Softly, I will leave you softly
For my heart would break if you should wake and see me go
So I leave you softly, long before you miss me
Long before your arms can beg me stay
For one more hour or one more day
After all the years, I can’t bear the tears to fall
So, softly as I leave you there.
Eydie Gormé was born as Edith Gormezano in The Bronx, New York in 1928, the daughter of Fortuna and Nessim Gormezano. Her father was a tailor. She is a cousin of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka. Her parents were Sephardic Jewish immigrants, her father from Sicily and her mother from Turkey.
She graduated from William Howard Taft High School in 1946 and worked for the United Nations as an interpreter, using her fluency in the Ladino and Spanish languages. She made her recording debut in 1950 .
In 1953, Gormé caught both her big break, and her future, lifelong husband, when she and singer STEVE LAWRENCE were booked to the original The Tonight Show, then hosted by Steve Allen.
Gormé enjoyed hit singles of her own, none selling bigger than 1963’s “Blame It on the Bossa Nova”, which was also her final foray into the Top 40 pop charts. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. She won a Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in 1967, for her version of “If He Walked Into My Life”, from Mame.
Gormé died on August 10, 2013, six days shy of her 85th birthday, at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center in Las Vegas following a brief, undisclosed illness. Her husband, Steve Lawrence, was at her bedside, along with their surviving son, David.