You Don’t Own Me

You Don’t Own Me

The Life and Times of Lesley Gore

By Trevor Tolliver

Assembled over five years of research and interviews, this is the first and long-overdue biography of Lesley Gore.


The year was 1963. Tail fins were in, sock hops were hot, and a fairytale white knight was president.

That summer, 16-year-old singer Lesley Gore released her debut single, “It’s My Party,” propelling her to Number One on the charts. For the next several years, the crowned Princess of Pop dominated the radio with a string of hits including “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” “She’s A Fool,” “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows,” and the rousing anthem for independence, “You Don’t Own Me,” making her the most successful and influential solo female artist of the 1960s. But beneath the bubblegum façade was a girl squirming against social and professional pressures to simply be herself and to forge a future where she could write and perform music beyond the trappings of teenage angst and love triangles.

Assembled over five years of research and interviews, You Don’t Own Me: The Life and Times of Lesley Gore by Trevor Tolliver (September 2015, Backbeat Books, $27.99) is the first and long-overdue biography of Lesley Gore, one of pop music’s pioneering Mothers. Tolliver chronicles Gore’s meteoric rise to fame, her devastating fall from popularity and struggle for relevance in the 1970s, and her reemergence as a powerful songwriter, political activist, and camp icon.

You Don’t Own Me includes behind-the-scenes stories about the making of her hit records, debunks or clarifies popular myths about her career, and places her remarkable life and times within a historical context to reveal how her music was both impacted by, and contributed to, each decade of her astounding fifty-year career.

6.0″ x 9.0″
240 pages
Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation


Trevor Tolliver was raised in Duarte, Calif., and received his formal degrees from Cal Poly Pomona, and his musical education from his mom and dad and their stacks of oldies records. He is an adjunct English professor at Mount San Antonio College, where he teaches literature and developmental writing. He lives with his husband, four sons, and two jolly guinea pigs in Rancho, Cucamonga, Calif.





Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on September 29, 2015, in Music Fans, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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