The Life and Music of Eydie Gorme


Introduction to Eydie Gorme

Eydie Gorme was an American singer, most famously as part of Steve and Eydie as well as for her own solo work. With her real-life husband and singing partner Steve Lawrence (who is also a recording star on his own right), they attained successes such as their biggest hit “I Want to Stay Here” which went to #28 on the pop chart and top 10 on the easy listening chart. They also won a Grammy for their album We Got Us. Eydie Gorme also made a considerable success as a solo singer, with “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” in 1963. She placed many of her singles on the adult contemporary chart including “Don’t Try to Fight It,” “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?” and “Tonight I’ll Say a Prayer.” Her 1962 single “Yes My Darling Daughter” was a UK Top 10 hit. She also achieved crossover success when her songs hit the Latin charts, best known for her Spanish-language song “Sabor a Mi,”  which she became closely associated to. She retired in 2009, while her husband Lawrence went on full solo musical tour. Gorme died in 2013 following a brief illness, aged 84.

The early years of Eydie Gorme

Edith Gorme (Gormezano or Garmezano on some sources), better known as Eydie Gorme was an American singer who popularized the oldies music favorites, “You Need Hands” and “Blame It on the Bossa Nova.” Daughter of Sephardic Jewish immigrants and cousin singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka, Gorme was born on August 16, 1928 in Manhattan, New York. Since Gorme was fluent in Spanish, she was initially employed as an interpreter for the United Nations. On weekends, she was in Ken Greenglass’ band.

Gorme’s early recordings and meeting Steve Lawrence

Gorme’s big break came in the 1950’s, having her first recording experience on MGM imprint with the Tommy Tucker Orchestra and Don Brown. After that, she recorded again, this time with Dick Noel and later with Tex Beneke’s Band. Some of her radio recordings were relased on vinyl in 1951. In the following year, Gorme began recording as a solo artist on Coral records. She was mistakenly called as Eddie for her real name was Edie, so she decided to change her name to Eydie.

Making her television debut on The Tonight Show hosted by Steve Allen in 1953, she met singer Steve Lawrence who would later become her future husband. They got married on December 29, 1957. The couple hosted their own show The Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gorme Show in 1958. The show served as a summer replacement for The Tonight Show.

Gorme’s career in the 60s music era

Gorme’s first single of the decade peaked at #10 on the UK chart called “Yes, My Darling Daughter” (1962). In 1963, she issued “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” that became her biggest-selling hit. It ranked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was a million-selling hit which. It later earned a gold disc award. Most of her numerous releases from 1964 to 1976 (including songs which she recorded with her husband)  became top singles on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary chart such as “Don’t Try to Fight It” (#18, 1963), “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?” (#7, 1966), “Tonight I’ll Say a Prayer (#8, 1969), and “If He Walked into My Life” (#5) the last single which won her a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967.

Crossing over to Latin music, Gorme had worked with the Latin romanticos Trio Los Panchos whom she recorded with several Spanish albums. One of her early hits “Blame It On the Bossa” was released in Spanish and gained international fame, selling 250,000 copies in Latin America alone. “Sabor a Mi,” which was issued in 1964, became one of Gorme’s most established songs. It was included on the album Amor that enjoyed its stay for over 20 weeks on the Billboard album chart. A Christmas album was also released in 1966 with the Los Panchos (former Trio Los Panchos) entitled Navidad Means Christmas. One of her Spanish releases La Gorme was nominated for the Grammy in 1976.

Later life and career

Steve and Eydie were inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a duo in 1995. Gorme also received an award from the Society of of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award later that same year.

In 2002, she started to launch the “One More for the Road” tour. In 2009 she retired completely from show business while Lawrence embarked on tours as a solo artist. She died on August 10, 2013 after a brief illness. She was 84 years old.

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