Where did the baby name Lainie come from in 1966?

Lainie Kazan's self-titled debut album (1966)
Lainie Kazan album

The baby name name Lainie first popped up in the U.S. baby name data in the mid-1960s:

  • 1971: 48 baby girls named Lainie
  • 1970: 91 baby girls named Lainie [peak]
  • 1969: 73 baby girls named Lainie
  • 1968: 68 baby girls named Lainie
  • 1967: 39 baby girls named Lainie
  • 1966: 21 baby girls named Lainie [debut]
  • 1965: unlisted

Where did this one come from?

Brooklyn-born singer Lainie Kazan (birth name Lanie Levine).

She’d had a career on Broadway since 1961 — she was Barbra Streisand’s Funny Girl understudy, notably — but things changed around 1966, the year she put out her first two albums and started making regular TV appearances on Dean Martin’s variety show (plus occasional appearances on similar shows, like The Merv Griffin Show and The Ed Sullivan Show).

One of her singles, “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” peaked at #29 on Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary chart in February of 1967.

She continued putting out albums and appearing in movies and on television, but modern audiences would probably know Lainie from either Beaches or My Big Fat Greek Wedding — in both films she played a mother. In fact, mother characters became her specialty:

The way Johnny Depp plays off-kilter fantasy-world anti-heroes, the way Gilbert Gottfried plays parrots and ducks, Lainie Kazan has almost cornered the market on Jewish mother roles.

What are your thoughts on the name Lainie?

Sources: Lainie Kazan – Wikipedia, Happy Jewish Mother’s Day – Oy!Chicago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.