Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Lesley Gore 1946 - 2015

Bottom line: She was the greatest suburban white girl voice ever. Not to mention the singer of "You Don't Own Me," the primo proto-feminist anthem of the 60s.

This one, however, is IMHO her best record -- a genuine kick-ass pop/rocker. You can behold her performing it, and much else, in the T.A.M.I. Show video (which she comes close to stealing from the better-remembered James Brown and The Rolling Stones) and which I'm gonna watch right now.

Meanwhile -- Lesley dies and Kanye West walks the streets a free man? I don't get it.


MJConroy said...

I completely agree on the TAMI show. I bought the DVD to see James Brown and the Stones and when Lesley came on I was shocked how good she was! No autotune for her!

Billy B said...

Had a huge crush on Leslie when I was a wee tyke.

Shriner said...

Better than "California Nights"? I'm not sure about that...

Phil Cheese said...

I dashed over to YouTube to see if B-side Wonder Boy was a
cover of the great Kinks song. It's not.

Anonymous said...

I'd definitely pick "You Don't Own Me," as her best. A life-changing tune for me. The way I heard it, this was a song that said, "Hey guy, fuck you. I can be a player too." And I love the arrangement. It's kinda weird that it was written by those Danny & the Juniors guys, but they knocked it out of the park with this one.

But... I always hated the flip hair-do. Never had one, never wanted one. I know it sounds superficial, but I wouldn't even hang around with girls that had flips. I was in the long straight haired surfer crowd. That flippy shit was for the Patty Duke crew with their hair dryers, Dippity-Do and rollers.

Vickie Rock - Always close as a kiss

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention that Magic Colors is my second favorite Gore tune.

Plus, she actually looked kinda cute on Batman with that pixie and Pussycat ears.

Vickie Rock off to the Milkshake A Go Go

Peter Power Pop said...

Lesley Gore on The T.A.M.I. Show:


Anonymous said...

Re: your Kanye comment.
If you were God, would you want someone who thinks he's God present in the Afterlife, disrupting and interrupting everything, possibly for All Eternity?!?
Actually, in fairness to Mr. West, he does seem to have SOME sense of humor about himself in amongst the considerable ego. Mike Myers and Dana Carvey, as their WAYNE's WORLD characters, were poking fun at Kanye, who was in the audience, at the SNL-40th and he was smiling and playing along.
Re: Lesley Gore
Agree with your choice of "Maybe I Know" as favorite record among the many good ones she did, I also very much like a couple of the 45s she did towards the end of her run at Mercury ("Small Talk", "Brink Of Disaster"), when her records were still charting but not as high.
Those two BATMAN episodes she was in are from 1966, the show's second season, and she lip-synchs one of her songs in each. You also get to experience Julie Newmar,as the Catwoman, at her peak.

J. Lag

steve simels said...

In fairness, you're right about Kanye on the SNL special-- he did seem to get the joke.

Anonymous said...

Wow! It all ties together. Lesley Gore, Batman, Catwoman (whose 5' 11" of leather I'd be sooo gay for), Up Your Teddy Bear, life-changing moments, and ... Route 66.




There's a spot in Hollywood where the ancient and large phlorescent-pink words, "Julie Newmar Is God", are grafittied on the wall of a parking lot. Indeed.

Vickie Rock

Hannes A. Jónsson said...

I really like Lesley Gore's lesser known/later '60s stuff. The "Magic Colors" album which went unreleased at the time, but was issued by Ace Records a couple of years back, is truly great. There, among other things, she meshed up these two Sunshine Pop classics to a great effect...


Anonymous said...

Hannes: Magic Colors is a pretty cool collection. But, for the money, "It's My Party: The Mercury Anthology" is pretty thorough. And it includes "Treat Me Like a Lady", which has been pretty overlooked.

That song has an arrangement and vibe similar to Spiral Starecase's "More Today Than Yesterday" (though it certainly doesn't swing as much - how could it?!?) with a little Motown sounding sax thrown in for good measure. Love the simple walking bass on the chorus.

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

Treat Me Like a Lady on youtube:


Anonymous said...

RE: Treat Me Like a Lady - More glockenspiel!

Hannes A. Jónsson said...

Very nice...glockenspiel and all :-)

Anonymous said...

RE: Treat Me Like a Lady - It didn't even make the Billboard Hot 100 - But it got as high as Number Eleven in Back-To-School 1966 San Bernardino. What can I say? The area rocked during that time. We even had a teens only nudist club in the foothills not far from where I lived. Those were the days. That shit's pretty unthinkable now.

Vickie Rock

John Werner said...

I wasn't even a teen when "It's My Party" came out. To a 8-year old it seemed like a cool song. Somehow I connected it with The Patty Duke Show and to this day I can only guess it was due to Leslie and Patty looking kind of alike???

I think I, basically, missed "Maybe I Know" as a kid, at least consciously. Years later when I hear it regularly on Little Steven's Sirius/XM channel it immediately clicked as awesome. Then I saw the T.A.M.I. show and it was locked in further as an all-time pop great.

Steve hit it again here!