‘Blame It on the Bossa Nova’ singer Eydie Gorme dies at 84

Eydie Gorme performing with her husband, Steve Lawrence, in 1996.
(Susan Greenwood / For The Times)
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Eydie Gorme, the popular nightclub vocalist and half of the longtime musical partnership Steve & Eydie, died in a Las Vegas hospital Saturday after an undisclosed illness. She was 84 years old.

Together with her husband, Steve Lawrence, Gorme was known for a breezy, easy listening style that merged well with the adult contemporary pop sound of the time. As a solo performer, she performed the Grammy-nominated 1963 hit “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” which was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (listen below).

Gorme -- who was born to Sephardic Jewish parents in New York City -- also earned fame for Spanish language recordings, including the 1964 collection of standards “Amor,” which was recorded with the Mexican group Trio los Panchos.


Gorme’s big break happened as she joined the cast of Steve Allen’s New York television show in 1953, which is where she first began working with Lawrence in musical and comedy segments. The collaboration continued as Allen’s show became “The Tonight Show,” and she and Lawrence married in 1957.

Eventually billed as Steve and Eydie, the duo won a Grammy in 1960 for best performance by a vocal group and became known for a repertoire of nightclub-ready standards that included songs by Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein. The duo continued to perform together for decades, up until Gorme’s retirement from performing in 2009.

Gorme is survived by her husband; her son, David; and a granddaughter.


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Twitter: @chrisbarton