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"Party" Girl Gore Has Nothing To Cry About These Days

Of the Oakland Press

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It’s still Lesley Gore’s party. But she’s not crying — nor does she want to.

Best known for the 1963 chart-topper “It’s My Party,” released when she was just 16, Gore has quietly built a durable career that includes a few more hits (“Judy’s Turn to Cry,” “She’s a Fool,” “You Don’t Own Me”) and songwriting successes such as “Out Here on My Own” from “Fame,” for which she and brother Michael Goldstein received an Academy Award nomination.

“I would imagine there are people who haven’t thought of me for years and didn’t know I was still active,” acknowledges Gore, 60, who was born Lesley Sue Goldstein in New York City and discovered by producer Quincy Jones.

“Some people are aware. I have an incredible group of fans who have been with me for some years. But it’s great to still be out there and kind of get reacquainted with so many people and have them walk out maybe knowing me a little better than they did before.”

Gore still records new music; her latest album, “Ever Since,” came out in 2005. But she doesn’t disavow the songs people know her for, even though her relationship to something like “It’s My Party” has changed over the past 34 years.

“I have to fi nd other ways to keep it fresh for myself,” Gore explains, “as opposed to going back and reliving that high school scenario, which is so far from my brain, it might as well not have existed.”

And having broken through as a teen, she views the current landscape of teen singers — and onetime teen singers such as Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera — with a certain amount of empathy and sympathy.

“I feel quite strongly that if I were 16 or 17 or 18 right now and I was trying to break into this business, I couldn’t stand up in front of the people at ‘American Idol,’ ” says Gore, who’s also writing her memoirs. “I couldn’t imagine anything more frightening and anxietyridden.

“That is not the way I would’ve wanted to have started as an artist, and fortunately I was protected. I was in the studio; if we made a mistake, we did another take. I couldn’t have survived in the world today, and I never would’ve been discovered.”

Lesley Gore performs at 8 p.m. Sunday (March 18th) at The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $35. Call (734) 761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

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