Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It's My Blog & I'll Cry If I Want To...

I have been doing some crying on the inside over the passing of Lesley Gore.  I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of the '60s songstress, but I've known of her most of my life thanks to a little tv show that she once appeared on.  That show was, of course, Batman.

Miss Gore appeared on the 1966 hit as Pussycat, a young protege of Julie Newmar's Catwoman.  She only appeared in one story (two episodes connected by a cliffhanger) and she was not one of the fabled "Special Guest Villains" (a reserved title that I'm sure I will discuss in a future entry), but she was given more to do than just a celebrity cameo.  Her star power at the time, as well as being niece to Batman producer Howie Horwitz, probably had a lot to do with this.

A large picture of Pussycat crooning "Maybe Now" to a photo of Robin, The Boy Wonder, was printed in "The Batbook," a thick bible of a book devoted to the tv series.  The Batbook was to Little Joshie as the blue blanket was to Linus Van Pelt.  I carried it everywhere, and Pussycat was one of a few Bat-females that I had a boyhood crush on.  Ironically, I wouldn't even see the "Maybe Now" scene until the Batman Blu-Ray release in late 2014.  First seeing the show in late-80s reruns, that scene was always cut.  Left in was her song from the first part of the story, "California Nights," with an equally '60s sound.

As I grew, '60s music was never among my top choices.  I never went through The Beatles phase that many people do.  But still, that distinct flavor of her songs kept me listening if one came on.  Some might dismiss her music as being a standard product of the time, but she was under the production umbrella of Quincy Jones early in her career.  That right there proves the existence of some musical chops.  Even as her major fame faded she seemed to keep going with her music, performing for audiences of varying sizes in the decades following her musical heyday

This celebrity death hit me.  Partially due to the fact that 68 is a relatively early death in this day and age. Another reason is that the late 1960s, when she was still at the top of her game, has always been a fascinating time to me.  So much, both good and bad, was going on in every aspect of life. Pictures and footage from that time always have a special, dream-like quality to them.  If I could go back in time to any era, I do believe that it would be then.  "The Wonder Years," as it were.  And though, as is often the case today, the tumultuous times probably often outweighed the good, maybe Lesley Gore would be singing "Sunshine, Lollipops, & Rainbows." Suddenly all would be right with the world.

Goodbye, Pussycat, Goodbye...

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