Eydie Gorme, known for ballads and big-band numbers, dies at 84

August 10, 2013

Eydie Gorme, the bouncy, bantering, big-voiced pop singer and performer, who, as a solo act and with her husband, Steve Lawrence, appeared on the air, in clubs, on stage and on records for more than 50 years, becoming an entertainment legend, died Aug. 10 in Las Vegas. She was 84.

A cause of death was not immediately known. However, health problems were cited in 2009 when she remained home as her husband went on tour. Their official Web site said the next year that health had prompted her retirement from touring.

It was 50 years ago, and early in her career, that “Blame it on the Bossa Nova,” a solo number, placed the Bronx native on the Billboard charts and became one of her biggest successes, one that was remembered throughout a career that verged toward the easy-listening and adult-contemporary genres, heavy on ballads and big-band numbers.

She and Lawrence proved an enduring duo, both in their personal bond and their audience appeal. Their breezy repartee was comfortably steeped in the sentiment of old marrieds, who trusted each other enough to tease about almost any subject, from the mundane to the slightly risque.

The daughter of Sephardic Jews, whose roots were in the Mediterranean area, Edith Gormezano had worked after high school as a translator and made later forays into performing in Spanish.

She and Lawrence had two children; one son died in his 20s of a heart condition.