The month of March Tribute to Strong Women Everywhere

 
     Leslie Gore

This song became my personal anthem in my teens. And became the anthem for “First Wives Club” in1996, a blog I did a few years ago. Boys and masculinity were not going to get in my way!  What I like best about Gore, is she just lived her life naturally and did what she wanted to do. She never felt she had to pretend she was straight. But she was still a product of a homophobic music business by not allowing her to sing a song with the word groovy in it! Phil Collins recorded Groovy Kind of Love in 1988.

Another part of Leslie I love is her love of learning, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, literature and the arts. She was never interested in being “a star,” the chaos of what it all involves. In her later years. Around 2005 she began hosting episodes of a PBS documentary “In the Life”, which focused on gay and lesbian issues. She officially came out to the public at large on the show. Her work on the show inspired her since she saw it making a difference in the small towns across the country. Before her death from lung cancer she did release a comeback album “Ever Since”, which featured many movie and television show soundtracks.

Tributes all described Leslie as a wonderful human being – caring, giving, great humanitarian, great femimist….an inspiration yet.

Gore was given first shot at recording “A Groovy Kind of Love” by songwriters Carole Bayer and Toni Wine with a melody borrowed from a sonatina by Muzio Clementi, but Shelby Singleton, a producer for Mercury subsidiary Smash Records, refused to let Gore record a song with the word “groovy” in its lyrics.

Gore was one of the featured performers in the T.A.M.I. Show concert film, which was recorded and released in 1964 by American International Pictures. She had one of the longest sets in the film, performing six songs including “It’s My Party”, “You Don’t Own Me”, and “Judy’s Turn to Cry”. Gore performed on two consecutive episodes of the Batman television series (January 19 and 25, 1967), in which she guest-starred as Pussycat, one of Catwoman’s minions. In the January 19 episode “That Darn Catwoman”.

Gore co-wrote a song, “My Secret Love”, for the 1996 film Grace of My Heart. The film includes a subplot about a young singer named Kelly Porter, who is based in part on Gore and is played by Bridget Fonda. The character, who is a closeted lesbian, performs “My Secret Love” in the film.
 

Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother, Michael Gore, for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award. She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014. In a 2005 interview with After Ellen, she stated she was a lesbian and had been in a relationship with luxury jewelry designer Lois Sasson since 1982. She had known since she was 20 and stated that although the music business was “totally homophobic,” she never felt she had to pretend she was straight. “I just kind of lived my life naturally and did what I wanted to do,” she said. “I didn’t avoid anything, I didn’t put it in anybody’s face.”

Her New York Times obituary stated that with her songs, all recorded before she was 18, such as “the indelibly defiant” 1964 hit “You Don’t Own Me,” Lesley Gore made herself “the voice of teenage girls aggrieved by fickle boyfriends, moving quickly from tearful self-pity to fierce self-assertion.”

 

Leslie Gore, You Don’t Own Me
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