Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eydie Gorme on the Steve Allen Show

Steve Allen Show as he is joined by Ann Sothern, Steve Lawrence, Eydie Gorme, Dinah Shore and a special mystery guest singing Steve's theme "This Could be the Start of Something Big". An incredible tracking shot from 1958, using a large, heavy TV camera on wheels with all kinds of wires connected to it.  It must have been very difficult to pull off. But Steve was a pioneer in those kinds of things.

 I watched two episodes of What's My Line" (a classy Sunday night show, came on I think at 10:30, I never got to see it until its final years in the Sixties) with Steve & Eydie as the Mystery Guests (panel blindfolded). The first episode, around this time, they were guessed fairly quickly, & on the way out they only shook the hands of the panelists. Host John Daly referred to them as "young people." A few years later,  1964, Steve headlining a Broadway show (& having been a panelist five times), both having had hit records,  they baffled the panel for a longer time;  as established show biz stars, Eydie & Steve cheek-kissed  Dorothy Kilgallen & Arlene Francis, & Eydie blew a kiss at the audience.

Steve & Eydie came  out of the old tradition, such as was available to them when big bands were going away, the night club & Catskills circuit shrinking, caught between the emergence of rock & roll on one side & on the other the novelty songs  fine singers like Patti Page, Dean Martin &  Rosemary Clooney were often made to record (the independent Peggy Lee composed her own). They used television to great advantage. Their big pop hits were good by the standards of the time, if not quite Great American Songbook material. Eydie had a special feel for Latin music. She spoke Spanish fluently from childhood. Not conventionally pretty, but very attractive, it was impossible to guess her heritage (Sephardic Jewish via Sicily, Turkey & The Bronx). If her passing results in a new appreciation of her talent - I'm just discovering her - it will make Steve Lawrence very happy.

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I have a treasure trove of songs by Eydie. I have been a fan since the 1960's.
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