"Concert and recording superstar Eydie Gormé, 84, who — performing everything from ballads to bossa nova with singing partner and husband Steve Lawrence — made an indelible impression on American audiences during the swingin’ ’60s, died Saturday afternoon [Aug. 10, 2013] in Las Vegas, her spokesman, Howard Bragman, tells People," the magazine reports on its website.
The People obituary continues: " ‘Legendary singer and performer Eydie Gormé passed away peacefully at Sunrise Hospital following a brief illness,’ Bragman said in a statement. ‘She was surrounded by her husband, son and other loved ones at the time of her death.’" Bragman did not give any details about Gormé’s illness.
People continues: "In his own statement, Steve Lawrence, 78, said: ‘Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for more than 55 years. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing.’ He added, ‘While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the greatest pop vocalists of all time.’ "
Says the Associated Press obituary: "Gormé was a successful band singer and nightclub entertainer when she was invited to join the cast of Steve Allen’s local New York television show in 1953. She sang solos and also did duets and comedy skits with Lawrence, a rising young singer who had joined the show a year earlier. When the program became NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ in 1954, the young couple went with it. They married in Las Vegas in 1957 and later performed for audiences there."
The AP story adds: "Although usually recognized for her musical partnership with Lawrence, Gormé broke through on her own with the Grammy-nominated "Blame It on the Bossa Nova." The bouncy tune about a dance craze of the time was written by the Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Her husband had had an equally huge solo hit in 1962 with "Go Away Little Girl," written by the songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
"Gormé would score another solo hit in 1964, but this time for a Spanish-language recording.
"Gormé, who was born in New York City to Sephardic Jewish parents, grew up speaking both English and Spanish. When she and her husband were at the height of their career as a team in 1964, Columbia Records President Goddard Lieberson suggested she put that Spanish to use in the recording studio.
"The result was ‘Amor,’ recorded with the Mexican combo Trio Los Panchos."
The People obituary notes: "A favorite on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show,’ in showrooms in the Catskills and in Las Vegas — where they later took up permanent residence — as well as on stages, including Carnegie Hall, Steve and Eydie, as they were known, sang popular hits of the day, including Broadway standards, and exchanged pointed personal banter — all of which their audiences ate up."
Steve and Eydie also starred on Broadway in the musical "Golden Rainbow," which opened in February 1968 and played for about a year.
The People story adds: "Gormé and Lawrence had two sons: David, a composer, and Michael, who died in 1986, at 23, from an undiagnosed heart condition. Steve and David Lawrence survive Gormé, as does a granddaughter and generations of fans. ‘Services are pending and will be private,’ said spokesman Bragman."
Be sure you check out the must-see video clip below that we found on YouTube. It’s an incredible 4-minute tracking shot from "The Steve Allen Show" in 1958. It features Allen, Ann Sothern, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gormé, Dinah Shore and a special mystery guest singing "This Could Be the Start of Something Big".