Happy Women’s History Month! Help JWA continue to lift up Jewish women’s stories, this month and every month, by making a gift today!
Close [x]

Show [+]

Eydie Gorme

August 16, 1928–2013

by Gwen Nefsky Frankfeldt

Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, singers and performers. Eydie performed on her own as a solo artist and with her husband Steve.

In Brief

Eydie Gorme’s regular musical appearances on Steve Allen’s Tonight! Show with her husband, Steve Lawrence, launched their joint careers. After high school, Gorme worked as a Spanish interpreter but quit to pursue her singing career, touring with bandleader Tommy Tucker. In 1952 she began recording albums and hosted a Spanish radio program, Cita con Eydie. She joined the cast of the Tonight! Show, where she met Lawrence, whom she married in 1957. The pair won a Grammy in 1960 for their album We Got Us and performed together in concert and in musicals. Gorme collaborated with the Latin group Trio Los Panchos. In 1995, Gorme and Lawrence received lifetime achievement awards from both the Society of Singers and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

One of the great stylists of the American popular song, Eydie Gorme had a loyal following from the 1950s until the 2000s. She achieved national prominence with her appearances on Steve Allen’s Tonight! show, where she met and performed with her husband Steve Lawrence. Gorme’s dynamic nightclub act, frequently as a duo with Lawrence, drew sell-out crowds while resisting passing trends and keeping true to the best traditions of the American “standard”—traditions she herself helped to establish.

Early Life and Family

She was born Edith Gorme on August 16, 1928, in New York City, the daughter of Nessim Gorme, an immigrant tailor, and Fortune Gorme. Both parents were Turkish-born Jews of Spanish descent, so she and her older siblings, Corene and Robert, grew up speaking fluent Spanish. Ironically, she was the only one of the three not to be given music lessons, since the others had not made much use of theirs.

Gorme made her singing debut at age three when she toddled away from her parents in a department store and got in line to perform in a children’s radio show being broadcast there. At William Howard Taft High School in the Bronx, New York, she was voted “the prettiest, peppiest cheerleader,” starred in most of the school musicals, and sang with her friend Ken Greengrass’s band on weekends.

Early Career

After high school, Gorme briefly worked as an interpreter for a theatrical supply export company and later as its manager, while taking night classes in foreign trade and economics at the City College of New York. But she continued performing with Greengrass on weekends and soon took the plunge, leaving her job to try to make it as a singer. Greengrass disbanded his orchestra to become her manager, a role he retained for many years.

Gorme’s first break came when bandleader Tommy Tucker hired her as vocalist for a two-month road tour. She then toured for a year with Tex Benecke’s orchestra and also sang with the Ray Eberle orchestra before deciding she was ready to try performing on her own. As a single act, Gorme toured the nightclub and theater circuit and made guest appearances on top radio and television programs. She signed her first recording contract with Coral Records in 1952 and soon made the Top Twenty. Through the Voice of America, she hosted her own radio show, Cita con Eydie [A date with Eydie], which was transmitted to Spanish-speaking countries around the world.

Tonight! and Rise to Fame

In the fall of 1953, Gorme joined the permanent cast of Tonight!, where for the next four years she sang and also wrote and performed in sketches with Steve Lawrence. They had much in common, and friendship gradually blossomed into romance. The son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Lawrence was born Sidney Liebowitz in Brooklyn, New York, on July 8, 1935. He had started singing in the synagogue choir where his father served as cantor while supporting the family as a house painter. Gorme and Lawrence were married in Las Vegas on December 29, 1957. They later had two sons, David Nessim and Michael.

Meanwhile, in February 1956, Gorme made her New York nightclub debut as a last-minute replacement at the Copacabana and was such a hit that she was booked as a headliner for July. The following January brought her first Broadway appearance, as singing star of the Jerry Lewis Stage Show at the Palace Theatre. In the summer of 1958, the husband-and-wife team had their own weekly musical variety show on television as summer replacements for Steve Allen. Gorme then embarked on a two-year solo nightclub tour while her husband served in the Army. Reunited in 1960, the pair won a Grammy Award for their first complete duet album, We Got Us, which was followed by several others over the next few years. 1968 found them on Broadway in Golden Rainbow, and the following year they recorded their first musical, What It Was, Was Love.

Gorme continued to perform both solo and with Lawrence, recording albums and singles, and appearing on television and in nightclubs. Her best-known hits include the singles “Too Close for Comfort,” “Mama, Teach Me to Dance” (both 1956), “Love Me Forever” (1957), “You Need Hands” (1958), “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” (1963 Grammy nominee), and “If He Walked into My Life” (1966 Grammy Award), and the albums Eydie in Love (1958 Grammy nominee), We Got Us with Steve Lawrence (1960 Grammy Award), La Gorme (1976 Grammy nominee), and Muy Amigos/Close Friends with Danny Rivers (1977 Grammy nominee). Her TV appearances with Lawrence also won recognition, with a 1976 Emmy nomination for Steve and Eydie: Our Love Is Here to Stay, and seven Emmys in 1979 for Steve and Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin.

Honors and Legacy

Throughout the 1980s, Gorme and Lawrence appeared on many well-known stages, including Carnegie Hall, the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, Harrah’s in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Bally’s in Las Vegas. In 1991, they joined Frank Sinatra on his year-long Diamond Jubilee Tour, in celebration of his seventy-fifth birthday. In 1995 Gorme and Lawrence received Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Society of Singers and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In her long career, Eydie Gorme delighted countless audiences and helped create a classic style of American popular singing whose appeal and vitality are eternal.

Eydie Gorme died on August 10, 2013, in Las Vegas. She was 84.

Selected Works by Eydie Gorme


Amor (1964).

Blame It on the Bossa Nova (1963).

Come in from the Rain (1985).

Come Sing with Me (1961).

Don’t Go to Strangers (1966).

Eydie Gorme (1957).

Eydie Gorme on Stage (1959).

Eydie Gorme Vamps the Roaring 20s (1958).

Eydie Gorme’s Greatest Hits (1967).

Eydie in Dixie-Land (1960).

Eydie in Love …(1958).

Eydie Sings Showstoppers (1959).

Eydie Swings the Blues (1957).

Gorme Country Style (1964).

I Feel So Spanish (1962).

Let the Good Times Roll (1963).

More Amor (1965).

Navidad Means Christmas, with the Trio Los Panchos (1966).

 Sings/Canta (1987).

 Softly, As I Love You (1967).

 Tomame o Dejame (1985).

Tonight I’ll Say a Prayer (1970).

The Very Best of Eydie Gorme (1961).

With Steve Lawrence

Alone Together (1989).

The Best of Steve and Eydie (1977).

Cozy (1961).

The Golden Hits (1960).

I Still Believe in Love (1985).

On Broadway (1967).

Our Best to You (1977).

 Our Love Is Here to Stay (1977).

Real True Lovin’ (1969).

Since I Fell for You (1993).

 Twenty Golden Performances (1977).

We Can Make It Together (1975).

 We Got Us (1960).

What It Was, Was Love (1969).


Current Biography (February 1965): 17–18.

The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Edited by Colin Larkin. Vol. 3 (1992): 1706–1707.

Who’s Who (1996).

Have an update or correction? Let us know


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

Get JWA in your inbox

Read the latest from JWA from your inbox.

sign up now

How to cite this page

Frankfeldt, Gwen Nefsky. "Eydie Gorme." Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women. 31 December 1999. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on March 2, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/gorme-edye>.