350 Jersey Songs: ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore, performing on "The T.A.M.I Show" in October 1964.

Lesley Gore performs on “The T.A.M.I Show” in October 1964.

If you were to make a short list of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll lineups ever assembled for a show, you would undoubtedly include “The T.A.M.I. Show.” Appearing at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium — at two shows, actually, nearly 50 years ago, on Oct. 28 and 29, 1964 — were the Rolling Stones, James Brown, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, the Miracles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Jan and Dean, plus a house band that included future stars Leon Russell and Glen Campbell, and legendary session players Hal Blaine and Tommy Tedesco.

And, representing New Jersey, an 18-year-old singer named Lesley Gore.

Gore, who grew up in Tenafly, was attending the Dwight School for Girls in Englewood when she started having hits in the spring of 1963, and had already had six songs in the Top 20, all produced by Quincy Jones — “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” “She’s a Fool,” “You Don’t Own Me,” “That’s the Way Boys Are” and “Maybe I Know” — by the time of “The T.A.M.I. Show.” Watch a clip of her confident, commanding “T.A.M.I. Show” performance of “You Don’t Own Me,” below.

Many have covered this defiant feminist anthem over the years, including Joan Jett and Dusty Springfield. In 2012, a group of young musicians and other artists, including Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, Sia, Lena Dunham, Natasha Lyonne and Miranda July, made a video in which they lip-synced to Gore’s version in protest of presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s views on same-sex marriage, Planned Parenthood, Roe v. Wade etc. Gore herself taped an approving introductory message. (See the video below, under the “T.A.M.I. Show” video.)

Gore had her last Top 20 hit in 1965, though she continued having minor hits throughout the ’60s, and is still performing today, at 68.

“The T.A.M.I Show” —  short for “Teenage Awards Music International” or “Teen Age Music International” (the producers couldn’t make up their minds) — was made into a concert film that was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2006. It has been available in DVD form since 2010.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.

One thought on “350 Jersey Songs: ‘You Don’t Own Me,’ Lesley Gore

  1. Pingback: 'It's My Party,' Lesley Gore - NJArts.netNJArts.net

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