Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Remembering Lesley Gore - My Tribute - Raise A Ruckus!

The passing of Lesley Gore is sad news!

She was really special, and for a brief time was also the coolest, most popular female entertainer around.

We feel sorrow for her passing and put forth our sympathies and well wishes to all her family and friends.

Lesley Gore, the early 1960's Pop Sensation, best known for her smash hit song from 1963 “It's My Party” has passed away from all of us. She succumbed to lung cancer on Monday in a New York Medical Center at 68 years young.

Her hit single “You Don't Own Me”, was very important and significant for it's time as it was an early feminist anthem during a coming of age / end of innocence period with the 1960's generation.

Lesley is best remembered by her fans for her hits “It's My Party” and the sequel to that hit “Judy's Turn to Cry” but she had other hits that made the Top 40 "She's a Fool" - "You Don't Own Me" - "That's the Way Boys Are" - "I Don't Wanna Be a Loser" - "Maybe I Know" - "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows" - "Look of Love" and "California Nights." Along with these hits she had several other singles and many of these are fan favorites, even if they didn't chart very high.

She scored her big hits while a teen in school and after High School, her musical style no longer fit the popular trends and she decided to further her studies.

Lesley temporarily left the music business and attended Sarah Lawrence College - New York, and graduated with a degree in English/American Literature in 1968.

After finishing College, she focused on songwriting. When she did return to the music business, the high point of her career had already passed. Despite this, she never had any regrets and the few albums she released in the 70's never got the attention they deserved. If you are lucky enough to find them, they are real treasures.

She did have success again later when she was nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing the hit song, “Out Here on My Own,” with her brother Michael. The song was featured in the film, “Fame.”

In her life, she was never totally committed to, show-business, instead she had a more balanced and somewhat private life. She did perform on what is affectionately referred to as the nostalgia circuit, off and on from the 1980's up to more recent times. I think her last public performances were in either 2011 or 2012, I am not certain on that, but there are many great live performance clips that you can find on YouTube that cover her whole career. Playing concerts and appearing on many TV shows, Lesley always had a great time doing so, she had a rare quality among entertainers and that was that she had respect for the fans that loved her.
I seem to recall, having seen advertisements promoting an upcoming concert show featuring Lesley Gore, and I was amazed at that time to learn and see that she was still going, and going great and strong. I did not see that show for some reason that I cannot even remember, but now I wish I had.

When loved ones pass away, it seems the appropriate thing that almost everyone will say is 'Rest In Peace' and I myself am one of those who've done this as well over the years, but not any longer.

The last thing I would really wish for someone who passes is to rest...I say forget about all that crap, “Raise A Ruckus” and have yourself a Party.

Finally there has been some mention of a memoir in the works, but not much else as far as details. I would imagine something like this coming out eventually, and whenever it does, it will be an interesting life to read about.

Here's a list of Lesley's Albums

  1. I'll Cry If I Want To – 1963
  2. Lesley Gore Sings of Mixed-Up Hearts – 1963
  3. Boys, Boys, Boys – 1964
  4. Girl Talk – 1964
  5. My Town, My Guy & Me - 1965
  6. Lesley Gore Sings All About Love – 1966
  7. California Nights – 1967
  8. Magic Colors – 1967
  9. Someplace Else Now – 1972
  10. Love Me by Name – 1976
  11. The Canvas Can Do Miracles – 1982
  12. Ever Since – 2005

Most of these will be hard to find, but they are worth searching for. There are of course numerous other compilation albums that give you all of her hits and other singles, but if you don't get the real albums, you're really missing something special.

In the days ahead, there will be for sure, numerous articles about Lesley and hopefully they will provide you with more information than I am able to, this article is really more of a tribute to her on my behalf.

Please feel free to post links with better information in the comments section below, much appreciated.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Such a wonderful tribute for a fantastic talent no longer with us.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to post such a nice complimentary comment.
      She may no longer be with us, but we'll always have the music.

      No matter who cover's her hits, as time goes by, no one will do her songs better.

    2. I loved Lesley Gore -- grew up with her. You don't own me....wow. Lovely tribute. I'll have to keep my eye on your blog. Loved this! xo

    3. Thank you much! The blog will become more like a website soon. With more to see...
      I really appreciate your kind words. TY Again!

    4. I came of age when It's My Party came out along with all the other familiar tunes. It's sad to think that talent had gone on, but perhaps you are right and she's definitely having her party now.


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