In early 1963, a year before the Beatles landed on The Ed Sullivan Show, New Jersey teenager Lesley Gore was on her way home from high school when she was surprised to hear herself on the radio. The tune was "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)," a now-classic tale of teenage angst, produced by no less than Quincy Jones, whose use of multi-tracked vocals and judicious horns placed "It's My Party" at the heart of the prevailing girl-group sound. The song had been released in a hurry after word got out that Phil Spector planned to record it with the Crystals. "It's My Party" hit No. 1 on the charts, and Gore followed up with a succession of hits over the next few years, including "Judy's Turn to Cry," "She's a Fool," "You Don't Own Me," "That's the Way Boys Are," and "Maybe I Know." Although she was gone from the pop charts well before the end of the '60s, she later worked as an actress in films and TV (including Batman), continued to write songs (including lyrics for "Out Here on My Own" for brother Michael's Oscar-winning score for the film Fame), and attempted several comebacks through the early '80s. She last surfaced on 2005's Ever Since, an accomplished and truly impressive collection of adult contemporary songs that still grapple with angst but are far more mature and sophisticated than those of her adolescent years. Gore is a wonderful singer. Her teenage voice is still readily evident, but again, it has matured exquisitely, especially in tonal colors. Included on Ever Since are fine new versions of "Out Here on My Own" and "You Don't Own Me," the latter still a declaration of independence, but darker and even more resonant. Yeah, Lesley Gore at the Dakota will be a dose of deep nostalgia, but also promises to be a lot more. She'll be backed by a quartet, which should include pianist Blake Morgan, who produced Ever Since and wrote some of its material. (Photo by Mike Errico)
Mondays, Sundays, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: Jan. 10. Continues through Jan. 11, 2010
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