(Belated birthday note; repost from 2008)
Picture yourself out watering your yard when the new next door neighbor saunters up. You introduce yourselves to each other and you think, "She sure seems like a nice lady." Every once in a while she knocks on your door and declares that her little boy threw his ball over the fence for the umpteenth time, could you please go get it. You don't mind because she exhibits such a sweet disposition. One evening you turn on the Tonight Show. Glaring at you from the screen stands a sort of familiar face. You look over at your wife a bit puzzled asking, "Honey, where have I seen that lady before?" The Mrs. responds, "She sure looks a lot like our next door neighbor Eydie Gorme." After gawking at her for a moment or two you realize that this same mother next door took on a night job singing. And man can she sing. Yes indeed, she's Eydie Gorme alright.
Edith Gormezano, born August 16, 1931 to Jewish immigrant parents, was the youngest of three children. Edith
(Eydie) grew up speaking both English and Spanish. She discovered early on that she loved singing, and by the ripe old age of three made her debut on the radio. During her formative years Eydie discovered several venues in which to display her talent. In addition, her fluency in Spanish landed her various job as a translator. Over a period of approximately two years Gorme sang with various bands including Tex Beneke. Her momentous break came in 1953 when Steve Allen invited her to become a regular on the Tonight show. There she met singer Steve Lawrence who she later married in 1957. That same year the dynamic singing duo hosted Steve Allen's program as the summer replacement.
Eydie Gorme entered music during the cradle years of Rock n Roll. Her Broadway demeanor threatened to handicap her musical talents from the get go. But, we're talking about Eydie Gorme here-the mother next door who moonlighted and loved it to death. Music connoisseurs had to take note of her effervescent smile and silky smooth voice. You couldn't turn her down. Even though she and husband Steve produced numerous top 40 hits over a period of 5 decades, Eydie Gorme remains the most underrated female vocalist of our times. She exhibits a subtle power that creeps up on you like a kick from a single malt scotch. You listen to her silky smooth, innocent little girl voice, allowing it to bewitch you into pleasantville. Suddenly this serene vocal overpowers you, wrapping around you with its enthralling mystique; enslaving you to the rapturous moment. At the conclusion of the event you inquisitively scratch your head wondering, "You mean to tell me this nice lady turns into a slick seductress during her night job?" Listen below as Eydie Gorme sings on the Tonight Show and see for yourself.(when viewing this piece remember the times-60s with caked on makeup and poor video quality.)
On a personal note, Eydie Gorme represented my parent's music genre. Only senile, one foot in the grave types listened to her, or so I thought. Sometime during my 19th year a metamorphosis occurred. It happened when a smooth song came over the radio and caught my attention. I recall the words repeating over and over again: "eres tu, eres tu," subtly doing a voodoo she do so well-she hypnotized me. Those words "eres tu" declared it was me she loved and I was falling for it. After the song the D.J. shouted, "Eres Tu by Eydie Gorme." The announcement stunned me. I couldn't fathom that someone almost old enough to be my mother made that much of a vocal impact on me. I longed for more. Eydie did not disappoint. The song gave me my fix at approximately the same time everyday for several weeks. No longer would I view this woman as one ready to enter the home. Now she was Eydie Gorme-young, vivacious, and alluring.
Steve and Eydie retired in 2009. I believe someday God may put them on his show in heaven as one of the featured acts. And I hope he allows me the privilege of living next door to Eydie on our street made of gold. She'd make such a nice neighbor. Happy birthday Eydie. Keep on doing that voodoo you do so well.
Here's Eydie's signature song.