Jewish entertainers

Brooklyn Jewish Celebrities - STEVE LAWRENCE

Steve

Lawrence

American singer, actor and humanitarian.
Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Liebowitz; July 8, 1935) is an American singer and actor, best known as a member of a duo with his late wife Eydie Gormé, billed as “Steve and Eydie.” The two first appeared together as regulars on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954 and continued performing as a duo until Gormé’s retirement in 2009. She died August 10, 2013.  By Wikipedia

Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme's Star on the Walk of Fame
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme's Star on the Walk of Fame
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme
Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé

STEVE LAWRENCE

Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Liebowitz; July 8, 1935) is an American singer and actor, best known as a member of a duo with his late wife Eydie Gormé, billed as “Steve and Eydie.” The two first appeared together as regulars on Tonight Starring Steve Allen in 1954 until Gormé’s retirement in 2009. She died August 10, 2013.

Steve Lawrence was born as Sidney Liebowitz in the Brooklyn borough of New York City to Jewish parents, Max, a cantor in the Bronx, and Helen. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School.

In 1951 he appeared on TV on the “Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts” show and won first-prize.

In the late 1950s, Steve Lawrence was drafted into the United States Army and served as the official vocal soloist with t,he United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own,” in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence had success on the record charts in the late 1950s and early 1960s with such hits as “Go Away Little Girl” (U.S. #1), “Pretty Blue Eyes” (U.S. #9), “Footsteps” (U.S. #7), “Portrait of My Love” (U.S. #9), and “Party Doll” (U.S. #5). “Go Away, Little Girl” sold over one million copies and was awarded a Gold record. However, much of his musical career has centered on nightclubs and the musical stage. He is also an actor, appearing in guest roles on television shows in every decade since the 1950s, in shows such as The Danny Kaye Show, The Judy Garland Show, The Julie Andrews Hour, Night Gallery, The Flip Wilson Show, Police Story, Murder, She Wrote, Gilmore Girls, and CSI. His appearances on The Carol Burnett Show (1967-78), with and without wife Eydie, were especially ubiquitous. He served as a panelist on the original What’s My Line? (1950-67). In the fall of 1965, Lawrence was briefly the star of a variety show called “The Steve Lawrence Show,” one of the last television shows in black and white on CBS.

He and Gormé appeared together in the Broadway musical “Golden Rainbow,” which ran from February 1968 to January 1969. Although the show was not a huge success (a summary of this experience is chronicled in unflattering detail in William Goldman’s 1968 book, “The Season”), the show contained the memorable song, “I’ve Gotta Be Me.” This song was originally sung by Lawrence at the end of the first act of the musical; Sammy Davis, Jr. would later record a version of the song that became a Billboard Top 25 hit on its Hot 100 pop singles chart in 1969. Frank Sinatra was known to have repeatedly stated that the best male vocalist he had ever heard was Steve Lawrence, although he also repeatedly said the same of Matt Monro and Tony Bennett.

He starred as Gary McBride in the 1972 film “Stand Up and Be Counted,” opposite Jacqueline Bisset and Stella Stevens. In 1980, he was introduced to a new generation of fans with his portrayal of Maury Sline in “The Blues Brothers” and later reprised the role in the 1998 sequel, “Blues Brothers 2000.” His other films include the Steve Martin comedy, “The Lonely Guy” (1984) and the crime thriller “The Yards” (2000).

In 1984, he and comic Don Rickles hosted ABC’s “Foul-Ups, Bleeps & Blunders.”

In 1985, Steve and Eydie Gormé played Tweedledee (Gormé) and Tweedledum (Lawrence) in Irwin Allen’s film adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

He played Mark McCormick’s father, Sonny Daye, in two episodes of “Hardcastle and McCormick.” In 1999, he appeared as the much-talked about, but never really seen, Morty Fine, father of Fran Fine in a few of the final episodes of “The Nanny.” In 2011, he portrayed Jack, a wealthy love interest of Betty White’s character, Elka Ostrovsky, on “Hot in Cleveland.” In 2014, he guest-starred in an episode of “Two and a Half Men” on CBS, and sang the theme song to the parody miniseries, “The Spoils of Babylon.”

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Steve Lawrence among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

WEDDING OF STEVE AND EYDIE, DECEMBER 1957
Newsreel with Joe E. Lewis
Las Vegas, Nevada

Lawrence and Gormé married on December 29, 1957, at the El Rancho Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. They had two sons together. David Nessim Lawrence (b. 1960) is an ASCAP Award-winning composer who composed the score for “High School Musical.” Michael Robert Lawrence (1962–1986) died suddenly from ventricular fibrillation resulting from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of twenty-three. Michael was an assistant editor for a television show at the time of his death and was apparently healthy despite a previous diagnosis of slight arrhythmia. Gormé and Lawrence were in Steve LawrenceWhat Makes Sammy Run?Atlanta, Georgia, at the time of Michael’s death, having performed at the Fox Theater the night before. Upon learning of the death, family friend Frank Sinatra sent his private plane to fly the couple to New York to meet David, who was attending school at the time. Following their son’s death, Gormé and Lawrence took a year off before touring again.

In June 2019, Lawrence was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Best Performance By a Vocal Duo or Group” Grammy Award for “We Got Us”; a Film Advisory Board’s Award of Excellence and a Television Critics Circle Award for “From This Moment On,” a tribute to Cole Porter. The duo also won a Las Vegas Entertainment Award for “Musical Variety Act of the Year” four times, three of them consecutively.

They were honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1995 were the recipients of an Ella Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Singers, a non-profit organization that helps professional singers with counseling and financial assistance.

Steve Lawrence, Student at J.H.S. 109 June 1950

Steve Lawrence, Student at J.H.S. 109
June 1950
Steve is probably the boy in the back row, on the extreme right.
Photo courtesy of Craig Schlange

STEVE RECEIVED A HUMANITARIAN AWARD FROM THE YIDDISH THEATRICAL ALLIANCE January 4, 1969

STEVE RECEIVED A HUMANITARIAN AWARD
FROM THE YIDDISH THEATRICAL ALLIANCE
January 4, 1969

“Presented to Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, in recognition of their faithful devotion and untiring efforts in behalf of humanitarian causes and exceptional
achievement in the Theatre Arts. Yiddish Theatrical Alliance.”

Pictured, left to right: Jacob Jacobs, Menasha Skulnik, Steve Lawrence, David Kulok, Irving Jacobson and Charlie Cohan.

Courtesy of Steven Lasky, museumoffamilyhistory.com

Steve’s discography includes:

  • Steve Lawrence (1953, King)

  • About That Girl (1956, Coral)

  • Songs by Steve Lawrence (1957, Coral)

  • Here’s Steve Lawrence (1958, Coral)

  • All About Love (1959, Coral)

  • Swing Softly with Me (1959, ABC-Paramount)

  • Songs Everybody Knows (1960, Coral)

  • We Got Us with Eydie Gormé (1960, ABC-Paramount)

  • Steve & Eydie Sing the Golden Hits with Eydie Gormé (1960, ABC-Paramount)

  • Best of Steve Lawrence (1960, ABC-Paramount)

  • The Steve Lawrence Sound (1960, United Artists)

  • Steve Lawrence Goes Latin (1960, United Artists)

  • Portrait of My Love (1961, United Artists)

  • Our Best to You with Eydie Gormé (1961, ABC-Paramount)

  • Cozy with Eydie Gormé (1961, United Artists)

  • It’s Us Again (1962, Silvirkin shampoo)

  • People Will Say We’re In Love (1962, United Artists)

  • Winners! (1962, Columbia)

  • Come Waltz With Me (1962, Columbia)

  • Two on the Aisle with Eydie Gormé (1962, United Artists)

  • Steve Lawrence Conquers Broadway (1963, United Artists)

  • Swinging West (1963)

  • Steve & Eydie At the Movies with Eydie Gormé (1963)

  • That Holiday Feeling with Eydie Gormé (1964)

  • Academy Award Losers (1964, Columbia)

  • What Makes Sammy Run? (1964, Columbia)

  • The Steve Lawrence Show (1965, Columbia)

  • Steve Lawrence’s Greatest Hits(1965, Columbia)

  • Together on Broadway with Eydie Gormé (1967, Columbia)

  • Sing of Love and Sad Young Men (1967)

  • Bonfá & Brazil with Eydie Gormé (1967)

  • Moon River(1967, Harmony)

  • Golden Rainbow (1968)

  • I’ve Gotta Be Me (1969)

  • Real True Lovin’ with Eydie Gormé (1969)

  • What It Was, Was Love with Eydie Gormé (1969)

  • Ramblin’ Rose(1969, Harmony)

  • The More I See You(1969, Vocalion)

  • On A Clear Day – Steve Sings Up A Storm (1970)

  • A Man and a Woman with Eydie Gormé (1970)

  • Love me with all your heart(1970, Harmony)

  • Go Away Little Girl(1971, Harmony)

  • Portrait of Steve (1972)

  • The World of Steve & Eydie with Eydie Gormé (1972)

  • Feelin’ with Eydie Gormé (1972, Stage 2)

  • Our Love is Here to Stay: The Gershwin Years with Eydie Gormé (1976)

  • Tu Seras Mi Musica (1977)

  • My Way (1977)

  • Take It On Home (1981)

  • Hallelujah with Eydie Gormé (1984)

  • Through the Years with Eydie Gormé (1984)

  • Alone Together with Eydie Gormé (1989)

  • Greatest 20th Century Songs (2000)

  • Warm Hours (2000)

  • Academy Award Losers + 7 Bonus Track (2001)

  • Songs My Friends Made Famous (2001)

  • Sings of Love & Sad Young Men/Portrait of Steve (2001)

  • Steve Lawrence Sings Sinatra (2003)

  • Winners/On a Clear Day (2005)

  • Love Songs From The Movies (2005)

  • Steve Lawrence Sound/Portrait of My Love (2005)

  • Steve Lawrence Show + 4 Bonus Track (2009)

  • When You Come Back to Me Again (2014)

  • Steve Lawrence Conquers Broadway (2014)

Brooklyn Jewish Celebrities - DANNY KAYE

Danny

Kaye

American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, musician, and philanthropist.
Danny Kaye

Danny Kaye (born David Daniel KaminskyYiddishדאַװיד דאַניעל קאַמינסקי‎; January 18, 1911 – March 3, 1987) was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, musician, and philanthropist. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.  Wikipedia.com

Music: South side of the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Music: South side of the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Radio: North side of the 6100 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Radio: North side of the 6100 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Film: North side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Film: North side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard

Danny Kaye: The Boy From Brooklyn

Danny Kaye

Danny Kaye

David Daniel Kaminsky was born to Ukrainian Jewish immigrants in Brooklyn. Jacob and Clara Nemerovsky Kaminsky and their two sons, Larry and Mac, left Ekaterinoslav two years before his birth; he was the only son born in the United States. He spent his early youth attending Public School 149 in East New York, Brooklyn (on Dumont Avenue, c. Williams Avenue) — which eventually was renamed to honor him — where he began entertaining his classmates with songs and jokes, before moving over to Thomas Jefferson High School (on Pennsylvania Ave., by Dumont), though he never graduated. His mother died when he was in his early teens. Clara enjoyed the impressions and humor of her son and always had words of encouragement; her death was a loss for the young Kaye.

Not long after his mother’s death, Kaye and his friend Louis ran away to Florida. Kaye sang while Louis played the guitar; the pair eked out a living for a while. When Kaye returned to New York, his father did not pressure him to return to school or work, giving his son the chance to mature and discover his own abilities. Kaye said he had wanted to be a surgeon as a young boy, but there was no chance of the family affording a medical school education.

He held a succession of jobs after leaving school, as a soda jerk, insurance investigator, and office clerk. Most ended with his being fired. He lost the insurance job when he made an error that cost the insurance company $40,000. The dentist who hired him to look after his office at lunch hour did the same when he found Kaye using his drill on the office woodwork. He learned his trade in his teenage years in the Catskills as a tummler in the Borscht Belt, and for four seasons at The White Roe resort.

Kaye’s first break came in 1933 when he joined the “Three Terpischoreans”, a vaudeville dance act. They opened in Utica, New York, with him using the name Danny Kaye for the first time. The act toured the United States, then performed in Asia with the show La Vie Paree. The troupe left for a six-month tour of the Far East on February 8, 1934. While they were in Osaka, Japan, a typhoon hit the city. The hotel where Kaye and his colleagues stayed suffered heavy damage; a piece of the hotel’s cornice was hurled into Kaye’s room by the strong wind, nearly killing him. By performance time that evening, the city was in the grip of the storm. There was no power, and the audience was understandably restless and nervous.

To calm them, Kaye went on stage, holding a flashlight to illuminate his face, and sang every song he could recall as loudly as he was able. The experience of trying to entertain audiences who did not speak English inspired him to the pantomime, gestures, songs, and facial expressions that eventually made his reputation. Sometimes it was necessary just to get a meal. Kaye’s daughter, Dena, tells a story her father related about being in a restaurant in China and trying to order chicken. Kaye flapped his arms and clucked, giving the waiter an imitation of a chicken. The waiter nodded in understanding, bringing Kaye two eggs. His interest in cooking began on the tour.

When Kaye returned to the United States, jobs were in short supply and he struggled for bookings. One job was working in a burlesque revue with fan dancer Sally Rand. After the dancer dropped a fan while trying to chase away a fly, Kaye was hired to watch the fans so they were always held in front of her.

Danny Kaye

photo: Danny Kaye, well known stage and screen star, entertains 4,000 5th Marine Division, occupation troops at Sasebo, Japan. The crude sign across the front of the stage says: `Officers keep out! Enlisted men’s country.'” Pfc. H. J. Grimm, October 25, 1945. 127-N-138204. 25 October 1945. Photo courtesy of the U. S. National Archives.

Danny Kaye made his film debut in a 1935 comedy short Moon Over Manhattan. In 1937 he signed with New York–based Educational Pictures for a series of two-reel comedies. Kaye usually played a manic, dark-haired, fast-talking Russian in these low-budget shorts, opposite young hopefuls June Allyson or Imogene Coca. The Kaye series ended abruptly when the studio shut down in 1938. He was working in the Catskills in 1937, using the name Danny Kolbin. Kaye’s next venture was a short-lived Broadway show, with Sylvia Fine as the pianist, lyricist and composer. The Straw Hat Revue opened on September 29, 1939, and closed after ten weeks, but critics took notice of Kaye’s work. The reviews brought an offer for both Kaye and his bride, Sylvia, to work at La Martinique, a New York City nightclub. Kaye performed with Sylvia as his accompanist. At La Martinique, playwright Moss Hart saw Danny perform, which led to Hart casting him in his hit Broadway comedy Lady in the Dark. Here is an article that appeared in the Brooklyn Eagle newspaper on Sunday, October 29, 1939 about the life and times of Danny Kaye. Hope you enjoy it and learn a bit more about him. The title of the article is: “Brooklyn’s Danny Kaye/Now in ‘Straw Hat Revue’, He Trouped 18 Years, and His Father Is Ladies’ Tailor of 350 Bradford St.”: One of the pleasanter surprises of “The Straw Hat Revue” at the Ambassador Theater has been the Broadway debut of an amiably antic comedian who answers to the name Danny Kaye and who hails from Brooklyn. Twenty-five, tall, slim, and blond, he has been trouping it in the hinterlands since the age of 18. Danny once thought seriously of becoming a physician but fortunately was sidetracked into a less serious preoccupation. “My dad went from saddlebags to corsets,” he says. “He was a horse dealer in Russia, and now is in the ladies’ tailoring business. We live in the East New York section of Brooklyn (father is John Kominski, 350 Bradford St.), and I went to Thomas Jefferson High.” During summer vacations Danny played the Borscht circuit in the Catskills, teamed with two vaudevillians who made him a dancer in forty minutes flat in a hotel lobby one night, when their dancer came down with measles. He went on the stage, never bothering to let his left foot know what his right foot was doing, and fell flatter than Humpty Dumpty.
Young Danny Kaye

Young Danny Kaye

He got a laugh, and a comic was born. The vaudevillians were hired by a travelling unit show, and Danny was “thrown in.” Inside of two weeks he was doing 16 of the show’s 21 turns. They took him to Japan, China, the Philippines, Malaya, Siam, and back again. In the Orient he was a matinee idol — the grinning and willing audiences able to follow his jokes and patter only through an interpreter. Lately he has played the Casa Manana with Nick Long Jr.; London’s swank Dorchester House, done guest air appearances for Bessy Venuta and Walter O’Keefe; movie shorts at Astoria; and last summer teamed with the Strawhaters at Max Liebman’s Camp Tamiment in the Pennsylvania Hills. A sample of his sly style in “The Straw Hat Revue” is the “Anatole of Paris” sketch, written by Brooklyn’s Sylvia Fine. He is a male modiste complete with blue hair, whose “twisted eugenics” are the result of a “family of inbred schizophrenics,” and who designs preposterous women’s hats because, he confides, he hates women. A moment later he is a frenzied wolf on Wall St., too busy cornering the pumpernickel market to get married. Again he pops up as a blibber-blabber radio singer, a dialect waiter, and the Masked Gondolier (alias Danny Davenport of the United States Secret Service) in “The Great Chancelier,” a merry travesty on a long line of phony Continental operettas. Another of his high spots is the harmonizing trio, “Three Little Hicks”, a parody on the “Three Little Maids” number in the Shubert sister show, “Streets of Paris.” During summer vacations Danny played the Borscht circuit in the Catskills, teamed with two vaudevillians who made him a dancer in forty minutes flat in a hotel lobby one night, when their dancer came down with measles. He went on the stage, never bothering to let his left foot know what his right foot was doing, and fell flatter than Humpty Dumpty. He got a laugh, and a comic was born.The vaudevillians were hired by a travelling unit show, and Danny was “thrown in.” Inside of two weeks he was doing 16 of the show’s 21 turns. They took him to Japan, China, the Philippines, Malaya, Siam, and back again. In the Orient he was a matinee idol — the grinning and willing audiences able to follow his jokes and patter only through an interpreter. Lately he has played the Casa Manana with Nick Long Jr.; London’s swank Dorchester House, done guest air appearances for Bessy Venuta and Walter O’Keefe; movie shorts at Astoria; and last summer teamed with the Strawhaters at Max Liebman’s Camp Tamiment in the Pennsylvania Hills. A sample of his sly style in “The Straw Hat Revue” is the “Anatole of Paris” sketch, written by Brooklyn’s Sylvia Fine. He is a male modiste complete with blue hair, whose “twisted eugenics” are the result of a “family of inbred schizophrenics,” and who designs preposterous women’s hats because, he confides, he hates women. A moment later he is a frenzied wolf on Wall St., too busy cornering the pumpernickel market to get married. Again he pops up as a blibber-blabber radio singer, a dialect waiter, and the Masked Gondolier (alias Danny Davenport of the United States Secret Service) in “The Great Chancelier,” a merry travesty on a long line of phony Continental operettas. Another of his high spots is the harmonizing trio, “Three Little Hicks”, a parody on the “Three Little Maids” number in the Shubert sister show, “Streets of Paris.” So here is a modern Daniel thrown suddenly into that modern lion’s den, Broadway. Critics and [the] pubic seem to be gobbling him up. The verdict seems to be Kaye is okay. Courtesy of Steven Lasky, museumoffamilyhistory.com

More on Danny Kaye

DANNY KAYE, A MENTSH FOR ALL SEASONS by Joe Dorinson
ARE WE FUNNY OR WHAT? Author: Joe Dorinson
JOE’S CORNER – DANNY KAYE Video of Joe Dorinson
Barbra Streisand talks feminism with release of her newest album

Brooklyn native Barbra Streisand talks feminism with release of her newest album

Brooklyn native Barbra Streisand talks feminism with release of her newest album

This image shows Barbra Streisand during the of filming of “Funny Girl”. AP Photo/Steve Schapiro via Taschen
This image shows Barbra Streisand during the of filming of "Funny Girl". Book publisher Taschen announced Sept. 3, 2014, that "Barbra: Streisand's Early Years in Hollywood, 1968-1976" will be published in December and will include more than 240 images, many of them never published before

This image shows Barbra Streisand during the of filming of “Funny Girl”. Book publisher Taschen announced Sept. 3, 2014, that “Barbra: Streisand’s Early Years in Hollywood, 1968-1976” will be published in December and will include more than 240 images, many of them never published before.

Brooklyn native Barbra Streisand’s new album of duets only includes male singers, but it wasn’t a conscious effort to exclude females.

“Everyone we asked was … busy,” Streisand said. The performer almost scored one major diva: Beyonce.

“She had her people try to do a track of one of the songs from my movie, ‘A Star is Born,’ and it just, we didn’t have the time to finish it, to get it right,” she said. “We had to release the album. Maybe someday we’ll do a duet because she’s so great.”

“Partners,” released Tuesday, features Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, John Legend and Babyface, who produced the album.

In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Streisand talked about music, directing, women’s right and politics.


AP: Would you do an album full of female duets next?

Streisand: (Pauses) Possibly. I loved singing with Celine (Dion) and Donna Summer.

AP: What was the energy like in the studio for you and your guests?

Read More »Brooklyn native Barbra Streisand talks feminism with release of her newest album