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Today we’re stopping by House #G on Memory Lane, the home of another “crooner” I love, and happen to find he has a visitor we’ve already had the pleasure of chatting with!
Steve Lawrence (born July 8, 1935) is an American singer and actor, best known as a member of a duo with his wife Eydie Gormé, billed as “Steve and Eydie”. The two appeared together since perfoming regularly on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in the mid-1950’s until Gormé’s retirement in 2009.
Lawrence and Gormé married on December 29, 1957 at the El Rancho Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had two sons together. David Nessim Lawrence (b. 1960) is an ASCAP Award-winning composer who composed the score for High School Musical, and Michael Robert Lawrence (1962–1986) who died suddenly from ventricular fibrillation resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 23. Gormé died on August 10, 2013.
In the late 1950’s, Lawrence was drafted into the Army and served as the official vocal soloist with The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, D.C.. His success on the record charts came in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s 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).
“Go Away Little Girl” sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. However, much of his musical career has centered on nightclubs and the musical stage. He is also an actor, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950’s, in shows such as The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, Night Gallery, The Flip Wilson Show, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. In the fall of 1965, Lawrence was briefly the star of a variety show called The Steve Lawrence Show, “one of the last television shows in black and white on CBS”.
Lawrence received a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Sammy Glick in What Makes Sammy Run? on Broadway (1964), and two Emmy Awards, one for the production Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin (1978).
With Gormé, he has been the recipient of two Emmys for Our Love is Here to Stay, a tribute to George and Ira Gershwin; a “Best Performance By a Vocal Duo or Group” Grammy Award for We Got Us; a Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence and a Television Critics Circle Award for From This Moment On, a tribute to Cole Porter.
The duo also won a Las Vegas Entertainment Award for “Musical Variety Act of the Year” four times, three of them consecutively. They were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1995 were the recipients of an Ella Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers, a non-profit organization that helps professional singers with counseling and financial assistance.
Lawrence is still performing today at age 80.
“Go Away Little Girl” is a popular song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was first recorded by Bobby Vee for Liberty Records on March 28, 1962. The lyrics consist of a young man asking a young attractive woman to stay away from him, so that he will not be tempted to betray his steady girlfriend by kissing her. (Gals, would that not just make your heart stop at 16 to be crushin’ on a dude of such NOBLE character?) The song is notable for making the American Top 20 three times: for Steve Lawrence in 1962 (US number 1), for The Happenings in 1966 (US number 12), and for Donny Osmond in 1971 (US number 1). It is also the first song, and one of only nine, to reach US number 1 by two different artists.
That kind of low growl in his voice STILL gives me butterflies after all these years! ❤
Now before we leave, Mr. Mathis (bio), could we please have one more song from you (since I couldn’t choose between these two G songs!)? That’s so kind of you…
On September 22, 1962, Johnny Mathis would release his 27th single, and his fourth hit to reach the top 10, topping out at #6, it would be the beautiful romantic ballad, “Gina”. written by Paul Vance and Leon Carr (words and music). It was a Top 10 record by Mathis on Columbia.