PABE


Ladies We Love: Leslie Gore
July 11, 2006, 7:00 pm
Filed under: gay and lesbian

Raised in a Jewish family in Tenafly, New Jersey, Lesie Gore was discovered at the age of 16 by Quincy Jones in the early 1960s. In a 2005 interview with afterellen.com, Gore explains:

…the truth is that I was taking vocal lessons here in New York with a wonderful vocal coach. And one day, instead of my lesson, the piano player and I went into a studio right in the building and we put down some demos, just piano/voice. Those demos got to Quincy Jones through an agent by the name of Joe Glaser who was very friendly with Irving Green, who was president of Mercury, and Quincy was working at Mercury and Irving put my demos on his desk. He listened to them, he called me, and we started to record.

Her first #1 hit “It’s My Party,” was followed by “Judy’s Turn to Cry” (the sequel to “It’s My Party”), “She’s a Fool”, “You Don’t Own Me,” and “Maybe I Know,” – songs about female independence considered ahead of their time even by today’s standards.

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When it was time for college, Gore put her music career on the back burner to attend Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She gained confidence and maturity as a young woman while at college, leaving the sheltered, superficial world of the music industry. Gore explains:

It was good to get away from the attention. It was a good place to go, and if I didn’t have to travel on the weekend I enjoyed staying on campus and just sitting in the library all weekend. The school was a beautiful school and the campus was kind of like a haven for me. A beautiful school and an excellent philosophy. They treat women like human beings, and they were doing that back then. It felt really good to…to feel good being a woman, and Sarah Lawrence had a lot to do with helping me feel that way.

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After college, Gore released her first album for which she had contributed as a writer. The ablum, Someplace(1970), received modest critical acclaim and record sales.

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The 1996 film Grace of My Heart featured a character (played by Bridget Fonda) thought to be loosely based on Gore’s experiences as a young, closeted teen singer.

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Today, Gore lives in New York with her partner of over twenty-three years, and their cocker spaniel, “Little Billie,” named after Billie Holiday, one of Gore’s favorite singers. She has been a host on the PBS series In the Life on GLBT news and current events since 2004.

Her first album in 30 years, Ever Since, shows her development as an artist and a woman. Songs such as “Better Angels” and “Ever Since” are haunted by a type of dark beauty afforded only to souls of a certain depth and maturity.

Check out Gore’s official website to hear song samples and to purchase the album.

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