Gore as a Batman guest star, 1967
Lesley Sue Goldstein
May 2, 1946
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, US
|Died||February 16, 2015 68) (aged|
Manhattan, New York City, US
|Cause of death||Lung cancer|
|Education||Sarah Lawrence College|
Lesley Sue Goldstein (May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015), known professionally as Lesley Gore, was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. At the age of 16 (in 1963) she recorded the pop hit "It's My Party", and followed it up with other hits including "Judy's Turn to Cry", "She's a Fool", "You Don't Own Me", "Maybe I Know" and "California Nights".
Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother, Michael Gore, for the 1980 film Fame , for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life , on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014.
She was born Lesley Sue Goldsteinin Brooklyn, New York City, into a Jewish family, the daughter of Leo Goldstein and Ronny Gore. Her father was the owner of Peter Pan, a children's swimwear and underwear manufacturer, and later became a leading brand licensing agent in the apparel industry. She was raised in Tenafly, New Jersey, and attended the Dwight School for Girls in nearby Englewood.
When she recorded her version of "It's My Party" with Quincy Jones in 1963, she was a junior in high school. It became a number-one, nationwide hit. Gore's version sold over one million copies and was certified as a gold record.It also marked the beginning of a time when fans would show up on her front lawn.
"It's My Party" was followed by many other hits for Gore, including the sequel, "Judy's Turn to Cry" (US No. 5); "She's a Fool" (US No. 5); the feminist-themed million-selling "You Don't Own Me",which held at No. 2 for three weeks behind the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "That's the Way Boys Are" (US No. 12); "Maybe I Know" (US No. 14/UK No. 20); "Look of Love" (US No. 27); and the Grammy-nominated "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" (US No. 13), from the 1965 movie, Ski Party. In 1965 she appeared in the beach party film The Girls on the Beach in which she performed three songs: "Leave Me Alone", "It's Gotta Be You", and "I Don't Want to Be a Loser".
Gore was given first shot at recording "A Groovy Kind of Love" by songwriters Carole Bayer and Toni Wine with a melody borrowed from a sonatina by Muzio Clementi,but Shelby Singleton, a producer for Mercury subsidiary Smash Records, refused to let Gore record a song with the word "groovy" in its lyrics. The Mindbenders went on to record it, and it reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts.
Gore recorded composer Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows", on May 21, 1963, while "It's My Party" was climbing the charts.Her record producer from 1963 to 1965 was Quincy Jones. Jones' dentist was Marvin Hamlisch's uncle, and Hamlisch asked his uncle to convey several songs to Jones. "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" was released on the LP Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts , but did not surface as a single until June 1965. Hamlisch composed three other Gore associated songs: "California Nights", "That's the Way the Ball Bounces" and "One by One". "That's the Way the Ball Bounces" was recorded September 21, 1963, at A&R Studios in New York; it was released as the B-side of "That's the Way Boys Are" and appeared on the LP Boys Boys Boys. "One by One" was an unreleased track recorded on July 31, 1969, in New York and produced by Paul Leka; it first appeared on the Bear Family five-CD anthology of Gore's Mercury work entitled It's My Party (1994).
Gore was one of the featured performers in the T.A.M.I. Show concert film, which was recorded and released in 1964 by American International Pictures, and placed in the National Film Registry in 2006. Gore had one of the longest sets in the film, performing six songs including "It's My Party", "You Don't Own Me", and "Judy's Turn to Cry".
Gore performed on two consecutive episodes of the Batman television series (January 19 and 25, 1967), in which she guest-starred as Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions.In the January 19 episode "That Darn Catwoman", she lip-synched to the Bob Crewe-produced "California Nights", and in the January 25 episode "Scat! Darn Catwoman" she lip-synched to "Maybe Now". "California Nights", which Gore recorded for her 1967 album of the same name, returned her to the upper reaches of the Hot 100. The single peaked at No.16 in March 1967 (14 weeks on the chart). It was her first top 40 hit since "My Town, My Guy and Me" in late 1965 and her first top 20 since "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows". Gore also performed the single "We Know We're in Love" ten months earlier on the final episode of The Donna Reed Show , which aired on March 19, 1966.
After high school, while continuing to make appearances as a singer, Gore attended Sarah Lawrence College, studying British and American English literature. At college folk music was popularly lauded as 'chic', whereas pop music was often derided as 'uncool.'"Had I been tall with blonde hair, had I been Mary Travers, I would have gotten along fine." She graduated in 1968.
Gore signed a contract with Mercury Records for five years, which carried her obligations to the company through the spring of 1968. Her last big hit had been twelve months prior to this time, but Mercury still saw promise in her as an artist, and believed that one of her singles would make it, like they had in the past. They offered a one-year extension on the initial contract, and Gore was formally contracted to Mercury for a sixth year. During this time, "He Gives Me Love (La La La)", a single release based on a Eurovision Song Contest winner, rose to #96 on the Music Business charts, while bubbling under the hot 100 in Billboard. Mercury took out a full page ad in the trades to support the single, but its airplay was spotty, becoming a hit in only a few major markets.She was then paired with the successful soul producers Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell for two singles that took her into the "soul" genre: "I'll Be Standing By" and "Take Good Care (Of My Heart)." These songs did not fit the image Mercury had crafted for her, and the singles were not played. Her contract with Mercury ended after the release of "98.6/Lazy Day" and "Wedding Bell Blues" failed to make headway on the charts.
In 1970, she signed with Crewe Records and was reunited with producer Bob Crewe, who had produced her album California Nights. None of the Crewe releases charted.
Gore composed songs for the soundtrack of the 1980 film Fame , for which she received an Academy Award nomination for "Out Here on My Own", written with her brother Michael.Michael won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme song of the same film. Gore played concerts and appeared on television throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Gore co-wrote a song, "My Secret Love", for the 1996 film Grace of My Heart . The film includes a subplot about a young singer named Kelly Porter, who is based in part on Gore and is played by Bridget Fonda. The character, who is a closeted lesbian, performs "My Secret Love" in the film.
In 2005, Gore recorded Ever Since (her first album of new material since Love Me By Name in 1976), with producer/songwriter Blake Morgan, with the label Engine Company Records. The album received favorable reviews from The New York Times , Rolling Stone , Billboard Magazine and other national press.The album also included a revised version of "You Don't Own Me", about which the New York Daily News wrote: "In Lesley Gore's new version of 'You Don't Own Me'—cut more than 40 years after its initial recording—she lends a pop classic new life." Gore commented: "Without the loud backing track, I could wring more meaning from the lyric". And: "It's a song that takes on new meaning every time you sing it."
Beginning in 2004, Gore hosted the PBS television series In the Life , which focused on LGBT issues.In a 2005 interview with After Ellen , she stated she was a lesbian and had been in a relationship with luxury jewelry designer Lois Sasson since 1982. She had known since she was 20 and stated that although the music business was "totally homophobic," she never felt she had to pretend she was straight. "I just kind of lived my life naturally and did what I wanted to do," she said. "I didn't avoid anything, I didn't put it in anybody's face."
Gore had been working on a memoir and a Broadway show based on her lifewhen she died of lung cancer on February 16, 2015, at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, New York City; she was 68 years old. At the time of her death, Gore and her partner, Lois Sasson, had been together for 33 years.
Her New York Times obituary stated that with her songs, all recorded before she was 18, such as "the indelibly defiant" 1964 hit "You Don't Own Me," Lesley Gore made herself "the voice of teenage girls aggrieved by fickle boyfriends, moving quickly from tearful self-pity to fierce self-assertion."
Her funeral was held on February 19, 2015, in Manhattan.
In 1964, "It's My Party" was nominated for a Grammy Award for rock and roll recording.
National Public Radio (NPR) named Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts, Gore's second album, as forebearer of one of the top 150 albums recorded by women. The album missed the official list (1964–present) because it was released in 1963. "She is a forebear for her assertion of feminine power in pop, and her validation of a female perspective."
|1964||The T.A.M.I Show||Herself||Documentary|
|1965||The Girls on the Beach||Herself||Sings "Leave Me Alone" and "It's Gotta Be You"|
|1965||Ski Party||Herself||Sings Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows"|
|1968||The Pied Piper of Astroworld||Bo Peep||Television film|
|1977||Good Old Days||Herself||Television film|
|1985||Good Time Rock 'n' Roll||Herself||Television documentary|
|1988||Legendary Ladies of Rock & Roll||Herself||Television special|
|1990||Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones||Herself||Documentary|
|1991||Golden Age of Rock 'n' Roll||Herself||Television documentary|
|1992||In the Life||Herself||Television documentary|
|1998||Quincy Jones... The First 50 Years||Herself||Television documentary|
|2000||Hollywood Rocks the Movies: The Early Years (1955-1970||Herself||Television documentary|
|2003||Rock at Fifty||Herself||Television documentary|
|2008||An Evening with Quincy Jones||Herself||Television documentary|
|2008||Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio||Herself||Documentary|
|1963||Club 1270||Herself||A teen-oriented dance-party television show on WXYZ-TV in Detroit ("1270" was a reference to the frequency of WXYZ-AM radio, a leading Top 40 station in the Detroit area at the time, now WXYT).|
|1963||The Keefe Brasselle Show||Herself|
|1963||American Bandstand||Herself||Season 6, Episode 194, AB-1528: Lesley Gore - aired 5/30/63.|
|Thank Your Lucky Stars||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes|
|The Ed Sullivan Show||Herself||Recurring guest; 4 episodes: Season 16, Episode 3 – Other guests: Tony Bennett, Frank Gorshin, Bob & Ray – aired 10/13/63; Season 17, Episode 18 – Other guests: Burt Lancaster, Mickey Rooney, Miriam Makeba, Shelley Berman – aired 1/31/65; Season 21, Episode 32 – Other guests: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gwen Verdon; Season 22, Episode 30 – Other guests: Richie Havens, Moms Mabley, Stiller & Meara – aired 4/26/70.|
|New American Bandstand 1965||Herself||Recurring guest; 3 episodes: Season 10, Episode 31 - Other guest: The Music Machine - aired 4/8/67; Season 10, Episode 4 - Other guest: ? (Question Mark) and the Mysterians - aired 10/1/66; Season 19, Episode 4 - aired 9/27/75.|
|1964||The Beat Room||Herself|
|1964||The Lloyd Thaxton Show||Herself||Season 4, Episode 10 – aired September 28, 1964|
|1965||Fanfare||Herself||Season 1, Episode 7 – other guests: Tom Jones, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass - aired July 31, 1965|
|1965||Shindig!||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes: Season 1, Episode 30 - Show 30 - April 7, 1965 - other guests: Tina Turner, Marvin Gaye, Larry Hovis, Martha and the Vandellas, Righteous Brothers|
|1965||Hollywood A Go-Go||Herself|
|Hullabaloo||Herself||Recurring guest; 3 episodes: Season 1, Episode 8 – Show #8 - Host: Trini Lopez – aired 3/2/65; Season 2, Episode 7 – Show#25 – Host: Peter Noone (of Herman's Hermits) – aired 11/1/65; Season 2, Episode 16 – Show #34 – Host: Roger Smith – aired 1/3/66; Season 2, Episode 30 – Show #48 - Host: Paul Anka – aired 4/11/66.|
|Merv Griffin Show||Herself||Recurring guest: 8 episodes: Season 2, Episode 76 – aired 8/23/65; Season 5, Episode 104 – aired 1/25/68; Season 5, Episode 157 – aired 4/9/68; Season 6, Episode 96 – aired 1/13/69; Season 6, Episode 154 – aired 4/3/69; Season 7, Episode 162 – aired 4/2/70; Season 7, Episode 239 – aired 7/16/70; Season 7, Episode 243 – aired 7/22/70.|
|The Mike Douglas Show||Herself||Recurring guest; 13 episodes: The Mike Douglas Show Herself |
Season 4: Episode 237 - aired 8/4/65, Season 5: Episode 47 - aired 11/9/65, Season 5, Episode 216 – aired 7/11/66, Season 6: Episode 16 - aired 9/26/66, Season 6: Episode 92 - aired 1/10/67, Season 6: Episode 176 - aired 5/8/67, Season 7: Episode 106 - aired 1/29/68, Season 7: Episode 201 - aired 6/10/68, Season 8: Episode 42 - aired 11/5/68, Season 8: Episode 150 - aired 4/4/69, Season 9: Episode 25 - - aired 10/3/69, Season 9: Episode 51 - aired 11/10/69, Season 9: Episode 136 - aired 3/9/70, Season 10: Episode 118 - aired 2/17/71
|1965||Shivaree||Herself||Season 2, Episode 16 – Show #48 0 aired 12/25/658.|
|1966||The Andy Williams Show||Herself||Season 5, Episode 10 – aired November 13, 1966.|
|1966||The Donna Reed Show||Herself||Episode 27: "By-Line--Jeff Stone" - aired 2/19/66|
|1966||Where the Action Is||Herself||Season 6, Episode 237 – aired 9/10/66, other guests: The Four Tops|
|1967||The Match Game||Herself||Season 6, Episode 6 - Lesley Gore & Soupy Sales – aired 10/9/67|
|1967||Batman||Pussycat||Recurring role; 2 episodes: Season 2 Episodes 40 – That Darn Catwoman – aired 1/19/67; Season 2, Episode 41 – Scat! Darn Catwoman – aired 1/25/67.|
|1967||Dream Girl of '67||Herself||Recurring role; 5 episodes|
|1967||Malibu U||Herself||Season 1, Episode 4 – aired 8/11/67 – Other guests include The Turtles and Lou Rawls|
|1967||Binnen en Buiten||Herself|
|The Joey Bishop Show||Herself||Recurring guest; 3 episodes: Season 1, Episode 78 – aired 8/2/67; Season 2, Episode 122 – aired 3/8/68; Season 2, Episode 128 – aired 3/18/68.|
|1968||Happening '68||Herself||Rock music series on the ABC network. It aired Saturday afternoons following American Bandstand. Happening aired Mon through Fri from 7/15/68-10/25/68.|
|Della||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes: Season 1, Episode 14 – aired 6/26/69; Season 1, Episode 154 – aired 1/13/70.|
|1970||Playboy After Dark||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes - Season 2, Episode 11 – Other guests: Don Adams, Fleetwood Mac, Arte Johnson – aired 1/8/70.|
|1970||The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson||Herself||Season 8, Episode 41 700701 – aired 7/1/70.|
|The Rolf Harris Show||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes|
|1970||The David Frost Show||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes - Season 2, Episode 104 – aired January 22, 1970; Season 3, Episode 59 – aired December 17, 1970.|
|1970||The Dick Cavett Show||Herself||Season 5, Episode 55 – aired January 22, 1970.|
|1971||The Virginia Graham Show||Herself|
|1975–76||The Midnight Special||Herself||Guest host – Season 5, Episode 2 – aired 9/24/76. Guest on 2 episodes: Season 3, Episode 34 – Host: Chubby Checker; Season 4, Episode 21 – Host: David Brenner, Other guest: Fleetwood Mac|
|1976||Dinah!||Herself||Season 2, Episode 167 – aired May 24, 1976|
|1977||Sha Na Na||Herself|
|1977||$20,000 Pyramid||Herself||$20,000 Pyramid - Season 6, Episode 6 – Soupy Sales & 5 female stars – aired 10/10/77|
|1982–83||All My Children||June Gordan||A music publicist for 6 episodes; performed the song "Easy to Say, Hard to Do" which was written for the show|
|1998||Murphy Brown||Herself||Episode: Season 10 Episode 16: "Opus One" Frank recreates American Bandstand for Murphy's 50th birthday; guests Dick Clark; Fabian; Lesley Gore; Chubby Checker; Sally Field.|
|1998||A Capitol Fourth||Herself||Lesley performed in concert for the annual "A Capitol Fourth" July 4 celebration in Washington. The show was nationally televised by PBS on the evening of July 4, 1998. (Frank Dixon original source on this).|
|2001||Walk on By: The Story of Popular Song||Herself||Episode: "Producer Pop"|
|2001||Biography||Herself||Episode: "Lesley Gore: 'It's Her Party'"|
|2002||Hollywood Squares||Herself||Recurring guest; 2 episodes|
|2005||Party Planner with David Tutera||Herself||Episode: "Broadway Legend's Soiree"|
|2006||In the Life||Herself||Season 1, Episode 116 on Logo Borders – aired 1/1/06|
|2007||TV Land Confidential||Herself||Episode: "Music"|
|Unknown||What's My Line?||Herself|
|Unknown||Days of Our Lives||Unknown|