was signed by CBS International to make Spanish-language albums; De Corazon a Corazon ('Heart To Heart') and single 'Sentado a la Vera del Camino' ('Seated At The Edge Of The Road'), a duet with Brazilian superstar Roberto Carlos, were huge hits in that market.

Of 15 hit albums '57-70, none was in print at the end of the century; Steve and Eydie's live shows on the West Coast in 1989 grossed almost as much as the pop group Bon Jovi with its huge hit albums, but they didn't bother to make records because shops wouldn't stock them and radio wouldn't play them. See also Steve's entry.