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Lesley Gore

The most commercially successful solo singer to be identified with the girl group sound, Lesley Gore hit the number one spot with her very first release, "It's My Party," in 1963. Produced by Quincy Jones, who fattened the teenager's sound with double-tracked vocals and intricate backup vocals and horns, she reeled off a few more big hits in 1963 and 1964, including "Judy's Turn to Cry," "She's a Fool," "You Don't Own Me," "That's the Way Boys Are," and "Maybe I Know." She wasn't the most soulful girl group singer by a long shot, but she projected an archetype of female adolescent yearning. Her best songs survive as classics, particularly the irresistibly melodic "Maybe I Know" and "Look of Love" (both written by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry) and "You Don't Own Me," an anthem of independence with a feminist theme that was considerably advanced for early 1964.

So what was Quincy Jones doing producing a white suburban teenager who had never recorded before? A couple of demos she recorded with her vocal coach made their way to Mercury's president, who recommended her to Jones, the label's A&R head. For their first session, Gore and Jones picked "It's My Party" out of a pile of about 200 demos. The "It's My Party" single was rush-released when Jones found out that Phil Spector had plans to record the same song with the Crystals.

"It's My Party" and the weaker sequel, "Judy's Turn to Cry," have given Gore a somewhat unfair bratty image. Those are the hits that are remembered the most, but much of her subsequent material was both more mature (or, perhaps more accurately, less immature) and stronger. The singles were also very well-produced, with orchestral arrangements (by Claus Ogerman) that hewed closer to mainstream pop than Phil Spector's Wall of Sound. Retrospectives of Jones' career usually downplay or omit his work with Gore, although it was among his most commercially successful; he's known now for recordings that are, well, funkier. But his success with Gore did a lot to build his already impressive résumé within the industry.

Gore appeared on the legendary T.A.M.I. Show alongside such heavyweights as the Rolling Stones, James Brown, and Smokey Robinson, but after 1964 her star plummeted rapidly. Mercury was still investing a lot of care in her sessions throughout the rest of the '60s, and her material and arrangements showed her capable of greater stylistic range than many acknowledged. But after the mid-'60s, Jones no longer worked with the singer on a regular basis. "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" (1965) and "California Nights" (1967), both of which were co-written by Marvin Hamlisch, would be her only Top 20 entries after 1964. She played the cabarets after her days as an active recording artist, and eventually had some success as a songwriter for other performers. Shortly after the turn of the century, Gore returned to recording, collaborating with multi-instrumentalist Blake Morgan. In 2005, she released the critically acclaimed Ever Since, which landed songs on CSI: Miami and Showtime's The L Word as well as Jeff Lipsky's film Flannel Pajamas, which debuted at Sundance in 2006. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Comments

wnelsen103
Still have the 45 of it my party RIP Lesley I'm 75 still listen to the 50 and 60's
It's My Party was my first 45. I played it so much I wore it out! Still love the song!
Have a good rest, loved your songs as a teen and at age 63 still listen and love them
Rest in peace, you wonderful woman. :)
Quincy Jones is still proud of you.
RIP Lesley..... my favorite song also, right behind Maybe I know
rip lesley, this was my favorite song. :(
RIP Leslie..... grew up with your music/songs in the sixties as a Kid.....
t_heath
What an awesome lady.....she will be missed by many......bu t we still have her music with that awesome voice.....
ccmusicmom
SUCH A SAD DAY, will miss your music-but know you are in a better place.....re s t in peace
...
RIP Beautiful Lady, your music gave me so much joy in the 60's and even now i can sing almost every song word for word,,,,,,,♥
sue129
I never tire of listening to her songs..evoke s so many wonderful memories. Thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and all those that love you. You will be missed.
Will always love her music helen 1052
johnaramos21
Leslie
Loved her music. Always reminds me of
The great old days when life was a bit more
Easy. My biggest and best memory of her will be the time I saw her at a concert. I got right up to the stage and they were trying to get
Off the stage and she dropped her towel she used on stage I asked for it and my wish was
Granted. My classmates made a running joke
About my souvenir, evev though they liked her Just as much as I did, regardless
It is my most prized possessions
Thanks leslie rip
RIP like your Music
mlimler
This Classy Lady will be missed!
My first crush.......
Lamentableme n t e el día de hoy ha muerto Lesley Gore.
so sorry to lose you Lesley
Great sound and Memories at OPCS in OPNY remember..yo u know who??
rene94415
Great vocals and sound.
Music by a lady who has a voice and did not need a machine to clean it up. What you heard was the real thing. Washkowtah
phoenixmommy 5 4 8
My mistake in thinking Lesley died.I loved when she sang this on Batman.
phoenixmommy 5 4 8
Gone to soon but not forgotten.
Tremendous talent
alexnatal26
those eye's of her
Great song!!!
You Don't Own Me. the original feminist pop anthem, sends shivers up my spine. I was such a little teenage MCP, and didn't even know it.
We were the same age
matt.lesley
Love. It. My. Last. Name. Is. Lesley. Isint. That. Cool. :-)
rose771
I best remember Leslie Gore from her appearances on the old Batman TV show. The most memorable one was she sings California Nights while seducing the Boy Wonder:

https://www. y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = s 1 d n d O c e K 2 M
The Dick Panthers are better.
From another Leslie
Love her voice its like heaven she has a good beat too
Great memories, listening her songs,
Love her music. Her songs always told a story. Thanks for the memories.
When I want to feel young again, I always get out my Lesley Gore CD. Listening to her songs just makes me happy. :)
Reading these posts brings tears to my 63 yr old eyes. I thought I was the only one who remembered Leslie Gore! thanks for posting. and if you ever read this - LESLIE, THANKS for the soundtrack for my tween years.
I LOVED her sound. Hoe about those EYES! She had the most beautiful and haunting eyes, Her songs were just great. I smile evry time I hear them! Thanks Lesley for sharing your gift with us. WE LOVE YOU!!
lonewolf36
Probably my favorite oldie!
bdfinance9
Lesley Gore was great I was in grade school when her records came out and she is like the Katy Perry today for kids
Ah...love it!!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
wow. you people are really wonderful! I never expected to read such acclaim and wonderful memories of Lesley Gore. It's My Party is what really echoes in my mind. Those were the days! In my '55 Chevy, I always had a Dr. Pepper! In a bottle!!! 10-2-4! By the way, I saved one of those bottles. It sits above my washing machine now! so, needless to say, every time I do laundry, I get a little rush. wonderful memories. Thank you, all.
ccaltevogt
I usually don't like that "mushy" kind of music, but I love Lesley Gore
hi Jay. i relate to what u say. I had a '55 Chevy in the late 60's. times were different. wow. oh so different. Superman and Spiderman were just in the comic books. now, cell phones, tablets, and desktops, My older sister loved Lesley Gore. and I loved The Supremes. go figure. I drive a Mustang now. Technology is amazing. and I still don't have a cell phone. maybe soon sometime. by the way, I liked Lesley Gore too.
peace,
Fred
my favorite female rock N roller!
c'mom 'stella'...y o u ' r e being a wee bit too harsh...I'm a guy growing up in the 60's and I can say that not everything going thru my addled little mind was 'wholesome'. . . b u t I agree...it was indeed a little sweeter back then and 'sweet' is sooooo undervalued these days...peopl e and things 'have to be cool' now...cool is so overrated... d i d n ' t know it all back then and still not even a little close to know it all these many years later...happ y memories to you... Jay
luv her,when time were wholesome, when dating was was good clean fun,having a boyfriend along with a promise ring. cruising those days are gone and it makes me sad. the youth of today is not to be desired.
tonkajoe15
I THINK LESLEY GORE IS ONE OF THE BEST SINGERS FROM THE SIXTIES,
freak33460
i still listen to her greatest hits cd and the vinyl too. my favorite is Hey now. nice groove to it. saw her years ago (about 85) and she was great. recently rented the T.A.M.I. show from netflix and 1) the way they filmed her she looked like the big giant head character from 3rd rock and 2) she did better than most of the performers on the show. most could not carry a tune to save their lives... esp beach boys, jan & dean and smokey robinson was aweful. love her and also love the fact th
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