Lesley Gore

kaylarStarred Page By kaylar, 19th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Celebrities>Personalities

A short biography of the singer Lesley Gore who spoke for a Generation


Lesley Gore died on the 16th of February 2015. Those who were alive in the 60s know who she was, know her music, and more, understand it.

Lesley Gore’s lyrics spoke to the teenager of the '60s. The kid who had been born in the 40s, who was enculturated in the 50s, and who entered the world of teenager in the '60s.


The 1950s was a time in which girls didn’t kiss on the first date. In fact, a boy had to call a girl often no later than Wednesday for Friday. The date would begin with the boy collecting the girl at her house, meeting the parents, clearly defining where they were going, and getting her home by 11 p.m. at the latest.

There was no kissing on the first date, the first kiss would be on the third date. This was a PG kiss.

The two would go on to date, with no touching of the private regions, and would result in the 'Going Steady’, in which the boy gave the girl a ring she wore around her neck on a chain to symbolise she was 'involved’ with someone.

Parents would meet, there would be dinner parties so that everyone would get to know each other.

‘Going Steady’ either resulted in the break up which was a time for hysteria or engagement which was often put in local newspapers. This would be followed by marriage.

Although this was not an ‘arranged’ marriage, it might as well be, for the parents had to know the intended and approve.


Considering that in the 50s people lived in their own communities, so that cross-racial, cross-religious or cross-economic barriers were rarely breached, the young people were confined to those of their 'tribe’.

Hence, although Mr. and Mrs. Silverman didn’t arrange with Mr & Mrs Gold that Sarah and David should be wed, it was very much the same.

Although Sarah Silverman could marry Barry Horowitz or Allan Abrahams, and David Gold could have fallen in love with Debbie Birnbaum or Linda Adler, they were all in the 'set’.

What set you belonged to; this defined where you lived, what school you went to, and what your future would look like.

Lesley Gore sang of the experiences of those who lived in such a world. Her first hit song was “It’s My Party”. In it, a girl, having her sweet sixteen sees her boyfriend dancing with another girl and 'I can cry if I want to...”

Her last hit in the series was “You Don’t Own Me”, which showed the budding women’s movement, in which a girl informs a boy, “Don’t tell me what to wear...”.


The culture of the 50s lasted until the mid-60s. Then began the inexorable alteration in society.

Gore’s generation consisted of kids who were well fed, well educated. Because of the “Cold War” , the pressure was on to insure the healthiest, brightest generation ever.

Children were raised under the Rules of Doctor Spock, bottle fed with carefully calculated content, toilet trained by the time they could walk, able to talk and take their place at the dining room table at the age of two.

With the threat of War handing over their heads, they knew the rule of school was ‘perform’ or be swept away. With ‘streaming’ if one wasn’t in Bright Class or Second Bright, being channeled into trades was certain.

With the pressure on, with endless opportunities, these kids grew to see the lies of their society and decided to smash all the rules which held them.

Sexuality exploded, and few girls outside of the strict religious cultures, reached their wedding day virgins, if they ever did get married.

Her Generation

Lesley Gore was graduating High School and going into College at this time. She had pulled back from her career in favour of her education. Perhaps she thought her career would still be there when she was ready.

“It would be very foolish of me to leave school to go into such an unpredictable field on a full-time basis.”

As has been proven time and again, once one falls from the pinnacle it is unlikely they will get a second chance.

The Beatles arrived in 1964 and the English Invasion filled the charts. This continued into the 70s. Admixed with Protest Songs, powerful American groups, Folk Singers, there was no space for anything reflecting the 50s,

The Years After

With powerful protest songs, with a total change in mentality, Lesley Gore disappeared. She was a has been whose songs were never played, except to be ridiculed, for girls were no longer the way Lesley had portrayed them.

Although she did go back into the studio, and did release records, they were ignored.


It was not until 1980 whe she collaborated with her younger brother Michael on songs for the Fame movie did she return to the Spotlight. She earned an Oscar nomination for “Out Here on My Own.” She appeared as a “guest star” in the musical Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

But her career was over.

Her Life

Lesley Gore was a lesbian. Although not coming out until 2005 when no one cared very much, she had been in a stable relationship for over thirty years.

Her song “You Don’t Own Me,” released in 1963 did become a bit of an anthem in 2012 during the Presidential Campaign.


Death Of Lesley Gore, Its My Party, Lesbian, Sarah Lawrence, Singer, Songwriter, Teenager

Meet the author

author avatar kaylar
I am passionate about history, culture, current events, science and law

Share this page

moderator Mark Gordon Brown moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Steve Kinsman
20th Feb 2015 (#)

Fascinating read kaylar. Well done.

Reply to this comment

author avatar Retired
20th Feb 2015 (#)

She may have been "big" in the States, but I don't think her fame travelled anywhere else!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
20th Feb 2015 (#)

Times were sure different back then weren't they? This was as much about Lesley Gore as it was about society at that time, a great look at cultural history.

Reply to this comment

author avatar kaylar
20th Feb 2015 (#)

When I began to write about her I realised that she spoke of a time and place that virtually disappeared a few years later. To set her in her cultural setting seemed necessary

Reply to this comment

author avatar kaylar
20th Feb 2015 (#)

She wasn't an 'exportable' singer. At the time, England was into Elvis, Dylan, and their own sound, so she fell by the wayside.
By the time Dusty Springfield and the other solo female artistes caught prominance in England and America, she was gone.

Reply to this comment

author avatar M G Singh
22nd Feb 2015 (#)

Added to my knowledge,. Thanks

Reply to this comment

author avatar kaylar
22nd Feb 2015 (#)

You are most welcome Madan

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
22nd Feb 2015 (#)

An excellent read. Thank you.

Reply to this comment

author avatar kaylar
22nd Feb 2015 (#)

you are very welcome

Reply to this comment

author avatar SaigonDeManila
23rd Feb 2015 (#)

Great read and am sure you made an effort on findng those images to supplement a very good article!

Reply to this comment

author avatar kaylar
23rd Feb 2015 (#)

Yes I did, thank you

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?