Quincy Jones: 20 Great Productions

From "It's My Party" to 'Thriller' and beyond, we survey an iconic career

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Lesley Gore, "You Don't Own Me" (1964)

"You Don't Own Me," Lesley Gore's most famous song, didn't come to her through Jones. It was the other way around. As she recounted to Anthony DeCurtis, songwriters John Madara and David White played it for her after a gig in the Catskills, after which she "just flipped out. I knew I loved this song. I had them come back to New York in Monday and meet me at Mercury with Quincy and play him the song. And he loved it as much as I did." Jones' ear for hits – as well as his rapidly growing ability to convert his jazz and music-theory chops into compelling pop – were instrumental in the rise of "You Don't Own Me." The dramatic, orchestral song quickly became not only a smash, but an early feminist anthem. Gore was still years away from identifying as gay, but the resonance of the song's message of empowerment was instantly universal – as shown by the success of Grace's cover version in 2015, the year Gore died. As Gore told DeCurtis, "Quincy was a great mentor and a wonderful teacher, but he had a male point of view. He wasn't coming from a female point of view. So I felt like I was sort of dealing with that issue. Who was I supposed to be out there? 'You Don't Own Me' made a lot of that pretty clear for me."

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