“Why was he holding her hand when he’s supposed to be mine?”

“It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore | I won’t come in here with a sweeping roundup of Lesley Gore’s life and career. Obviously I wasn’t around during her heyday – her biggest hit, “It’s My Party”, was released in 1963, at a time when pop music was dominantly clean and saccharine. (She didn’t even release the song first: it was first a single for Helen Shapiro.) I remember first hearing that song on one of those informercial spots selling five-disc compilations of 50s and 60s hits: it was a wholly different world to me then, and this song stuck out among many. Later, during our early days as a couple, Rainy and I sort of bonded over this song: she was also exposed to it as a kid, her mother being an avid listener of the 60s stuff. As for Lesley, well, she went on to a prolific musical career until the 1980s; she was even nominated for an Oscar for her work on Fame, notably co-writing Irene Cara’s “Out Here On My Own” with her brother. (She last released an album in 2005.) And she eventually sung about the girl Johnny dumped her for crying too. And now, as she passes away due to lung cancer, it’s our turn to cry. [NB]

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