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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Lesley Gore



"Of course, you know she was..." the guy told me.  Yep.  I know.  Don't care.  The music's the matter here.  Fricking name droppers anyway.

Here's some of what we didn't know about her...

It's My Party, #1.  It was the first hit for producer Quincy Jones, but almost wasn't.  Someone told Phil Spector about the Gore demo- without telling Jones- and Spector tried to do a rush job with the Crystals.  Jones found out about it before a show, and sent a printing of 100 records out to djs to beat him.  Co-written by Wally Gold, who also co-penned It's Now Or Never.

Judy's Turn To Cry, #5.  The quicky-conceived sequel, it was written by Beverley Ross, who also had a co-write (and a #20 hit) with the 1958 song Lollipop.

She's A Fool, #5.  One of a pair of her hits co-written by Mark Backlan (Musical genius for the old Banana Splits TV show) and Ben Raleigh (who wrote the Scooby-Doo theme).

You Don't Own Me, #2.  On Cashbox, this was the last non-Beatle #2 from February 15, 1964, till April 25th (9 weeks), when Hello, Dolly! paused for a week there.  The writers were John Medora and David White, also responsible for Danny and the Juniors' At The Hop and Len Barry's 1-2-3.  They were also The Spokesmen, who did the Eve Of Destruction reply Dawn Of Correction in 1965.

That's The Way Boys Are, #12.  Wiki makes a deal about how it was "kept out of the top ten by British Invasion acts the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five. "  In all fairness, they weren't alone in keeping her out- though they were at #1 (Can't Buy Me Love), 3 (Do You Want To Know A Secret), 4 (Bits And Pieces), 7 (Glad All Over), and 10 (Twist And Shout) the week it peaked.



Maybe I Know, #14.  Co-written by Beauty Contestant Ellie Greenwich, as was second single The Look Of Love (#27) from the lp Girl Talk.  Another song on that lp was one Lesley wrote herself:






Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows, #13.  It was actually off her second lp, but wasn't released until put on the Frankie Avalon movie Ski Party.  Composed by the Entertainer himself, Marvin Hamlisch.



California Nights, my very favorite, #16.  What it was:  Another Hamlisch/Howard Liebman composition.  What it wasn't: for the first time, a Quincy Jones production.  This one, her last trip to the top 40, was produced by The Four Seasons' Bob Crewe.






The music is all.  And I'll cry if I want to.



7 comments:

  1. Chris:
    Those are some very cool facts you found...never knew that Quincy Jones was in the mix...nice find.

    I always looked at her kinda like a female Johnny Ray...she COULD sell a song.
    I can see WHY you like California Nights (the old Batman show as Catwoman's minions..sexy outfit).
    She was a looker for sure.

    Stay safe up there.

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    Replies
    1. Actually didn't remember the Catwoman thing... just a great song to end a chart run on...

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  2. I don't think I have ever heard of Lesley Gore until now

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    1. A bright little chunk of childhood here...

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  3. I liked Lesley Gore a lot. My sister used to listen to her music when I was in junior high and it was music that I didn't mind at all. And of course Lesley was all over the radio back then.

    In the radio tributes this week I was reminded that she had also co-wrote that beautiful song from Fame "Out Here on my Own". That was a great song.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    Replies
    1. I noted that about Out Here also, it wasn't a song that had that much of an effect at the time for me. Of course by then we were listening mainly to AOR, and Irene Cara never played a lot on the pop stations here either.

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    2. I went to see the Fame movie and had the soundtrack so I listened to that song a lot back in the early 80's. It was only relatively recently that I discovered that Lesley co-wrote it.

      Arlee Bird
      A to Z Challenge Co-host
      Tossing It Out

      Delete