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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Steve Lawrence born 8 July 1935

Steve Lawrence (born July 8, 1935) is an American singer, perhaps best known as a member of a duo with his wife Eydie Gormé, billed as Steve and Eydie. The two have appeared together since appearing regularly on Steve Allen's The Tonight Show in the mid-1950s.
Born Stephen Leibowitz, 8 July 1935, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. The son of a cantor in a Brooklyn synagogue, Lawrence was in the Glee club at Thomas Jefferson High School, where he began studying piano, saxophone, composition and arranging.
He made his recording debut for King Records at the age of 16. The record, "Mine And Mine Alone", based on "Softly Awakes My Heart" from Samson & Delilah, revealed an remarkably mature voice and style. Influenced by Frank Sinatra, but never merely a copyist, Lawrence's great range and warmth earned him a break on Steve Allen's Tonight television show, where he met, sang with and later married Eydie Gorme. He recorded for Coral Records and had his first hit in 1957 with "The Banana Boat Song". It was the infectious "Party Doll" which gave him a Top 5 hit in 1957 and he followed that same year with four further, although lesser successes, namely "Pum-Pa-Lum", "Can't Wait For Summer", "Fabulous" and "Fraulein". During his US Army service (1958-60) he sang with military bands on recruiting drives and bond rallies. 

Lawrence had success on the pop record charts in the late 50's and early 1960s with such hits as "Go Away Little Girl" (U.S. #1), "Pretty Blue Eyes" (U.S. #9), "Footsteps" (U.S. #7), "Portrait of My Love" (U.S. #9), and "Party Doll" (U.S. #5). However much of his musical career has centered on nightclubs and the musical stage. Lawrence is an actor as well, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950s, in shows such as The Carol Burnett Show, Night Gallery, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. In the 1960s Lawrence was the star of a variety show called The Steve Lawrence Show, "the last television show in black and white on CBS".Lawrence also appeared in the last season of The Nanny as Fran's never-before-seen father, Morty Fine.

Back home he and Eydie embarked on a double act, their most memorable hit being "I Want To Stay Here" in 1963. As Steve And Eydie they made albums for CBS Records, ABC Records and United Artists Records, including Steve And Eydie At The Movies, Together On Broadway, We Got Us, Steve And Eydie Sing The Golden Hits and Our Love Is Here To Stay, the latter a double album of great George Gershwin songs, which was the soundtrack of a well-received television special. Lawrence, on his own, continued to have regular hits with "Portrait Of My Love" and "Go Away Little Girl" in 1961/2, and enjoyed critical success with albums such as Academy Award Losers and Portrait Of My Love.

As an actor he starred on Broadway in What Makes Sammy Run?, took the lead in Pal Joey in summer stock, and has acted in a crime series on US television. During the 70s and 80s he continued to record and make television appearances with Gorme, with the couple gaining a record-breaking seven Emmys for their Steve And Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin special.

In 1980, Lawrence was introduced to a new generation of fans with his memorable portrayal of blackmailed manager Maury Sline in the hit movie The Blues Brothers with John Belushi. 
Lawrence and Gorme opened for Frank Sinatra on his Diamond Jubilee tour of 1990-1991, marking Sinatra's 75th birthday. It cemented Lawrence's warm relationship with Sinatra, who gave Lawrence his book of arrangements upon his retirement. Lawrence used the charts to record Steve Lawrence Sings Sinatra: A Musical Tribute to the Man and His Music, which GL Music released in January 2003. The album was produced by Lawrence and Gorme's son, film composer David Lawrence. (Their younger son, Michael, had died in 1986 at 23.) By then settled in Las Vegas and accepting fewer engagements, Lawrence and Gorme nevertheless booked a series of performances in 2003 to promote the album, and their One More for the Road tour continued into 2004. In 2005, the Varese Sarabande label found three unreleased tracks from the early years, collected his early hits, and released the collection All My Love Belongs to You.

After retiring in 2009, Eydie Gorme died in Las Vegas in August 2013, and is survived by Lawrence, who continues to perform as a solo act. In 2014, he guest-starred in an episode of  Two and a Half Men on CBS. (info edited from Wikipedia, NME & AMG)

Steve Lawrence sings "The Impossible Dream" on Hollywood Palace 03/04/1967


1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme _ We Got Us go here:
(Thanks to Luigi)

1. We Got Us
2. Side By Side
3. No Two People
4. Darn It Baby That's Love
5. Flattery

1. This Could Be The Start Of Something Big
2. I Remember It Well
3. Baby Its Cold Outside
4. Two Lost Souls
5. Harmony
6. Cheek To Cheek