Monday, May 19, 2008

Eydie Gorme: 1966

from a youtube user
Eydie Gormé giving a rousing performance of "I Wanna Be Around" on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1966.This is a very rare video for two reasons: First, because most footage of Johnny Carson's first ten years at the Tonight Show is not existing anymore. And secondly, because this is one of the first home video recordings ever.

from wikipedia
Alternative spelling Eydie Gormé (born Edith Gormezano; August 16, 1931) is an American singer credited heavily, along with husband Steve Lawrence, with helping to keep the classic Traditional pop music repertoire alive and well. She still continues to entertain and tour with husband Steve.
Throughout her long career she has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Grammy Award, and an Emmy Award. The couple's striking union of broad ballads and breezy swing has combined with the endurance of their marriage and their comic facility to make them American institutions---even though neither of the couple, as separate performers or together, has put a single into the American Top 40 since 1963.
Gormé was born Edith Gormezano in Bronx, New York, the daughter of Fortune and Nessim Gormezano, who was a tailor. Her parents were Sephardic Jewish immigrants, her father from Sicily and her mother from Turkey.She graduated from William Howard Taft high school in 1946 (legendary film director Stanley Kubrick attended the school at the same time), and worked for the United Nations as a translator, using her fluency in the Spanish language.
She made her recording debut in 1950 with Tommy Tucker Orchestra and Don Brown and a second recording which featured Dick Noel. MGM issued these two recordings on 78rpm vinyl.
She also hired out as a singer, working in the big bands of former Glenn Miller singer Tex Beneke In 1951 Eydie made several radio transmission recordings that have been issued on vinyl LP and recently on CD, in 1952 Eydie Gormé went on to record solo and her first recordings were issued on the Coral label.
She caught both her big break and her life partner when she and singer Steve Lawrence were booked to the original The Tonight Show, then hosted by Steve Allen. Andy Williams was also a singer on the Tonight Show during this period.
The couple were married in Las Vegas on December 29, 1957. They had two sons, one of whom predeceased them. They became famous on stage for their banter, which usually involved tart yet affectionate and sometimes bawdy references to their married life, which remains a feature of their stage style even now. (A typical exchange: Lawrence---"Baby, you're the only thing I've invested in that's doubled." Gormé---"Now you have to figure out how to make me split.")
Gormé enjoyed a few hit singles on her own, none selling bigger than 1963's "Blame it on the Bossa Nova", which was also her final foray into the Top 40 pop charts. Still, she won a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967, for her version of "If He Walked Into My Life", from the stage musical Mame. Like her husband, Gormé has appeared on numerous television shows over the years, including The Carol Burnett Show and The Nanny. She and Lawrence appeared together on Broadway in the unsuccessful musical Golden Rainbow, the gestation of which is covered in very unflattering detail in William Goldman's 1968 book The Season.
Gorme also gained unique crossover success in the Latin Music market through a series of albums she made in Spanish. One album being her bestselling album: Eydie Gorme, Canta en Español (Sings in Spanish) with a trio of musicians called Los Panchos. The second album is called Cuatro Vidas (Four Lives). The last album with Los Panchos is a Christmas collection titled Blanca Navidad.
As a duo with her husband, their show name was "Steve and Eydie". In 1960, Steve and Eydie were awarded the Grammy Award for Best Performance by a Vocal Group for their song "We Got Us." One of their best known duos was the 1979 Israeli song "Hallelujah," winner of the Eurovision song contest. They recorded it under the pseudonym Parker and Penny.
Since the 1970s, the couple has focused strictly on the American pop repertoire, recording several albums themed around individual American pop composers. As the 21st Century arrived, the normally indefatigable couple announced their plans to cut back on their touring, launching a "One More For The Road" tour in 2002.

1 comment:

R.Vaughan said...

This is fascinating. And note that,
in October,1966,Eydie and Steve
were guest hosts for "Tonight".

One of the guests was the late UFO
researcher Frank Edwards...Does
anybody have that? Amazing culture

Also,I was in the audience at the
TAV (Merv Griffin) Theater,on September 20,1977,just after Eydie
and Steve had gotten their "Star"
on the Walk of Fame (recording).

Only those lucky people in the
audience heard the additional one
minute of talk that was edited out
of the final broadcast: where Eydie
mentioned "When my parents came
to the United States via Ellis
Island (New York),the family name
was changed from 'Gormezano' to
'Gorme'." I had no idea she was
really Italian (like another great
pop singer,Joni James (nee Giovanna
Carmella Babbo).