Latinos are remembering Eydie Gorme, who died yesterday at age 84, as one of the first entertainers to cross-over to the Spanish-speaking market.
Gorme was better known as the other half of the Steve & Eydie duo but she also made a name for herself as a solo artist in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s with such hits as “Blame it on the Bossa Nova” and “You Need Hands”.
For Latinos she is remembered for the 1964 hit “Amor” recorded with the legendary Mexican Trio Los Panchos. Her other Spanish-language hit “Sabor a Mi” became one of her signature tunes for Latino audiences. Two of her Spanish-language albums “Muy Amigos/Close Friends” (1977) with Puerto Rican singer Danny Rivera and “La Gorme” (1976) were nominated for Grammys.
Steve Laurence her husband and partner once said “Our Spanish stuff outsell our English recordings, she’s [Gorme] is like a diva to the Spanish world.”
Gorme was at home singing in Spanish since she grew up speaking Spanish with her Sephardic Jewish parents in New York. Her first job after graduating high school in the Bronx was as a Spanish interpreter.
During her multi-decade career Gorme performed with such super-stars as Frank Sinatra, Placido Domingo, and Andy Williams. She had a three-octave range to her voice and was honored with numerous awards including a Grammy and Emmy. The couple was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In 2009 Gorme officially retired from the stage.
Gorme died with her partner and husband of 55 years Steve Laurence, their son David and other family members at her side. She died after a brief but undisclosed illness in a Las Vegas hospital. The couple lost their other son Michael at age 23 to a heart condition.