Steve Lawrence Biography
Sun Sign: Cancer
Also Known As: Sidney Liebowitz
Born in: New York City, New York
Famous as: Singer
Spouse/Ex-: Eydie Gormé (m. 19570)
father: Max Liebowitz
mother: Anna Liebowitz
City: New York City
U.S. State: New Yorkers
Born Sidney Liebowitz, Steve Lawrence is an American singer-actor with a successful singing career as a solo artist and as part of a duo with his wife, Eydie Gormé. Born into a Jewish family of Brooklyn, New York, he began singing and learning music at a tender age. He recorded his initial singles with ‘King Records’ at 16. His music was influenced by that of Sinatra’s, but he did not imitate and had a mature voice and style. With his wide singing range, he earned a place on ‘Tonight Starring Steve Allen,’ where he sang with Eydie Gormé. Together, they released a number of albums, such as ‘Steve & Eydie at the Movies,’ ‘Together on Broadway,’ and ‘We Got Us.’ He is also known for his stage and nightclub shows. Besides singing, he also appeared in a number of movies and TV series. His ‘Broadway’ musical performances have won him many awards and nominations. Lawrence was married to singer Eydie Gormé till her death (2013). The couple had two sons.
- Lawrence was born on July 8, 1935, in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, to Helen and Max Liebowitz. His father was a house painter and a cantor. He was born into a Jewish family, and his talent was first discovered when he sang in a synagogue during childhood.
- He studied at the ‘Thomas Jefferson High School’ and was part of a glee club. During adolescence, he stopped singing for a few years due to his changing voice and learnt the piano and the saxophone instead. He changed his name to “Steve Lawrence” when a few Manhattan-based music companies approached him.
- In 1951, he won the first prize on ‘Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.’ At 16, he was signed by ‘King Records’ (April 1952), through which he released eight singles in the next 2 years. His single ‘Poincianna’ was featured on major charts in June 1952. His debut album, ‘Steve Lawrence,’ was released in 1953. In July 1953, he began appearing on the local TV talk show ‘Tonight,’ which was aired on the national channel ‘NBC’ from 1954. The show featured him singing with Eydie Gormé.
- His next two LPs, ‘About That Girl’ (1955) and ‘Songs by Steve Lawrence’ (1956), were released through ‘Coral Records.’ His cover versions of ‘The Banana Boat Song’ (1956) and ‘Party Doll’ (1957) were featured on major charts. His fourth album, ‘Here’s Steve Lawrence’ (June 1958), reached the “Top 20.” As a replacement of Steve Allen, Eydie and he presented the ‘Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gormé Show’ on ‘NBC’ in July–August 1958.
- Lawrence joined the army in late 1958, when he was 23, and served as a vocalist in the ‘US Army Band and Orchestra’ in Fort Myers, Virginia, for 2 years. While in the army, his fifth LP, ‘All about Love,’ was released through ‘Coral.’ His 1959 hit singles ‘Pretty Blue Eyes’ and ‘Footsteps’ and his sixth LP, ‘Swing Softly with Me’ (1960), were produced through ‘ABC-Paramount Records.’
- After completing his stint with the army, Steve and Eydie formed a duo named after them and performed at nightclubs. Their first duet LP was ‘We Got Us’ (‘ABC-Paramount’), and the title track earned them the 1960 ‘Grammy’ for the ‘Best Performance by a Vocal Group.’
- Lawrence’s solo ‘Portrait of My Love’ (‘United Artists Records’) became his fourth “Top 10,” hit, and he earned a nomination for the ‘Grammy’ for the ‘Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.’ The LP ‘Portrait of My Love’ was featured on various charts.
- Moving to ‘Columbia Records’ in 1962, he released the single ‘Go Away Little Girl,’ which became a major success and sold a million copies. It topped the charts in 1963. Around the same time, his LP ‘Winners!’ and the singles ‘Don’t Be Afraid, Little Darlin’ and ‘Poor Little Rich Girl’ were featured on the charts. ‘I Want to Stay Here,’ with Eydie, and his solo ‘Walking Proud’ reached the “Top 40.”
- Lawrence then starred in his first ‘Broadway’ musical, ‘What Makes Sammy Run?’ (February 1964), and won a ‘Tony Award’ nomination and a ‘Drama Critics’ Circle Award.’ The same year, his LP ‘Academy Award Losers’ was released, with two singles reaching the “Hot 100.”
- In December 1964, Lawrence appeared in the TV movie ‘Carol for Another Christmas’ and released their duo album ‘That Holiday Feeling.’ On September 13, 1965, he launched ‘The Steve Lawrence Show’ for ‘CBS.’ It ran till December 1965. For the next 2 years, he performed with his wife on TV and at live events.
- He worked in the ‘Broadway’ musical ‘Golden Rainbow,’ which began on February 4, 1968, and ran for nearly one year (with 385 shows). It featured his song ‘I’ve Gotta Be Me.’ In 1969, Lawrence recorded two LPs with ‘RCA-Victor Records,’ namely, ‘What it Was, Was Love’ and ‘Real, True Lovin.’ His last “Hot 100” single was ‘We Can Make it Together’ (1972).
- In 1972, Lawrence appeared as ‘Gary McBride,’ opposite Jacqueline Bisset, in the film ‘Stand Up and Be Counted.’
- In August 1978, the special ‘Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin’ was aired. It won them seven ‘Emmy Awards.’ After a long gap, Lawrence released a solo LP named ‘Take It on Home’ in 1981. Later, he focused more on his acting career and appeared in ‘The Blues Brothers’ (1980). He also appeared in its sequel, ‘Blues Brothers 2000’ (1998), the comedy ‘The Lonely Guy’ (1984), and the thriller ‘The Yards’ (2000). Lawrence also worked in a few episodes of a number of TV series.
- In 1989, Lawrence and his wife started their music label, ‘GL Music,’ and released the album ‘Alone Together.’ Eydie and he were openers for Sinatra’s ‘Diamond Jubilee Tour’ (1990–1991). Lawrence recorded ‘Steve Lawrence Sings Sinatra: A Musical Tribute to the Man and His Music’ (2003).
- During 2003–2004, he performed live with their tour ‘One More for the Road.’ In 2005, a collection of their hits was released as ‘All My Love Belongs to You.’ In 2010, Lawrence and Eydie celebrated the 50th anniversary of them singing as a popular duo.
- He produced the 1984 TV series ‘Liner Notes.’
- Lawrence married Eydie Gormé on December 29, 1957, in Las Vegas. They had two sons, David Nessim and Michael Robert. In 1986, their younger son, Michael, died tragically at 23, due to cardiac complications. Following this, the duo did not perform for a year.
- His wife, Eydie, died on August 10, 2013.
|1979||Outstanding Comedy-Variety or Music Program||Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin (1978)|
|1961||Best Performance by a Vocal Group (2 To 6)||Winner|
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