RIP Eydie Gorme

Las Vegas Plastic Surgery

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Best known performing with her partner and husband Steve Lawrence, Steve and Eydie were a Las Vegas fixture for decades.

Gorme was born as Edith Garmezano in Bronx, NY in 1928. She is a cousin of singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka. She graduated high school and for a time worked for the United Nations as an interpreter as she was fluent in Ladino and Spanish. She made her recording debut in 1950 with the Tommy Tucker Orchestra and Don Brown.

She worked with big bands, and then released solo recordings.

Gorme caught both her big break, and her future, lifelong husband, when she and singer Steve Lawrence were booked to the original The Tonight Show, then hosted by Steve Allen. 

“Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years,” Lawrence said in a statement. “I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing. While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.”

Gorme and Lawrence were married in Las Vegas on December 29, 1957. They were first co-billed as a couple at the Sahara in 1961, and went on to become regulars at the Sands and Caesars Palace. They became famous on stage for their banter, which usually involved tart, yet affectionate, and sometimes bawdy, references to their married life, which remained a feature of their live act.

In their final decade of performing together, they made light of the dubious honor of being booked to close two classic Las Vegas showrooms: the Circus Maximus at Caesars Palace in 2000, and the Stardust in 2006. They said on more than one occasion that, “They have to get off the stage before the wrecking ball hits it.”

“There’s never been a team like the two of them,” said veteran conductor and arranger Vincent Falcone, who worked as the duo’s musical director in the 2000s. “They were unquestionably the greatest vocal team that ever existed.”

When Gorme would sing “Send in the Clowns” accompanied only by Falcone on piano, “she would put chills in me.”

Gorme had individual success with the Grammy-nominated “Blame it on the Bossa Nova.” The bouncy tune about a dance craze of the time, (1963). It sold over a million copies. She won a Grammy award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967 for her version of “If He Walked Into My Life”, from Mame. She gained crossover success in the Latin music arena through a series of albums she made in Spanish with the famed Trio Los Panchos. In 1964, the two acts joined forces for a collection of Spanish-language standards called Amor. “Sabor a Mí” became closely identified with Gorme and emerged as one of her signature tunes.

As a duo with her husband, the act was billed as Steve and Eydie. They garnered a Grammy for Best Performance by a Vocal Group for the album, “We Got Us”.

Their biggest hit single as a duo, “I Want to Stay Here”, reached #28 in 1963. The song most closely identified with the duo, “This Could Be the Start of Something”, never reached the charts, though it remained a staple in their live act.

Gorme and Lawrence appeared often on TV, including 13 appearances on The Carol Burnette Show. She and Lawrence appeared together on Broadway in the short-lived musical, Golden Rainbow. Gorme and Lawrence were honored for their lifetime contribution to music by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Gorme retired in November 2009. Lawrence embarked on a solo musical tour.

Gorme and Lawrence had two sons, David a composer, and Michael, who died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart condition in 1986, at the age of 23. Following their son’s death, the couple took a year off before touring again.

I had the pleasure of seeing her perform and also in social gatherings. She was always gracious, laughing, smiling. She was a very genuine, kind and caring lady. She will be sorely missed.

Jeffrey J. Roth, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgery

702-450-0777

www.jjrothmd.com

References:

https://www.steveandeydie.com/

Las Vegas Review Journal

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