Singer Eydie Gorme was a Jewish girl from the Bronx

Pop vocalist Eydie Gorme, whose career spanned five decades and was more famous for her duet performances with her husband Steve Lawrence, died in Las Vegas on Saturday, Aug. 10 at the age of 84.

Born Edith Gormezano on Aug. 16, 1928, in the Bronx, her father was a tailor from Sicily and her mother from Turkey, but both were Sephardic Jews and spoke Spanish, as well as English, at home. After graduation from high school, she worked as a translator at the United Nations, singing on weekends with several bands.

Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence on their wedding day  in Las Vegas in 1957.

Eydie Gorme and Steve Lawrence on their wedding day in Las Vegas in 1957.

Her big break was an audition for “The Steve Allen Show” in 1953.

She was hired to perform for two weeks but ended up staying for years, as the show evolved into the “Tonight” show with Allen as host. While on the show, she met another cast member – a cantor’s son from Brooklyn named Steve Lawrence.  The two were married in Las Vegas in 1957.

Early in her career, Gorme considered changing her name, but her mother protested, according to the Huffington Post. “It’s bad enough that you’re in show business. How will the neighbors know if you’re ever a success?” she told her. She did, however, change Edith to Eydie, and later shortened Gormezano to Gorme.

Gorme and Lawrence starred in the 1958 summer-replacement television series “The Steve Lawrence-Eydie Gorme Show,” and won a Grammy Award in 1960 and an Emmy Award in 1979. Among her solo singles, Gorme’s best-known hit was “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (1963 Grammy nominee), and “If He Walked into My Life” (1966 Grammy Award). She and Lawrence were also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“Eydie has been my partner onstage and in life for more than 55 years,” Mr. 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 is survived by Lawrence, her son David and a granddaughter. Her other son with Lawrence, Michael, died of heart failure in 1986 at age 23.


Leave Your Reply