Monday, August 12, 2013

Gorme’s memory won’t go anytime soon

It used to amuse me to look through the vinyl LPs my father – and others of his generation – had when I was a young kid some four decades ago.

For among them were a couple of recordings by Eydie Gorme – the pop singer who died this weekend at age 84.

THE WOMAN WHO at first glance was just a Jewish girl from New York was an ethnic favorite of a good deal many people whose ethnic origins traced back to Latin American countries.

She did a few recordings in the mid-1960s with the Trio Los Panchos, including the 1964 hit “Amor,” as in “Love.”

Even without the Mexican backup of the trio, her recordings came across to the generation of the 1960s (at least those who weren’t getting all worked up over the latest Rolling Stones record) as being ethnically sympathetic.

Even something as kitschy as “Blame it on the Bossa Nova” – which strikes me as one of the most sugary pop-flavored of songs ever created.

GORME WAS OF Sephardic Jewish origins herself, and grew up in a Spanish- and English-speaking home.

For a certain generation, her pop was the closest one could find to having a Spanish feel to it. It was a different era, to be sure. Although some of those recordings hold up in their beauty even now, some five decades after they were originally made.

So for those people who heard the word of Gorme’s death and are inclined to write it off as just the passing of another old-lady singer, give it a second thought.

Because some of her music, which had an international appeal (check out the broadcast in Spanish of a U.S. artist on Japanese television) in its day, has more lasting appeal than than much of the Spanish-language recorded music that gets sold today.
AND YES. I also find some humor in this old parody of Eydie.
Then again, the old SCTV always did have a certain knack for humor -- much more intense than anything that came out of Saturday Night Live.


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