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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

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.
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
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest friday by the love of youre life. tommorow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this in at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
Lesley Gore is timeless. The voice is strong and always on tune. On the old girl-group records, with her producer Quincy Jones and acclaimed arrangers Claus Ogerman and Jack Nitschze, you just could not go wrong. All four of her first hits (1963-64) were really two-sided hits, with the flip side being in the top ten in some major American market. In her 2005 venture, a much more mature Lesley handles major new songs like Better Angels superbly. A class entertainer.
trashmymail
Dang! Back then I couldn’t care less for her songs. Now I love them all, so clearly age changes our taste whether we want it to or not.
What is Lesley Gore doing on my Robert Cray station?
I was in love with her back then and still love her yet today . I could lisson to har beautifal voice all day
thehiebertco
Our family bought a brand new 17' fiberglass boat with a 100 HP Mercury outboard motor in the Spring of 1964. All that summer, we went boating and water skiing every weekend to the greatest music ever created. Every time I hear Maybe I Know, I flash back to driving that boat as one lucky 12 year old.


dn400
You Don't Own Me is her best.
She looks just like a girl i have a crush on in high school.. kinda scary how close it is..
My older brother had a lot of her music. Brings back memories!
leslie was very cool...what a voice..her tami show appearance is a classic
Lesley's songs seem to be very co-dependent , and she sure accepts alot of infidelity from men
Some say her songs were tongue in cheek, but, I say she is/was remarkable! come on girls, you know you want to agree with me. She sang what was in our hearts, in our souls and what was on our lips but silent!
steve3691
All of her songs were great!
t_heath
Great memories....
hOW COOL TO RIDE IN LESLEYS CAR AS A TEEN WHAT A HONOR AWESUME
PAVED THE way SORRY FOR SOME WHO HAVE FOLLOWED
always an uplifting memory to hear her tunes
Lesley Gore has always been one of my favorite artist; the above background information truly certifies it.
BKV, Los Angeles
Its real plain what this song is about.Brings back memories
jbschmeelk8
Leslie Gore...She was best friends with my next door neighbor when I was in Middle School in Tenafly, New Jersey.. I got to ride in her baby powder blue convertible bonneville one day...when I was walking home. They asked me if I needed a lift....Then I got in the car...and, pray and behold, her song came on the station on the way home...what a thrill!
jbschmeelk8
Franki Valli....gre a t !
Where is she today? Always thought she was great. Especially her slower version of "You Don't Own Me" which is even more thoughful and poignant than the original version.
j1374bass
memorable!!
I love her! =)
chitwood.and r e w
"maybe i know" is one of my favorite songs. the vocal harmonies are awesome.
What a unique voice. No wonder Quincy Jones noticed her. Loved hearing her on Cousin Brucie recently. Sounds like a fun gal!
t_heath
Brings back great memories from jr. high
marshacoats
all of her songs were great, You don't own me and It's my party, use to sing along with her as a kid at that time, working at the tobacco farms!!!!!! Only you country gals will know what I am talking about!!!!!!
wearesomewhe r e
lesley brought to me full enjoyment growing up.. she really could sing and i enjoyed her so very much..
did not like the first two but do dont own me i liked
A really spunky type gal andher songs present that
It's My Party, I'll cry if I want to....love it...LOL!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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