February 16, 2015

"Lesley Gore, who sang 'It's My Party' and 'You Don't Own Me,' died..."

"... of lung cancer at age 68 today in New York City."

More links and details here, including:
The manically happy "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" was used in an episode of The Simpsons, "Marge on the Lam" (season 5).
ADDED: Remember when Lesley Gore was Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions?



AND: Here's a 2011 post of mine about songs about crying:
[In the early 1960s, t]here was a brightness and a happiness to the songs that dominated the top 40. Even the songs about crying. The biggest song about crying in 1963 was "It's My Party." Lesley Gore is gloriously triumphant in her claim of the right to cry.
And here's a 2012 post about the song "You Don't Own Me" that got touched off by the use of the song in a pro-Obama ad:

27 comments:

Bobber Fleck said...

A beautiful voice...

She was a favorite singer of my youth, along with Judy Collins and Judith Dunham of the Seekers.

Rob said...

I thought it was Al Gore who sang "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me (Unless You're A Buddhist Priest)"

David said...

I met Leslie Gore when I was an "exchange" student at Sarah Lawrence in 1965 as an experiment in coeducation. She was a wealthy intelligent Jewish girl from the suburbs of New York, not a rarity at Sarah Lawrence. She participated in a few events and we had a couple of conversations. She was sweet and shy, not stuck up. Her fame and music were never discussed.

She was unique at Sarah Lawrence at the time as the only student with a personal bodyguard. Apparently there was a stalker who had made some ugly threats and gotten physically close to her. Even in those days, fame made it hard to lead a normal life.

sydney said...

Nice songs, except for that Batman one, but do Democrats and pro-choice women really think that 100% of women agree with them on abortion?

m stone said...

She will likely be remembered more for her advocacy of gay, lesbian, and reproductive rights than for her singer-songwriting skills.

YoungHegelian said...

She officially came out to the public when she hosted several episodes of the PBS series, "In The Life," which dealt with gay and lesbian issues.

Gah! What a place to announce one's predilections to the world! I remember watching a few episodes of "In the Life" & being amazed at how boringly tendentious it all was. When I mentioned the series to a friend who was very much into gay issues, he said "Doncha think that with all the gays in show business they'd be able to come up with something better than that!".

tim in vermont said...

She will likely be remembered more for her advocacy of gay, lesbian, and reproductive rights than for her singer-songwriting skills

Ha ha ha ha! Sure. The long march through the institutions continues apace comrade!

MadisonMan said...

A very recognizable voice. Great great songs too.

madAsHell said...

From her wiki page....

Gore recorded composer Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" on May 21, 1963, as "It's My Party" was bounding up the charts. Her record producer during 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.

madAsHell said...

Her brother Michael Gore is also a musician of some renown. The both took the Gore name after being born Goldstein.

Earnest Prole said...

“Discovered by Quincy Jones while singing at a hotel in Manhattan.” Google Lesley Gore TAMI Show to see her rip up “You Don’t Own Me.”

m stone said...

My comrade tim in vermont made my point.

Thank you.

EMD said...

One of my favorite covers of "You Don't Own Me" is sung by a man, Dr. Robert of the band The Blow Monkeys.

MadisonMan said...

It makes me laugh at the irony to see a group of people singing along to You Don't Own Me when they get to the line "Don't tell me what to say" -- and they all say it!

It's like the line in Life Of Brian when Graham Chapman yells out "You're all Individuals!" and they yell back "Yes, We're all Individuals!"

soundofmusicmobiledisco said...

Such a sad day, but she does live on in our memory's and through her music i still play Lesley Gore's song It's My Party at my DJ Agency gigs.

soundofmusicmobiledisco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rich B said...

Don't forget Klaus Nomi, who covered You Don't Own Me.

Popville said...

Damn, wasn't aware she had cancer. She continued to perform as recently as late last year. Damn.

My favorite Lesley Gore song is Maybe I Know, with typical Brill Building lyrics but simply awesome musically, written by Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Berry.

I always felt the Kelly Porter character in Allison Anders' incredible movie "Grace Of My Heart" was a head nod to Lesley. Turns out that's true. I checked Allison's FB feed when I read your post Ann (we're mutual hard-core Left Banke/Michael Brown fans - of Walk Away Renee); she wrote the following:

"So very sad to hear of Lesley Gore's passing. She was such an amazing singer and spoke to me so deeply and clearly at my core. I was so lucky to get to work with her on "grace of my heart" she co-wrote this beautiful song with Larry Klein. I felt I still owed her an amends, I only found out a few years ago that no one invited her to the premiere and it hurt her. My dear friend Lucinda Jenney who is in this scene felt she knew this character was a tribute. I hope so. GRACE OF MY HEART: My Secret Love-Miss Lily Banquette


Phil 3:14 said...

Re: Tim.

OTOH "Catch Scratch Fever" is just a footnote in Ted Nugent's bio.

The Godfather said...

I know nothing about her but her songs, but I liked them back in the '60's when I listened to pop.

I'm sure she was a good person, and may she rest in peace.

And I'm certain that God will forgive her for referring to women as "ladies".

Phil 3:14 said...

Re: You don't own me video.

surely someone has created a response video with ultrasound images of fetuses seemingly lip-synching the same song

Be said...

My dad had the biggest crush on Ms Gore. I remember him giving up all her records when I told him that she was a lesbian.

William said...

It's a terrific song. She cheapened it by making it agitprop for Obama. Perhaps a non-smoking PSA would have been more applicable to the issues she was facing,

Wilbur said...

One of my older sisters had the album from which her early hits came. I noticed it was what came to be later known as a concept album, that all of the songs followed a story line in chronological order.

It impressed me at age 11.

MisterBuddwing said...

My dad had the biggest crush on Ms Gore. I remember him giving up all her records when I told him that she was a lesbian.

Along with all of his Dusty Springfield recordings, I suppose.

E.R. Murray said...

@William, you are a fucking dick. I hope you die a miserable death and everyone dances on your grave. Seems applicable to the issues you face, what with your lack of empathy and respect for the dead.

Jackie Gonzalez said...

David is right. I watched her documentary and she did have a stalker her wanted her harm her but thankfully they caught the bastard and it was never spoke of again.