Eydie Gormé (also spelled as Eydie Gorme; born August 16, 1931) is an American singer and chanteuse, specializing, with her husband, Steve Lawrence, in traditional pop music, in the form of ballads and breezy swing. She has earned numerous awards, including the Grammy and the Emmy. The couple are still active professionally (as of 2009).
Gormé was born as Edith Gormezano in The Bronx, New York, the daughter of Fortuna and Nissim (or Nessim) Gormezano, 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 (film director Stanley Kubrick attended the school at the same time), and worked for the United Nations as an interpreter, using her fluency in the Ladino and Castellano languages.
She made her recording debut in 1950 with the Tommy Tucker Orchestra and Don Brown. She made a second recording which featured Dick Noel. MGM issued these two recordings on 78rpm vinyl.
She first worked in Tex Beneke‘s band. In 1951 she made several radio recordings that have been re-issued on vinyl LP and recently on CD, in 1952 Gormé went on to record solo and her first recordings were issued on the Coral label. Gormé 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.
Gormé and Steve Lawrence were married in Las Vegas on December 29, 1957. 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 1995 Gormé and Lawrence were honored for their lifetime contribution to music by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
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. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.In the UK “Yes my Darling Daughter” reached No. 10. She won a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967, for her version of “If He Walked Into My Life”, from the musical Mame. The latter made No. 5 on the Billboard magazine Easy Listening chart in 1966, despite failing to make the Billboard Hot 100. Indeed, most of Gormé’s singles chart success from 1963 onward was on the Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary side, where she charted 27 singles (both solo and with her husband) from 1963 to 1979 (of which “If He Walked Into My Life” was the most successful). As a soloist, her other biggest hits during that period included “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?” from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (No. 17 Easy Listening, 1966) and “Tonight I’ll Say a Prayer” (No. 45 Pop and No. 8 Easy Listening, 1969, also her last Hot 100 entry as a solo artist).
She gained crossover success in the Latin music market 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 Gormé and emerged as one of her signature tunes. The disc was later reissued as “Canta en Español”. In 1965, a sequel appeared called More Amor (later reissued as “Cuatro Vidas”). Her last album with Los Panchos was a 1966 Christmas collection, “Navidad Means Christmas”, later reissued as “Blanca Navidad”. Gormé also recorded other Spanish albums in her career, including the Grammy-nominated La Gormé (1976), a contemporary outing. The 1977 release Muy Amigos/Close Friends, a duet collection with Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera, also received a Grammy nomination.
Remember Eydie Singing This Tune? “Blame It On The Bossa Nova”
As a duo with her husband, the act was billed as Steve and Eydie. In 1960, Steve and Eydie were awarded the Grammy Award 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”, was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King and reached No. 28 in 1963. Under the pseudonym Parker and Penny, Gormé and Lawrence achieved their last chart single (No. 46 on the Adult Contemporary chart) with a cover of the 1979 Eurovision song contest winner, “Hallelujah”. The song most closely identified with the duo, the Steve Allen composition “This Could Be the Start of Something”, never reached the charts, though it remains a staple in their live act.
Here’s Steve & Eydie Singing A Medley Of Gershwin Tunes
Eydie Gormé and Steve Lawrence have appeared on TV, including The Carol Burnett Show and The Nanny. She and Lawrence appeared together on Broadway in the short-lived musical, Golden Rainbow. 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 couple announced their plans to cut back on their touring, launching a “One More For The Road” tour in 2002. In 2006, Gormé became a blogger, posting occasional messages on her official website.
In November 2009 Steve Lawrence embarked on a musical tour without Eydie, who stayed home for health reasons.