|Give the Little Girl A Big Hand|
| Steve and Eydie are now in full swing (tomorrow is their fifth outing) as the summertime replacement for Steve Allen's Sunday night potpourri. But when the phone rang they had been working in a Salisbury Beach (Mass.) night club and were preparing to embark for New York and their new job.
"Are you nervous?" asked the fellow on the phone.
"No, we're not nervous. Don't say we're nervous. We're both very excited, that's all. Ever since we found out we'd be doing The Allen Show, we've been planning. Our crew is great. We've got Johnny Bradford, a Dinah Shore writer; and Bill Dana, from the Allen writing staff; and Dwight Hemion, who is Allen's director, and Jack Kane, a great musical conductor. He's from Canada."
"Steve, how come they picked you and Eydie for The Allen Show?"
"We had the opportunity," said Steve, "to pick almost any show we wanted...so many of the big shows that were going off for the summer. But we picked this one because it offered us more of a good showcase."
Stubby little Steve Lawrence (he's 5 feet 9) is, in many ways, a hammered-down version of Steve Allen himself. His talents are versatile, like those of his lieber meister. He can sing, of course, and he can also dance a little and tinkle the piano keys. At 23, he's a good dead-pan comedian and a polished raconteur. And, as a businessman, he's coldly realistic and calculating. When the fellow in New York asked why he didn't play more double dates with Eydie, he replied:
"I'll be honest with you. We can earn more money as soloists. We are not an act together. What we like to do is to take different jobs at different times. Then we can always be together.
"And we agree about TV. A weekly series, unless it's right, can do more harm than good professionally. We've had offers. Plenty of them. But we haven't found the right format."
Are Steve and Eydie tied to a contract with Allen, or are they free to appear on another show - Ed Sullivan's for instance?
"Of course. We can go any place after the summer. Sullivan has a fine show and we'd love to be his guest. But we wouldn't, because of ethics I guess. We started with Steve Allen four years ago; I guess we'll stick."
"Steve," said his caller, "when Allen started his Sunday show and gave up the Monday and Tuesday segments of his old Tonight show, a lot of people in TV thought he'dpick you to take over for him. Why not?"
Steve reflected for a minute.
"That job was never offered to me," he said finally. "But, anyway, I felt it was time for me to get out and meet the people, face to face - in night clubs, places like that."
Did Steve and Eydie help each other professionally? Did they choose each other's songs or comedy material?
"Of course we do. We were doing that jazz long before we got married or even thought of it. I'll tell you want we want to be: We want to besort of timeless - like Sinatra or Doris Day or Dinah Shore - the standouts, not the flashes-in-the-pan. We're building slowly and we may not make the big money all at once. But we think we have a solid foundation and that's the way we're going to play it."
And why haven't Steve and Eydie ever recorded an album together?
"I'd love to record with Eydie; I love my wife as a wife and as a vocalist. The only trouble is that we're under contract to different companies."
"And," said the man in New York, "how about you, Eydie? Suppose you were offered a job in Hollywood while Steve was working in New York. Would you take it?"
"No," said Eydie. "I wouldn't. Maybe it wouldn't hurt our marriage, but it would hurt me. I can't stand to be that far away from Stevie."
Meanwhile, the song went on:
"...But the hands we love so dear,
Are the hands we love to hear,
Are the hands that you give to us..."
With that and a good-bye, Eydie turned to shut off the record player.
| As the telephone rang in their suite in a Massachusetts resort, Steve Lawrence and his wife, Eydie Gorme, had just started churning "You Need Hands" (one of Eydie's top hits) on the record player. And when Steve picked up the phone, the fellow in New York could hear the lyrics:
"You need hands to hold someone you care for,
You need hands to show that you're sincere..."