Steve Lawrence, Who Sang His Listeners Down Memory Lane, Dies at 88

THE NEW YORK TIMES – Steve Lawrence, the mellow baritone nightclub, television and recording star who with his wife and partner, the soprano Eydie Gorme [1928-2013], kept pop standards in vogue long past their prime and took America on musical walks down memory lane for a half-century, died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88.

The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said Susan DuBow, a spokeswoman for the family. He had been diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s in 2019.

Billed as “Steve and Eydie” at Carnegie Hall concerts, on television and at glitzy hotels in Las Vegas, the remarkably durable couple remained steadfast to their pop style as rock ’n’ roll took America by storm in the 1950s and ’60s.

Long after the millennium, they were still rendering songs like “Our Love Is Here to Stay,” “Just in Time” and “One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)” for audiences that seemed to grow old with them.

Mr. Lawrence, a cantor’s son from Brooklyn, and Ms. Gorme, a Bronx-born daughter of Sephardic Jewish immigrants, met professionally in 1953 as regular singers on “The Steve Allen Show” a late-night show on NBC’s New York station that would go national the next year as “Tonight.”

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Their romance might have been the plot of an MGM musical of the ’40s, with spats, breakups, reconciliations and plenty of songs.

When they finally decided to get married, Mr. Lawrence and Ms. Gorme faced a roadblock, as they recalled in a dressing-room interview with The New York Times at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas in 1992.

“The major problem was his mother,” Ms. Gorme explained. “She said she’d put her head in the oven if Steve married me.”

He rolled his eyes and tried to get a word in edgewise, but she plunged on: “To the day his mother died, she said I wasn’t Jewish but Spanish” …

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