GORME Eydie 1957

Eydie Gormé was born Edith Gormezano, the youngest of three children in the New York City borough of the Bronx on August 16, 1931. Spanish and English were spoken in her home, and she grew up fluent in both languages. She showed an interest in singing early and made her radio debut at the age of three. By the time she was in high-school, she was singing with a band led by a friend named Ken Greengrass. After graduating from high-school, she got a job as a Spanish interpreter with the Theatrical Supply Export Company and attended the City College of New York at night. Soon, however, she determined to try to become a professional singer, and Greengrass became her manager. In 1950, she was hired by bandleader Tommy Tucker and toured with his group for two months. She then spent a year with Tex Beneke's band before going solo. In 1952, she was signed to Coral Records, which released a series of singles, beginning with "That Night of Heaven." In September 1953, she became a regular on the late-night talk show "Tonight!", hosted by Steve Allen. Already on the show was singer Steve Lawrence. In 1954, the program began broadcasting nationally on NBC. Around the same time, Lawrence and Gormé released their first single as a duo, "Make Yourself Comfortable" & "I've Gotta Crow". Gormé made her first appearance at the prestigious Copacabana club in New York in February 1956. The year before, she had switched from Coral Records to ABC-Paramount, and her second release for the new company, "Too Close for Comfort" (from the Broadway musical Mr. Wonderful), marked her chart debut in April 1956 and became a Top 40 hit. Its follow-up, "Mama, Teach Me to Dance," also peaked in the Top 40. In 1957, she had three more chart singles, the most successful of them being the Top 40 hit "Love Me Forever", and she placed two LPs in the Top 20 "Eydie Gormé" and "Eydie Swings the Blues".

In December 1957, Gormé married Lawrence. Although she continued to record and do club dates, she was somewhat less active in the late 1950s as she and Lawrence started a family and he fulfilled his military commitment. They relaunched their career in 1960 with a series of joint club engagements and their first full-fledged duo album, "We Got Us".
Late in 1960, Gormé switched label affiliations to United Artists Records, but she never scored any hits with the company, and by 1962 she had moved to Columbia Records. Like all traditional pop singers, Gormé was thrown into the shade by the British Invasion of 1964. She did manage to get some attention, however, by teaming up with the Trio Los Panchos and recording a Spanish-language album, Amor. She and the trio followed with More Amor in 1965.
In 1966, her Don't Go to Strangers LP became a Top 40 hit and her Spanish-language holiday collection Navidad Means Christmas reached the Top Ten of the Christmas chart.
Gormé continued to record and to chart in 1967, but with diminishing results and, by the end of the year Columbia had issued Eydie Gormé's Greatest Hits, a sign that the label felt her biggest success was behind her.
Meanwhile, she and Lawrence had ambitious plans. They had arranged to co-star in a Broadway musical, Golden Rainbow. In anticipation of the show's opening, the Columbia subsidiary released Gormé's recording of "How Could I Be So Wrong," one of her songs from the show, and it reached the Easy Listening charts in December 1967. Golden Rainbow opened on February 1968, and was a success. Meanwhile, Gormé and Lawrence continued to record for Columbia and Calendar, but during 1968, they moved operations to RCA Victor Records. The new label initially scored with their duo LPs What It Was, Was Love (a concept album composed by Gordon Jenkins), and Real True Lovin' in 1969, but in the fall Gormé's solo single "Tonight I'll Say a Prayer" got into the charts, followed by an LP of the same name released in February 1970.

By the early 1970s, traditional pop singers were having trouble maintaining their berths with the major labels. Gormé and Lawrence continued to record for RCA Victor into 1971, scoring several Easy Listening chart entries, then switched to MGM Records, which tried to make a last stand for traditional pop with performers like them and Tony Bennett. There was a Gormé solo album, It Was a Good Time, in 1971, and a duo album, The World of Steve & Eydie, in 1972, that produced a final pop singles chart entry, "We Can Make It Together," featuring the Osmonds.
After that, Gormé was no longer a factor in the pop charts. Fortunately, she and Lawrence had built up a steady following for club and television appearances. In 1975, they had a TV special, Our Love Is Here to Stay, that was their tribute to George Gershwin. It spawned an LP and won an Emmy Award.
Gormé, meanwhile, turned to the Latin market. She was nominated for a 1976 Grammy for Best Latin Recording for her album La Gormé on Gala Records, and again in 1977 for Muy Amigos Close Friends, an album she recorded with Danny Rivera. There were also occasional English-language recordings. In September 1976, she returned to the Easy Listening chart with her version of "What I Did for Love" from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line on United Artists Records. The success of the Gershwin program led to other composer tribute albums, and the 1978 special "Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin" won seven Emmys.
Gormé and Lawrence made only occasional ventures into recording in the late '70s and '80s. Recording as "Parker & Penny," they placed a single, "Hallelujah," in the Adult Contemporary chart in 1979. In 1989, they launched their own GL Music label with the duo album "Alone Together". But they did turn-away business in Las Vegas and such A-list venues as Carnegie Hall in New York and the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. In 1990-91, they appeared with Frank Sinatra on his "Diamond Jubilee" tour commemorating his 75th birthday, and they were on Sinatra's Duets II album in 1994. The duo got in on the lounge craze of the mid-'90s, recording their version of Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" for the 1997 Hollywood Records collection Lounge-A-Palooza. They continued to appear in Las Vegas into the new century, closing the Circus Maximus showroom of Caesar's Palace in September 2000 to conclude ten years of performances there. They did not perform again in Las Vegas until the spring of 2004, when they opened in the Wayne Newton Theater of the Stardust Hotel.


Orchestra directed by Don Costa (1925-1983) who was an American pop music arranger and record producer best known for his work with Frank Sinatra.
Costa was born Dominick P. Costa in Boston to an Italian American family. As a child, he took a keen interest in learning the guitar, and he became a member of the CBS Radio Orchestra by the time he was in his teens. In the late 1940s, Costa moved to New York City to further his career by becoming a session musician. He played guitar along with Bucky Pizzarelli on Vaughn Monroe's hit recording "Ghost Riders in the Sky." It was around this time that Costa started experimenting with combinations of instruments, producing musical arrangements, and peddling them to a few notable big bands.
It was this self-promotion that caused two young up and coming singers to notice his work. Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme invited Costa to write some vocal backgrounds for their future recordings. He agreed, and thus began a winning association that led to their joining a new record company being headed by Sam Clark as president: ABC-Paramount records. It was here that Costa accepted the position of head A&R man as well as chief arranger and producer. Many hits were to follow, not only with Lawrence and Gorme, but with Lloyd Price, George Hamilton IV, and Paul Anka, as well.


afroquarius said...

Eydie Gorme might not fully understood the jazz idiom(or the REAL blues for that matter) but she sure could belt it out!

metro9999 said...

Steve and Eydie were very careful with their money which, over the years, they invested in real estate. They bought all their albums back from the Record Companies and now control their own re-issues.
They are not slow in charging the maximum price for them either.