Lesley Gore “Happiness Is Just Around The Corner” (1966, Unreleased. From Lesley Gore – The Mercury Anthology, 1995)

photo-lesley-goreIt’s been one of the more devastating deaths this year when it comes to Queer Icons, but the sparkle and light of Lesley Gore still shines on. Starting with her understandable petulant #1 debut and continuing for more than 50 years, Gore gave us peerless performance one after the other, and still remains a highly underrated feminist, queer and soul Icon.

Gore pretty early on dabbled in “Blue Eyed Soul.” That shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering her main collaborative partner for her first 2 years was none other than Quincy Jones. After that it wouldn’t be the last time that she would be notably attached to prominent African American producers. In actuality, she beat Dusty Springfield by about 8 months to getting some gems from Gamble & Huff. Some could say her brace of singles from them were the template of what and what not they should use for Dusty and her Brand New Me LP.

Here we feature a more soulful take on Sunshine Pop that came from the pen of Van McCoy. Although in the same effervescent mold as her major hit “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows” it doesn’t suffer as much schlock syndrome as that hit recording. Perhaps had it seen the light of day in 1966 we’d have another joyous Gore celebration that’s considered a (Camp) classic. As now, if it isn’t a gem you already know, now you know.

Happy Birthday Lesley Gore.


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