Lou Christie pays tribute to friend Lesley Gore

Written by Scott Mervis on .

Lesley-Gore-16606845-1-402-400x400They won't be remembered as the essential versions, partly because of the dated '80s production, but in 1986 tourmates Lou Christie and Lesley Gore recorded a duet of The Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You" with "It's Only Make Believe" for Manhattan Records.

The two singers went back much further, as Christie, who grew up in Glenwillard, near Moon, notes in a tribute he wrote to Gore, who died Monday at age 68:

"This is truly the last thing I would want to do, to say goodbye to someone whom I have admired my whole career. Lesley Gore and I met in 1963 when we both had our first hit record. Lesley was a protected new star who seemed way above it all until you had some time alone with her. She was fun, smart and talented with a sense of humor that was her secret glory. Her taste in music surpassed any teen angel that was on the charts at the time. Raised on jazz, show tunes and standards. Lesley could sing them all and did. The smokey timber of her unforgettable sound was hers and hers alone. I loved her independence, loved signing with her, loved every hit record she had...especially 'The Look of Love.' "

Gore, Brooklyn-born and New Jersey-raised, topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her signature hit "It's My Party" and followed that others, including "Judy's Turn to Cry" and "You Don't Own Me," an early feminist anthem. In 1964, she was part of "The T.A.M.I. Show," a classic concert film that also featured James Brown, the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys. 
She was here for the WWSW OldiesFest in Boyce Park in 1991 and was part of the taping at the Benedum in 2003 for "Rock and Roll at 50," doing the song "Maybe I Know."
All Music wrote, "Lesley Gore avoids 'It's My Party" in favor of 'Maybe I Know,' a song appropriate to any age singer with the pipes (which she still has)."
"I never used her on the Roots of Rock and Roll shows," says promoter Henry DeLuca. "She was a very good singer, but she was not as R&B gritty as many of the people who came to those shows preferred."

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