She was born in The Bronx, of Turkish parentage, and grew up the way any average young American girl does. Her older brother and sister turned out to be less than talented at either piano or violin, so no one bothered about music lessons for Eydie. When it turned out that she did have a fund of musical talent inside her, there was only one way to get it out. Eydie sang.
    She sang with the band and in musicals at the William Howard Taft High School. She was the peppiest cheerleader of them all. And, of most importance, she knew a boy named Ken Greengrass whose ambition was to lead a band, and who also thought Eydie was the greatest in the voice department.
    She took a job with a theatrical-supply export company after graduation, and went to night classes in economics at City College. But Ken Greengrass kept in touch with her, gave her weekend singing dates with his band, gave her weekend singing dates with his band, and finally persuaded her that her future was in singing, and that his was managing her.
    Thus, together, they embarked on a kaleidoscope of activity. She made demonstration records, and Tommy Tucker heard and hired her. She made a road tour and then sang with Tex Beneke's band, which was playing on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. She was a hit, and toured the country with Tex for a year.
    By this time, Eydie had her feet on the ground. She was no longer a fresh kid with a young, good - but sometimes unsure - voice. She knew something about the world outside The Bronx, she was learning about clothes and poise, and she was developing a style all her own. Ken booked her as a "single" in such plush night spots Ciro's in Miami, the Copa City in Pittsburgh, and found her a lot of theater dates, radio and television guest spots.
   Coral Records picked her up from there - and Steve Allen found her at Coral Records.
   It is hard to believe that such a beautiful girl as Eydie is not seriously in love. But it's also true that, up until now, she has concentrated on her career, and most of her dates have been casual, with no time to develop into anything permanent. She'd had the usual dates in high school, sometimes drove to the beach with a  boyfriend and some other couples for a day of swimming. But she had never really discovered the delight of sand and surge until, after a brief illness, she was sent to Miami for two weeks' rest, stayed three months - and fell in love twice, though the romances didn't survive her return to New York.
   Now, with Tonight's exciting junkets first to Florida and then to California, she's getting all the fun of vacation, while still working too hard to fall in love. At home in New York, she lives with her parents in the same fourth-floor walk-up apartment in The Bronx where she lived before success touched her with its magic wand. After her performances on Tonight - or after a full-dress date on weekends, or a Sunday drive in the country - she climbs the four flights of stairs with a sense of warm security and of coming home, where the people and the furniture and her own bedroom will be as they always were in a less abundant but also less hurried, less exacting time in her life.
   And if, as she reaches her room, she finds herself dreaming of that home of her own, with a husband and children - well, Eydie is young and warm and alive, and she knows the future still stretches enticingly before her.
Return to
Magazines and Print