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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. Lesley Gore died of lung cancer in New York City in February 2015; she was 68 years old. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Ever Since

1. Ever Since

2. Cool Web

3. It's Gone

4. Someday

5. Better Angels

6. You Don't Own Me

7. Not The First

8. Words We Dont Say

9. Out Here On My Own

10. We Went So High

x

Track List: The Essential Collection

1. It's My Party

2. Judy's Turn To Cry

3. She's A Fool

4. You Don't Own Me

5. That's The Way Boys Are

6. I Don't Wanna Be A Loser

7. Maybe I Know

8. Hey Now

10. Look Of Love

12. Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows

13. My Town, My Guy And Me

14. I Won't Love You Anymore (Sorry)

15. We Know We're In Love

16. Young Love

17. California Nights

x

Track List: The Best Of

1. It's My Party

2. You Don't Own Me

3. Look Of Love

4. That's The Way Boys Are

5. Brink Of Disaster

6. All Of My Life

7. Magic Colors

8. California Nights

9. Maybe I Know

10. Off And Running

11. What Am I Gonna Do With You

x

Track List: It's My Party: The Mercury Anthology

Disc 1

1. Hello Young Lover

2. It's My Party

3. Judy's Turn To Cry

4. Just Let Me Cry

5. Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows

6. If That's The Way You Want It

7. She's A Fool

8. The Old Crowd

9. Consolation Prize

10. Run Bobby Run

11. That's The Way The Ball Bounces

12. After He Takes Me Home

13. You Don't Own Me

14. That's The Way Boys Are

15. I'm Coolin', No Foolin'

16. I Don't Wanna Be A Loser

17. Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

18. Look Of Love

19. Wonder Boy

20. Maybe I Know

21. Sometimes I Wish I Were A Boy

22. Hey Now

23. Movin' Away

24. Little Girl Go Home

25. I Just Don't Know If I Can

26. All Of My Life

Disc 2

1. What's A Girl Supposed To Do

2. You Didn't Look Around

3. What Am I Gonna Do With You

4. My Town, My Guy And Me

5. I Won't Love You Anymore (Sorry)

6. Young Lovers (Single)

7. We Know We're In Love

8. Off And Running

9. Happiness Is Just Around The Corner

10. Treat Me Like A Lady

11. The Bubble Broke

12. California Nights

13. Love Goes On Forever

14. Summer And Sandy

15. Brink Of Disaster

16. On A Day Like Today

17. Where Can I Go

18. Magic Colors

19. Small Talk

20. He Gives Me Love (La La La)

21. I Can't Make It Without You

22. Take Good Care (Of My Heart)

23. I'll Be Standing By

24. Ride A Tall White Horse

25. 98.6/ Lazy Day

26. Wedding Bell Blues

x

Track List: Someplace Else Now

1. For Me

2. The Road I Walk

3. Out Of Love

4. She Said That

5. Dont Wanna Be One

6. Be My Life

7. Where Do You Go

8. What Did I Do Wrong

9. Someplace Else Now

10. Mine

11. No Sad Songs

12. For You

x

Track List: California Nights

1. California Nights

2. Treat Me Like A Lady

3. Bad

4. I'm Going Out The Same Way I Came In

5. Maybe Now

6. Love Goes On Forever

7. Off And Running

8. Lilacs And Violets

9. The Bubble Broke

10. Cry Like A Baby

x

Track List: My Town, My Guy & Me

1. My Town, My Guy And Me

2. What's A Girl Supposed To Do

3. What Am I Gonna Do With You

4. You Didn't Look Around

5. I Don't Care

6. No Matter What You Do

7. Baby That's Me

8. A Girl In Love

9. The Things We Did Last Summer

10. Just Another Fool

11. Let Me Dream

12. Before And After

x

Track List: The Golden Hits Of Lesley Gore

1. It's My Party

2. Judy's Turn To Cry

3. Just Let Me Cry

4. She's A Fool

5. The Old Crowd

6. You Don't Own Me

7. That's The Way Boys Are

8. I Don't Wanna Be A Loser

9. Maybe I Know

10. Wonder Boy

11. Hey Now

12. Look Of Love

13. Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows

14. My Town, My Guy And Me

15. You Didn't Look Around

16. What Am I Gonna Do With You

17. Off And Running

18. California Nights

x

Track List: All About Love

1. Young Lovers

2. I Won't Love You Anymore (Sorry)

3. With Any Other Girl

4. Too Young

5. Start The Party Again

6. That's What I'll Do

7. Only Last Night

8. To Know Him Is To Love Him

9. I Can Tell

10. We Know We're In Love

11. Will You Love Me Tomorrow

12. I Just Can't Get Enough Of You

x

Track List: Girl Talk

1. Hey Now

2. Live And Learn

3. Say Goodbye

4. Look Of Love

5. You've Come Back

6. Maybe I Know

7. Sometimes I Wish I Were A Boy

8. Little Girl Go Home

9. I Died Inside

10. Wonder Boy

11. Movin' Away

12. It's Just About That Time

x

Track List: Boys, Boys, Boys

1. That's The Way Boys Are

2. Boys

3. It's Gotta Be You

4. Something Wonderful

5. You Name It

6. Danny

7. I Don't Wanna Be A Loser

8. That's The Way The Ball Bounces

9. Leave Me Alone

10. Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

11. I'll Make It Up To You

12. I'm Coolin', No Foolin'

x

Track List: Lesley Gore Sings Of Mixed-Up Hearts

1. She's A Fool

2. The Old Crowd

3. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread)

4. Young Lovers

5. My Foolish Heart

6. Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows

7. You Don't Own Me

8. Run Bobby Run

9. Young And Foolish

10. I Struck A Match

11. If That's The Way You Want It

12. Time To Go

x

Track List: I'll Cry If I Want To

1. It's My Party

2. Cry Me A River

3. Cry

4. Just Let Me Cry

5. Cry And You Cry Alone

6. No More Tears

7. Judy's Turn To Cry

8. I Understand

9. I Would

10. Misty

11. What Kind Of Fool Am I?

12. The Party's Over

Comments

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Rest in peace may you have eternal life in Heaven leslie
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gtredlt4
I love her voice and songs - songs when I was very young I never forget.
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It's sad how she died
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Leslie had some ripping hits!
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love her song l wish. she would of made more
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R.I.P.LESLIE GORE. ITS MY PARTY
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frankwiener
Nice refreshed version of Lesley's classic You Don't Own Me on the 2005 Ever Since album. I like that too. Powerful song.
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Love her song in Toyota commercial
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Lesley Gore touched my soul with her music when I was 13 in 1963. I felt a deep pang in my heart when I heard she had died. Now my own teen-age crush who became my wife and soulmate in 1970 has also passed on. We danced many, many times to Lesley Gore's songs. Maybe my Anne is listening to hr in heaven waiting for me to join her. May the music live forever!
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I like. You don't own me����
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I'm only 13
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Old fossil. A little mixed up too.
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I fell in love with Lesley Gore the first time I heard It's My party in 1963. I was 12 years old. I am 65 now and still feel that way. She was GREAT!!!! RIP
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Great voice, love my Pandora..
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dragonlady60 8 8
45 s wow
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dragonlady60 8 8
MEMORIES.... R I G H T ? !
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Kool I have her song
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frankwiener
Those Jersey folks know how to sing! Lesley Gore will live forever, especially You Don't Own Me, which was very powerful and much more effective than all of those shrieking, alienating feminists combined.
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I had such a crush on Lesley Gore after her appearance on Batman!
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I've loved this song ever since I saw the movie Problem Child.
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I wish Pandora would put Someplace Else Now, one of my favorite albums of hers!
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debbie.baham
My friends and I sang Cause Now It's Judy's Turn to Cry at a High School Talent show and won 2nd place. We loved her so!!!!
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That was 50th reunion
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I went to Leslie's party in Tenafly in 8th grade. I kissed her. I asked if those songs were about me. She was in Palm Springs last year at the Follies. We went to lunch. I asked her to accompany me at our 5th reunion in Tenafly. She said she would if she didn't have a paying gig. something came up on a cruise ship. Couldn't make it. She was always friendly, approachable , warm. And a wonderful friend. We all miss her in Tenafly
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marthahdzcha p a
Leslie Gore is still one of my favorite singer. Have her on my Pandora. And love to see her shows. Keep singing in heaven ��.
Report as inappropriate
Ms. Gore was one of the greats, without a doubt.
Report as inappropriate
It's LESLEY not LESLIE. Anyways, I love this lady to death. She's my idol, my icon, my whole world! I pretty much worship her xD. She was such a great human being! She's one of the few people in this world who I actually love and not just saying it. She means the world to me! I'm so upset I never got to meet her and I live a few hours from New York..
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Love you Leslie. She had a great voice.
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Part of the best music, 50,60
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I was so very heartbroken when i heard that this person passed away,I really dug her songs they were fantastic.
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Love them all.
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Thank you for such good memories
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tomason353
She will always be a good memory reminding me of the best times of my life. RIP Leslie...
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cwesp
Been listening for 50 years.... Hard to believe
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RIP Lesley...soo o glad I saw you play in Stamford, CT. at the Place Theater.... Many Years ago.
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Incredible voice. What a great talent.
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Loved listening to her songs growing up... Very easy to relate to.... Rest in peace .... You will surely be missed but never forgotten!!! !
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She exemplified an era with a timeless voice and spunk; saw her in an oldies show in Santa Barbara's Arlington Theater several years ago; regal and elegant. KAT
Report as inappropriate
another piece of 60 s is gone
rest in peace
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wnelsen103
Still have the 45 of it my party RIP Lesley I'm 75 still listen to the 50 and 60's
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It's My Party was my first 45. I played it so much I wore it out! Still love the song!
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Have a good rest, loved your songs as a teen and at age 63 still listen and love them
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stephpink4ev e r
Rest in peace, you wonderful woman. :)
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Quincy Jones is still proud of you.
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RIP Lesley..... my favorite song also, right behind Maybe I know
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leilagee20
rip lesley, this was my favorite song. :(
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RIP Leslie..... grew up with your music/songs in the sixties as a Kid.....
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t_heath
What an awesome lady.....she will be missed by many......bu t we still have her music with that awesome voice.....
Report as inappropriate
ccmusicmom
SUCH A SAD DAY, will miss your music-but know you are in a better place.....re s t in peace
...
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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,,,,,,,♥
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