As I discovered while researching my bio of Laura, Lesley “It’s My Party” Gore was a big Nyro fan back in the day. She brought several of Laura’s compositions to the attention of her producer, Quincy Jones, and he agreed to cut “Wedding Bell Blues”–which, unfortunately for Gore, was released the same week as the Fifth Dimension’s version. You all know which one went to Billboard’s #1 spot and which was never heard again.
But even before she cut WBB, Gore and her songwriter brother Michael had produced their own Nyro pastiche, “Ride a Tall White Horse.” It’s rather hilarious in its unabashed homage to Laura. How many Nyro “quotes” can you distinguish? Offhand, I hear “Blowin’ Away,” “Timer,” “Stoney End” and the start-stop of “Farmer Joe.” The song was basically a demo, never released, but has appeared on Gore anthologies–and on YouTube (above).
It’s no surprise that Gore remains a Nyro fan to this day. And now we come to the timely point of this post: She’s currently touring with a set that includes “I Never Meant To Hurt You,” the wrenching ballad from Laura’s first album. New Yorkers can check out Gore’s version on Halloween at the Metropolitan Museum’s Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. Enjoy her party–and wear your Laura Nyro costume!