Childhood & Early Life
Eydie Gorme was born on August 16th 1928 in the Bronx, New York to parents who were Turkish-born Jews of Spanish descent. Her father, Nessim Garmezano, was an immigrant tailor who changed his name when he settled in the US. Her mother’s name was Fortune Gorme.
Eydie had two older siblings by the name of Corene and Robert. Her two siblings were trained in music, however, since they did not do much in the field, Eydie, was not given music training.
At the tender age of three, she debuted as a singer by participating in a children’s radio show being broadcast at a departmental store.
She went to William Howard Taft High School in The Bronx and graduated from there in 1946. While there, she prominently featured in school musicals. During weekends, she sang for a band led by her friend Ken Greengrass.
After high school, she joined the City College of New York to study foreign trade and economics. She studied at nights and during daytime worked as an interpreter and later manager for a theatrical supply export company.
During weekends though, she still continued to perform for the Greengrass band. After sometime, she quit her job to try her luck in singing. Her friend Ken Greengrass became her manager.
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Eydie Gorme started working as a vocalist in 1950 when Tommy Tucker hired her for his band’s road tour for a period of two months. She later sang for Tex Benecke’s and Ray Eberle orchestra.
Her first single ‘That Night of Heaven’ came out in 1952. During the period, she hosted her Spanish radio show, ‘Cita con Eydie’ which was aired in countries where Spanish was spoken.
In 1953, her big break came when she was selected to join the permanent cast of the ‘Tonight!’ show. Along with her future husband, Steve Lawrence, she performed sketches, sang and wrote for the show for the next four years.
The couple released their first song – ‘Make Yourself Comfortable/I've Gotta Crow’ together in the year 1954.
In February 1956, she debuted at New York’s Copacabana nightclub as a replacement at the eleventh hour and became such a hit that she returned with her own show. In the same year, her track ‘Too Close for Comfort’, became a hit.
This was followed by two other well appreciated tracks ‘Mama, Teach Me to Dance’ and ‘Love Me Forever’. The two songs made it to the list of top 40 singles. Meanwhile, her two albums ‘Eydie Gorme’ and ‘Eydie Swings the Blues’ managed to make it to the Top 20 album chart.
The beginning of 1957 was marked by her Broadway debut in the Jerry Lewis Stage Show. Later, the same year, she married Steve Lawrence.
A few months later, they appeared together in their own television show ‘Steve Allen Presents the Steve Lawrence–Eydie Gormé Show’. The show though lasted only for a short period of time.
A few more solo singles (You Need Hands) and albums (Eydie in Love) by Gormé gained a lot of popularity.
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Eydie Gormé then began her solo nightclub tour for the next two years as Lawrence went for his military service.
Upon his return, Eydie and Steve restarted their club appearances and released their first album, ‘We Got Us’, in 1960. The album was well received and won a Grammy Award.
The 1962 -1963 saw more of her singles and albums gaining success. The song ‘Yes My Darling Daughter’ reached the top ten songs list in the UK while the title track of her album ‘Blame It on the Bossa Nova’ became a trademark song and gained her international recognition. The Spanish version of the song became a smashing hit.
Her popularity with Spanish speaking audience increased when she collaborated with the trio ‘Los Panchos’ to release her Spanish album ‘Amor’ in 1964, ‘More Amor’ in 1965 and ‘Navidad Means Christmas’ in 1966. The song ‘Sabor a Mí’ from the first album gained a lot of popularity.
In 1966, she gave yet another solo hit number ‘If He Walked Into My Life’ which won her another Grammy Award.
In 1968, the couple featured together in the Broadway musical ‘Golden Rainbow’. One of the songs ‘How Could I Be So Wrong’ from the musical became a big success.
In 1969, the duo recorded their first musical ‘What It Was, Was Love’. The following year, she released another hit album ‘Tonight I'll Say a Prayer’.
With the rising popularity of rock music, things became difficult for the duo and they released their last hit single ‘We Can Make It Together’ in 1973.
In the 1970s, they created TV tributes for composers George Gershwin, ‘Our Love Is Here to Stay’, Cole Porter, ‘From This Moment On’ and Irving Berlin, ‘Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin’.
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In 1976 and 1977, she recorded and released other Spanish albums like ‘La Gormé’ and ‘Muy Amigos/Close Friends’.
In the 1980s, the couple continued with their stage performances in Los Angeles, Nevada and Las Vegas. Towards the end of the decade, they started the record label ‘GL Music’ and released an album ‘Alone Together’.
In the 1990s they accompanied Frank Sinatra on his year-long Diamond Jubilee Tour and sang with him for his album ‘Duets II’. They also released a cover version of "Black Hole Sun", a song by Soundgarden band.
In 2006, Eydie Gorme began blogging and eventually announced her retirement in 2009.
Family & Personal Life
Eydie Gorme wedded Steve Lawrence on December 29, 1957 in Las Vegas. The couple had two children - David and Michael. The former - David Nessim Lawrence - is an award-winning composer. The latter - Michael Robert Lawrence – died at the age of 23 due to an undiagnosed heart condition.
Their son’s death left them devastated and they stopped performing for some time. They eventually returned to their work, albeit at a slower pace.
Eydie Gorme expired on August 10, 2013, just a few days before her 85th birthday at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas.