Los Angeles-- Eydie Gorme, a popular nightclub and television
singer as a solo act and as a team with her husband, Steve Lawrence, has
died. She was 84.
Gorme, who also had a huge solo hit in 1963
with "Blame it on the Bossa Nova," died Saturday at Sunrise Hospital in
Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness, said her publicist,
Gorme was a successful band singer and nightclub
entertainer when she was invited to join the cast of Steve Allen's local
New York television show in 1953.
She sang solos and also did
duets and comedy skits with Lawrence, a rising young singer who had
joined the show a year earlier. When the program became NBC's "Tonight
Show" in 1954, the young couple went with it.
They married in Las
Vegas in 1957 and later performed for audiences there. Lawrence, the
couple's son David and other loved ones were by her side when she died,
"Eydie has been my partner on stage and in life for
more than 55 years," Lawrence said in a statement. "I fell in love with
her the moment I saw her and even more the first time I heard her sing.
While my personal loss is unimaginable, the world has lost one of the
greatest pop vocalists of all time."
Although usually recognized
for her musical partnership with Lawrence, Gorme broke through on her
own with the Grammy-nominated "Blame it on the Bossa Nova." The bouncy
tune about a dance craze of the time was written by the Tin Pan Alley
songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.
Her husband had
had an equally huge solo hit in 1962 with "Go Away Little Girl," written
by the songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King.
Gorme would score another solo hit in 1964, but this time for a Spanish-language recording.