Lesley Gore: “You Don’t Own Me”


Today is the birthday of pop singer Lesley Gore (b. Lesley Goldstein, 1946), best known for her 1963 #1 hit “It’s My Party”. While that tune has its musical virtues, far more significant I think is her 1964 #2 hit “You Don’t Own Me”, a song breathtaking in its boldness, and way ahead of its time (that is, if you ever really listen to what she’s saying. People tend not to do that). I think it’s little cultural moments like this that slip by unnoticed and add up to major societal change before anyone knows what hit them.

I love her performance in this clip: passionate, natural and from the gut. This clip comes from an interesting source. In 1964, American International Pictures (best known for schlock horror, beach party musicals and biker flicks) released this concert film called T.A.M.I. Show (Teenage Music International), featuring a cross section of the era’s top pop music stars. Learn more about that here.

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