Iconic Sixties pop singer Lesley Gore dies at 68
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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
2/16/2015 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Lesley Gore was a female pop singer of the early Sixties - with a marked difference. Her first hit record, "It's My Party" charted when she was all of 17 years of age. The song was a peek into how cruel teenage girls could be to each other. Her so-called friend Judy in that song got her comeuppance in "Judy's Turn to Cry," one of pop music's first response records. Gore has lost her battle with cancer at the age of 68.
Lesley Gore had four Top 5 singles in 1963, including the sunnier anthem "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" composed by Marvin Hamlisch.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gore had her doubts that her signature tune would be released. "When we left the studio, everyone was pleased, but even the president of the company, a wonderful father-like figure, Irving Green, said, 'Now, sweetheart, if this never gets released, I don't want you to be disappointed.'" Those fears were allayed when Gore heard "It's My Party" on her car radio - seven days after recording it.
Born in Brooklyn and residing in Tenafly, New Jersey, the former Lesley Sue Goldstein then staked her independence with "You Don't Own Me." Gore was not any man's property, a daring stance in those days.
Gore had four Top 5 singles in 1963, including the sunnier anthem "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" composed by Marvin Hamlisch. That joyous ditty was introduced to a new generation in the animated film "Cloudy, with Chance of Meatballs."
After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, Gore saw her star stall. She did a memorable acting turn as "Pussycat," who worked with Julie Newmar's Catwoman, on ABC's "Batman" series.
A 1976 comeback album from her sank without a trace. Lesley still kept her hands in the music biz by penning lyrics for brother Michael ("Fame") Gore.
"Lesley Gore's was the first voice I heard speak to my generation from a female perspective of anything more complex than loving that man or wishing she was married," media critic Tim Lucas wrote on his blog Video Watchblog. "She didn't write these songs - it was only later that she began to compose songs with her brother Michael - but as an artist, she somehow attracted songs that expressed her and her own outsiderly experience."
"Allison Anders' often moving film 'Grace of My Heart' (1996), a feature-length fictionalized distillation of 1960's pop history, featured an original song by Gore and a poignant character inspired by the closeted gay songstress that she was," Lucas notes.
Gore would live to see a popular resurgence in the 1990s and became a popular draw in clubs, at fairs, even in arenas.
Ending years of rumors, Gore came forth with her lesbianism in 2005. Besides her brother and mother, she is survived by her partner of 33 years, Lois Sasson.
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