Connie Francis
American singer
Connie Francis
Connie Francis is an American pop singer of Italian heritage and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1950s and 1960s. Although her chart success waned in the second half of the 1960s, Francis remained a top concert draw. Despite several severe interruptions in her career, Francis is still active as a recording and performing artist (as of November 2011).
Connie Francis's personal information overview.
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Jeffrey Biegel - On Keith Emerson's Piano Concerto No. 1
Huffington Post - 9 months
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel's latest recording, Manhattan Intermezzo, is a gathering of piano concertos composed by a quartet of major leaguers in popular music: George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Neil Sedaka, and Keith Emerson (of ELP - Emerson, Lake and Palmer). It recounts a time when each of the artists had taken a hiatus from his immediate musical corner to fashion an opus for piano and orchestra - and custom-tailor it for concert hall presentation. The recording is a rare musical confluence. It is brightened by Jeffrey Biegel's performance history of the Gershwin and Ellington and fueled by his up-close-and-personal interactions with Keith Emerson and Neil Sedaka. The Brown University Orchestra and its Music Director, Paul Phillips supply snappy elegance and smooth rapture to works spanning more than eight decades. Jeffrey's recording goal was four concertos by four composers who wrote popular music or had popularized classical music. Recorded in the fall of 2014 and released this J ...
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Huffington Post article
Cupid's Arrow
Huffington Post - about 3 years
February can be a really difficult month especially if your love life is struggling, or nonexistent. I remember, as a child, desperately wishing Cupid would hit me with his arrow so I'd fall instantly in love and live happily ever after. Cupid let me down, and I felt more like Connie Francis singing: Stupid Cupid you're a real mean guy. I'd like to clip your wings so you can't fly... So, with Valentine's Day just around the corner, I couldn't resist digging up how this cute, chubby, cherub came to be the symbol of love. Consider it my gift to you, hopefully providing some laughs to help you maintain perspective through all the crazy Valentine's hype this month. Did you know: One legend has it Cupid's mom was the goddess Chaos. Sounds reasonable to me... Cupid became known as a playful, crafty god who carried two kinds of arrows. One was gold-tipped, which made its victims fall instantly in love with the first person they saw. The other had a blunt tip and caused its victims ...
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Huffington Post article
Stars align for telethon to aid US veterans
Yahoo News - over 3 years
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Connie Francis, Alan Alda and Joe Mantegna are joining forces to help raise money for veterans suffering the wounds of war.
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Yahoo News article
Lulu: Influencers and Inspirations: The Artists That Made Me Fall in Love With Music
Huffington Post - about 4 years
I've been on a trip down musical memory lane over the last few weeks, while rehearsing for an upcoming gig at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City -- which if you can believe, after almost 50 years in music, will be my first live NYC concert. I am all about going back to my roots, singing the songs that I love most and paying tribute to some of my favourite artists. And in every song that I sing, there's a little piece of the influencers and inspirations that I encountered on my musical journey. I grew up in a home filled with music. My father was always singing at the top of his lungs, and from the time I was a baby, he'd sing to me. His singing resonated so deeply in me, that practically before I could talk I was singing in tune. He had such a good voice but where I come from, everybody could sing! We were working-class and music was at our core. We'd gather with family and friends and neighbors and everyone would share a drink and a song. I can remember at three-year ...
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Huffington Post article
Piers Morgan on celebrity sightings; sharing the anchor desk with his predecessor
CNN- Piers Morgan - almost 5 years
Hot off the digital press, Piers Morgan's most-recent "Daily Mail" diary is out. Entitled "Melanie Griffith stroked the car... I'd dreamed of this – only with the car and my roles reversed," Morgan uses a portion of the U.K. publication to detail a few celebrity sightings, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Justin Bartha of the "The Hangover" and "The Hangover Part II" fame. Also earning ink in the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host's journal is the passing of Dick Clark. As part of the April 18th tribute to the music and television icon, a familiar face returned to the 9 p.m. time slot: "We invited my CNN predecessor Larry King back into the studio he dominated for 25 years to pay tribute. As the great man walked on set, the production crew all erupted into applause, a really touching moment. But no more than he deserved. Not a single person at CNN, or outside CNN for that matter, has ever said a bad word to me about Larry. He’s one of those guys who’s as nice off camera as he ...
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CNN- Piers Morgan article
Susan Feniger: Food and Music: Perfect Partners
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
Last night I was a guest of the L.A. Chamber Orchestra, there to talk about the links between music and food. At first, when they asked me to be a part of their program, I thought... huh? But as I started to think about it, the comparisons piled up. As a kid, I cooked with my mom, and some of my earliest food memories are accompanied by a "score." As I helped her make cheese dreams, with Wonder Bread and Velvetta cheese (yes, it was the sixties), I'd butter one side of the bread and make the stack as high as I could without falling off the chair, and my mom took melted Velveeta cheese, put a spoonful on the non buttered side and I rolled them up and placed them on a sheet pan. The entire time, Barbra Streisand played, Tony Bennett played, Connie Francis played. As I got older, the music expanded to include Smokey Robinson, the Supremes, then Vivaldi, Mozart, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday... just as the Velveeta cheese turned into Manchego and the Wonder Bread was replaced ...
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Huffington Post article
Swearing? Its just not Cricket – the Herald meets a star of the stage
Eastbourne Herald - almost 5 years
Over the last few years Eastbourne has begun to finally shake free of its historic tag as a pensioner’s paradise but this summer one corner of the Sunshine Coast will be proudly plonking itself well and truly inside a time warp. Having opened way back in 1883, the Royal Hippodrome Theatre has played host to stars of the stage as diverse as Peter Sellers, Ken Dodd, Vera Lynn and even escape artists extraordinaire Harry Houdini. But despite surviving an unfair roasting from Sir Bruce Forsyth, who publicly laid into the venue’s facilities during an interview – he was starring at the Hippodrome when he was called up to compere at the London Palladium – the much-loved theatre has fallen on hard times. Where once it staged regular shows, attracting sell-out crowds of more than 1,000 all year round, now the bill is limited to the summer months and played out in front of audiences which are often far more modest. This summer though, the powers that be are hoping for a return to the halcyon ...
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Eastbourne Herald article
Dick Clark: He gave us music — and memories
PB Pulse - almost 5 years
Dick Clark helped brought rock 'n' roll into the mainstream with 'American Bandstand'. (AP) I was not a cool 13-year-old. Most 13-year-olds are not, but I was extra un-cool: Uncoordinated. Jheri curl. Bifocals thicker than the glass window at a check-cashing store. I needed to know, pronto, what the cool kids were doing, the bands they listened to, the must-know dances, the top tapes on their Walkman playlist because I had no clue what they were. But my friend Dick Clark did. And if you had to consult a 55-year-old for coolness advice, it would be Dick Clark. I never met him, but I felt like I knew him. After all, we had a standing date every Saturday afternoon on American Bandstand, along with his even-cooler young friends, who danced like I wanted to dance, dressed like I wanted to dress, and got within a moonwalk’s distance of pretty much every shiny face smiling back to me from my bedroom wall and school locker. It would be three years before we got cable and I could c ...
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PB Pulse article
Lea Lane: Bandstand and the Headband
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
When I heard about Dick Clark's death I remembered how we all used to rush home from school, drop our books and sit in front of the TV watching the kids from Philly dance close and do the lindy on American Bandstand, the show he hosted five days a week. And one day it was rumored that Bandstand would be coming to the Miami Beach Auditorium for a special performance. Bobby Darin and Connie Francis would be there, and lucky teens could sit in the audience and watch. My friends and I jumped up and down the halls when we heard it was true! I must have been ahead of my time in some ways. I remember dressing the morning of the show, putting on my snappiest outfit, aware that the TV cameras would probably do head shots of the audience, as they often did in the smaller Philadelphia studio. So I pulled out a bright green headband, adjusted it on my hair and off I went. And the show went on in all its teenage splendor. Dick Clark looked boyish, as he actually was back then. Bo ...
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Huffington Post article
Clip From Last Night: Connie Francis remembers Dick Clark: "He has been there for every crisis of my life"
CNN- Piers Morgan - almost 5 years
Singer Connie Francis talked exclusively to Piers Morgan last night as we remembered the life and legacy of Dick Clark who died yesterday at the age of 82. Francis had a rough time during the 80's as she entered herself into mental institutions 17 different times. She remembers Clark flew across the country on a private plane and "Dick didn't like to spend a lot of money," she remarked. Francis said Clark pushed her to perform even when she didn't feel ready to. "He said come in to L.A. ... we'll go to the studio and ... you can do it one line at a time and we'll get - I don't care if you do 100 takes and then we'll put it all together and you can lip sync on the show." From the stories Francis told Piers could tell "He gave you that confidence." -– » Follow Piers Morgan Tonight on Twitter
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CNN- Piers Morgan article
Michael Sigman: Under the Covers: A Musical Parlor Game
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
It's a drag that pop music has become so fragmented that we've lost the communal feeling of the culture-wide hits that used to fill the airwaves -- even Sometimes The Air That We Breathe(d). There was something comforting about knowing that just about everyone in the country was listening to the same music, from the glorious noise of The Beatles to novelty smashes like the Playmates' "Beep! Beep!" But all musics are fundamentally interrelated, a fact best demonstrated by the genre-jumping "covers" of great songs. Consider the following lineage as evidence that we may be more connected than we realize. Most of these interpretations do the material proud, though some may leave you wanting to, well, hide under the covers. Making up your own lists and sharing with friends might make for a more soul-satisfying parlor game than, say, Geography. My own self-imposed rule: No fair playing such top-tier giants as Elvis, Dylan, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, The Stones, The Who, Wi ...
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Huffington Post article
Connie Francis Ruled The Music World 50 Years Ago This Week
Seattle Pi - almost 5 years
Connie Francis Ruled The Music World 50 Years Ago This Week Seattle Post-Intelligencer Copyright 2012 Seattle Post-Intelligencer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Published 06:58 p.m., Sunday, April 1, 2012 "Don't Break The Heart That Loves You" was symbolic of her group of angst-laden ballads. While she would continue to issue a number of hit singles and albums, as the 1960s progressed and musical tastes changed, her commercial success began to wane. Despite a number of tragedies and personal issues, she continues to tour and perform and is a regular on the Las Vegas circuit.
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Seattle Pi article
Afternoon rains are a delight - Payson Roundup
Google News - over 5 years
Was this “Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows” singer: A) Leslie Gore, B) Petula Clark, C) Annette Funicello, or D) Connie Francis? If you're the fifth caller this week and have the correct answer, you'll win a $35 gift certificate for a haircut at Studio
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Google News article
Themed cruises on Lake Champlain cross generations -
Google News - over 5 years
The demographic for Roth tends to be old enough to appreciate decades worth of melodies: Her rendition of “Where the Boys Are,” made famous by pop singer Connie Francis in a 1960 movie with the same title, provided another opportunity to join in on the
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Google News article
Laura Roth rekindles vaudeville at The Wood - The Saratogian
Google News - over 5 years
Roth performs primarily in one-woman shows, portraying a variety of musical characters such as Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Bette Midler, Connie Francis and comic characters of her own creation. She has brought in “Uncle” Floyd Vivino from New
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Google News article
First couple no longer in tune with each other? - Boston Herald
Google News - over 5 years
“Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (Connie Francis) — it's just not the first lady's J.Crew style. “Born in the USA” (Bruce Springsteen) — maybe she's not sure anymore, either. But look on the bright side
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Google News article
Frank Zappa Disbanded The Mothers Of Invention - WFMY News 2
Google News - over 5 years
Undated -- On August 20th, 1960, Connie Francis made her acting debut when filming began on the movie "Where the Boys Are." In 1967, the New York Times reported on a new noise reduction system developed by R. and DW Dolby
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Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Connie Francis
  • 2011
    Although this album continues to be re-released under various names on countless low-budget labels, With Love To Buddy remains Francis' last original release as of October 2011.
    More Details Hide Details At infrequent intervals, though, Francis releases compact disc albums and EPs in limited quantities on her own label, Concetta Records, containing previously unreleased material from her private archives.
  • 2010
    In 2010, she also appeared at the Las Vegas Hilton with Dionne Warwick, a show billed as "Eric Floyd's Grand Divas of Stage".
    More Details Hide Details While her singles were mostly kept in the then-current sounds of the day such as rock 'n' roll, novelty songs, the twist, torch ballads, or the girl group sound created by Brill Building alumni Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, Francis' albums represented her in a variety of styles, ranging from R&B, vocal jazz, and country to Broadway standards, children's music, waltzes, spiritual music, schlager music, traditionals from various ethnic groups represented in the US, and select songs from popular songwriters of the day, such as Burt Bacharach and Hal David, or Les Reed. Francis has been married four times. The longest-lasting union was five years (1973-1978) with Joseph Garzilli, a restaurateur and travel-agency owner. She was also married for four months to Dick Kannellis, a press agent and entertainment director for the Aladdin Hotel (1964); 10 months to Izzy Marrion, a hair-salon owner (1971-1972); and eight months to TV producer Bob Parkinson (1985-1986).
  • 2008
    She appeared in concert in Manila, the Philippines, on Valentine's Day 2008.
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  • 2007
    In March and October 2007, Francis performed to sold-out crowds at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.
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  • 2004
    In late December 2004, Francis headlined in Las Vegas for the first time since 1989.
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  • 2002
    On November 27, 2002, she filed a second suit against UMG alleging the label had inflicted severe emotional distress on her and violated her moral rights when, without her permission, it synchronized several of her songs into "sexually themed" movies: the 1994 film Post Cards from America, the 1996 film The Craft, and the 1999 film Jawbreaker.
    More Details Hide Details This suit was also dismissed. Francis also sued the producers of Jawbreaker for using her song "Lollipop Lips," which is heard during a sex scene.
  • 1995
    In 1995, Francis recorded The Return Concert, a live album which was released on Legacy Recordings.
    More Details Hide Details In 1996, With Love To Buddy, a tribute album of songs made famous by the late Buddy Holly, was released.
  • 1992
    In 1992, a medley of remixed versions of her biggest German hits charted in Germany.
    More Details Hide Details This single, entitled "Jive, Connie", ended up among the top-ten best-selling singles of the year, which brought Connie Francis the prestigious R.SH-Gold award for the "Best Comeback of the Year" from R.SH (short for "Radio Schleswig-Holstein"), back then one of Germany's most important private radio stations. A subsequent compilation album of her biggest German hits in their original versions was also released successfully. In the wake of this, Francis recorded two duets for the German Herzklang label (a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment) with Peter Kraus, with whom she had already worked several times in the late 1950s and early 1960s. A German-language solo album was supposed to follow on Herzklang, but despite all songs being recorded and mixed, the album remains unreleased to this day.
  • 1989
    In 1989, Connie Francis resumed her recording and performing career again.
    More Details Hide Details For Malaco Records, Francis recorded a double album entitled Where the Hits Are, containing re-recordings of 18 of her biggest hits, as well as six classics of yesteryear Francis had always wanted to record songs such as "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" or "Torn Between Two Lovers".
  • 1982
    However, despite the fact that her 1982 recording "There's Still a Few Good Love Songs Left in Me" brought Francis her last notation on the country charts, several songs never made it beyond the status of being recorded.
    More Details Hide Details Many songs from that time, such as Francis' versions of classics such as "Speak Softly, Love" and "Break It to Me Gently," and original songs such as "Blue Orleans" are still awaiting their official first-time release.
  • 1981
    Another tragedy in Francis' life was the killing of her brother, George Franconero, Jr., to whom she was very close, by Mafia hitmen in 1981.
    More Details Hide Details Despite this, she took up live performing again, even gracing the American Bandstand 30th Anniversary Special Episode and appearing in the town where she had been raped. Francis' newfound success was short-lived,though, as she was diagnosed with manic depression, which brought her career to a stop for a further four years, during which she was committed to a total of 17 hospitals. Francis admitted that she nearly committed suicide because these hospitals were extremely depressing. Nevertheless, in 1984, Francis was able to write and present her published autobiography, Who's Sorry Now?, which became a New York Times bestseller.
    Francis returned to the recording studio in 1981 to cut "Comme ci, comme ça", and "I'm Me Again".
    More Details Hide Details The latter became the title track of a subsequent album which featured the aforementioned new songs, as well as previously unreleased material from the 1950s and 1960s. "I'm Me Again" became Francis' last single to chart on the AC charts. Both the single and the album were Francis' last original releases on MGM Records; Polydor bought the label in 1976 and discontinued it in 1982.
  • 1978
    In 1978, Francis returned to the recording studio to cut an album titled Who's Happy Now?
    More Details Hide Details The leading recording on this album was a disco version of "Where the Boys Are". She recorded this song also in Japanese, Italian, and Spanish, as she had done before with her original 1960 version. Several songs from the Who's Happy Now? sessions were subsequently recorded in Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and German. The Spanish and German recordings became albums of their own in as Connie Francis en Español in Spain and as Was ich bin (What I Am) in Germany. All three albums and the singles culled from them were released on United Artists Records.
  • 1977
    In 1977, Francis underwent nasal surgery and completely lost her voice.
    More Details Hide Details She went through several more operations and even when she got her voice back, she was forced to take vocal lessons. Although she had taken vocal lessons beforehand, this was the first time she had been asked to do so.
  • 1974
    After her modest success with "(Should I) Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree?" Francis began performing regularly again. While appearing at the Westbury Music Fair in New York, on November 8, 1974, Francis was raped at the Jericho Turnpike Howard Johnson's Lodge and nearly suffocated to death under the weight of a heavy mattress the culprit had thrown upon her.
    More Details Hide Details She subsequently sued the motel chain for failing to provide adequate security and reportedly won a $2.5 million judgment, at the time one of the largest such judgments in history, leading to a reform in hotel security. Her rapist was never found.
  • 1973
    In 1973, Francis returned to the recording studio, cutting "(Should I) Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree?", b/w "Paint the Rain" on GSF Records.
    More Details Hide Details This answer song to "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" by Tony Orlando & Dawn would "bubble" under the charts. The project of recording a German version, though, remained unfinished. Another 1971 single, "I Don't Want to Walk Without You", b/w "Don't Turn Around", on Ivanhoe Records, failed to chart.
  • 1970
    From 1970 until 1973, Francis lived in semiretirement, appearing only occasionally as a special guest on TV shows.
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  • 1969
    In late 1969, Francis' contract with MGM Records ran out and she decided not to commit herself any further to her longtime record company, weary from almost 15 years of uninterrupted recording, live appearances, television and motion picture work, and travelling.
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  • 1967
    In the US, however, "Time Alone Will Tell", Francis' cover version of San Remo's 1967 winning entry "Non pensare a me" which had been presented by Iva Zanicchi and Claudio Villa, peaked at #94 on Billboard's Hot 100 and at #14 on Billboard's AC charts.
    More Details Hide Details Francis' popularity outside of the US helped to maintain her career, even when her hits were struggling in her home country. She continued to have chart hits into the 1970s in some countries and, even to this day, she remains very popular in European countries, though she no longer records or appears as frequently as she used to do.
    Francis returned to San Remo in 1967 to present "Canta Ragazzina" with her team partner Bobby Solo, but did not reach the finals.
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  • 1965
    In 1965, Connie Francis participated in that year's edition of the annual San Remo Festival, where her team partner Gigliola Cinquetti and she presented "Ho bisogno di vederti", which finished on #5 of the final ranking.
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  • 1964
    A number of Francis' singles continued to reach the top 40 in the US Hot 100 through the mid-1960s, with her last top-40 entry being 1964's "Be Anything (but Be Mine)".
    More Details Hide Details Despite her declining success on the Hot 100, Francis remained a top concert draw, and her singles – now following a more mature style – were charting on the top quarter of Billboard's Adult Contemporary (AC) Charts and sometimes even reached Billboard's Country Charts. Therefore, Francis enjoyed lasting chart success in the US until her contract with MGM Records ran out in 1969.
  • 1963
    Due to changing trends in the early and mid-1960s, namely the British Invasion, Francis' chart success on Billboard's Hot 100 began to wane after 1963.
    More Details Hide Details She had her final top-ten hit, "Vacation", in 1962.
    Francis' first autobiographical book, For Every Young Heart, was published in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details On July 3 that same year, she played a Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II at the Alhambra Theatre in Glasgow, Scotland. During the height of the Vietnam War in 1967, Connie Francis performed for US troops. Francis recalls this story frequently during the introduction to "God Bless America" at her live concerts.
  • 1962
    In the US, Connie Francis had a third #1 hit in 1962: "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You", and her success led MGM to give her complete freedom to choose whichever songs she wanted to record.
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  • 1961
    From mid-1961 to mid-1963, Radio Luxembourg closed each day's broadcasts with "It's Time to Say Goodnight", a song Francis had recorded especially for this purpose and which was never officially released until 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Francis' enduring popularity overseas led to her having television specials in numerous countries around the world, such as Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy. Even at the height of the Cold War, Francis' music was well received in Iron Curtain countries, and some of her recordings were made available on state-owned record labels such as Melodiya in the former Soviet Union and on Jugoton in former Yugoslavia, although it was common knowledge that rock 'n' roll was highly looked down upon in Eastern bloc countries.
  • 1960
    In 1960, she was named the most popular artist in Europe, the first time a non-European received this honor.
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    It was not until her #7 on the US charts, "Many Tears Ago," later in 1960 when Francis began to record cover versions of her own songs in foreign languages besides German.
    More Details Hide Details Over the following years, she eventually expanded her recording portfolio up to 15 languages. She also sang in Romanian during a live performance at the 1970 edition of the Cerbul de Aur in Braşov, Romania. Francis was not fluent in all of these languages and she had to learn her foreign language songs phonetically. Francis explained in a 1961 television interview that she was fluent in Spanish and Italian, but always had a translator nearby to make sure her translated lyrics and especially her pronunciation were as grammatically correct as possible. In the wake of "Die Liebe ist ein seltsames Spiel", Francis enjoyed her greatest successes outside the United States. During the 1960s, her songs not only topped the charts in numerous countries around the world, but also she was also voted the #1 singer in over 10 countries.
    Francis used these reflections as the basis for her April 1960 recording, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool."
    More Details Hide Details Although this single became her first #1 on the US charts (immediately followed by her second #1, "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own"), and its B-side "Jealous of you (Tango della Gelosia)" became a huge hit in Italy, it failed to make any impression on the German charts. Veteran lyricist Ralph Maria Siegel penned a set of German lyrics, named "Die Liebe ist ein seltsames Spiel", which, after some friction between Francis and her MGM executives, was recorded and released. The song peaked at #1 in Germany for two weeks, as it did in many other countries, and Francis had six more #1 hits on the German charts. Contrary to popular belief, Francis did not record any further foreign-language versions of "Everybody's Somebody's Fool." The German version is the only one recorded by herself, although other artists recorded further cover versions in various languages such as Portuguese, Swedish and Finnish.
  • 1959
    The success of "Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites" in late 1959/early 1960 led Francis to become one of the first American artists to record in other languages regularly.
    More Details Hide Details She was to be followed by other major British and American recording stars including Wanda Jackson, Cliff Richard, Petula Clark, Brenda Lee, the Supremes, Peggy March, Pat Boone, Lesley Gore, the Beatles and Johnny Cash, among many others. In her autobiography, Francis mentioned that in the early years of her career, the language barrier in certain European countries made it difficult for her songs to get airplay, especially in Germany.
    Entitled Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites, the album was released in November 1959.
    More Details Hide Details It soon entered the album charts where it remained for 81 weeks, peaking at #4. To this day, it is still Francis' most successful album. "Mama," the single taken from the album, reached #8 in the United States and #2 in the United Kingdom. Following this success, Francis recorded seven more albums of "favorites" between 1960 and 1964, including Jewish, German, and Irish, among others. These albums marked Francis' transition from the youth-oriented rock 'n' roll music to adult contemporary music, which George Franconero, Sr. had realized to be necessary if his daughter wanted to pursue a successful longterm career in music. Nevertheless, Francis continued to record singles aimed at the youth-oriented market. Among her top-ten hits on the Hot 100 were "Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart" (1961, #7), "When the Boy in Your Arms (Is the Boy in Your Heart)" (1961, #10), "Second Hand Love" (1962, #9), and "Where the Boys Are" (1961, #4). The last became her signature tune and was also the theme song of Francis' first motion picture of the same name. The movie also introduced the concept of spring break, as the once sleepy town of Fort Lauderdale became the hotspot for college students on their spring vacation in the wake of the movie's success. Although she appeared in three further motion pictures, Francis was never satisfied with herself as an actress, and after appearing in a made-for-television movie in 1966, she declined further offers.
    Following another idea from her father, Francis traveled to London in August 1959 to record an Italian album at EMI's famous Abbey Road Studios.
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    In 1959, she gained two gold records for a double-sided hit: on the A-side, "Lipstick on Your Collar," (#5), and on the B-side, "Frankie" (#9).
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  • 1958
    The single seemed to go unnoticed like all previous releases – just as Francis had predicted, but on January 1, 1958, the song debuted on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.
    More Details Hide Details By mid-year, over a million copies had been sold, and Francis was suddenly launched into worldwide stardom. In April 1958, "Who's Sorry Now" reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart and #4 in the US. For the next four years, Francis was voted the "Best Female Vocalist" by American Bandstand viewers. As Connie Francis explains at each of her concerts, she began searching for a new hit immediately after the success of "Who's Sorry Now?", since MGM Records had renewed her contract. After the relative failure of the follow-up singles "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry" (which stalled at No. 36) and "Heartaches" (failing to chart at all), Francis met with Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, who sang a number of ballads they had written for her. After a few hours, Francis began writing in her diary while the songwriters played the last of their ballads. Afterwards, Francis told them that she considered their ballads too intellectual and sophisticated for the young generation and requested a more lively song. Greenfield urged Sedaka to sing a song they had written that morning with the Shepherd Sisters in mind. Sedaka protested that Francis would be insulted, but Greenfield said that since she hated all the other songs they had performed, they had nothing to lose. Sedaka then played "Stupid Cupid." When he finished, Francis announced that he had just played her new hit song.
  • 1957
    Francis considered a career in medicine and was about to accept a four-year scholarship offered at New York University. At what was to have been her final recording session for MGM on October 2, 1957, she recorded a cover version of the 1923 song "Who's Sorry Now?
    More Details Hide Details ", written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. Francis has said that she recorded it at the insistence of her father, who was convinced it stood a chance of becoming a hit because it was a song adults already knew and that teenagers would dance to if it had a contemporary arrangement. Francis, who did not like the song at all and had been arguing about it with her father heatedly, delayed the recording of the three other songs during the session so much, that in her opinion, no time was left on the continuously running recording tape. Her father insisted, though, and when the recording "Who's Sorry Now?" was finished, only a few seconds were left on the tape.
    In the fall of 1957, Francis enjoyed her first chart success with a duet single she had recorded with Marvin Rainwater: "The Majesty of Love", backed with "You, My Darlin' You", peaked at # 93 on Billboard's Hot 100.
    More Details Hide Details Eventually, the single sold over one million copies. However, her minor chart success came too late – Francis' recording contract consisted of ten solo singles and one duet single. Though success had finally seemed to come with "The Majesty of Love", Francis was informed by MGM Records that her contract would be discontinued without renewal after her last solo single.
  • 1956
    Despite these failures, Francis was hired to record the vocals for Tuesday Weld's "singing" scenes in the 1956 movie Rock, Rock, Rock, and for Freda Holloway in the 1957 Warner Brothers rock and roll movie Jamboree.
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  • 1953
    During this time, Francis continued to perform at neighborhood festivities and talent shows (some of which were broadcast on television), appearing alternately as Concetta Franconero and Connie Franconero. Under the latter name, she also appeared on NBC's variety show Startime Kids between 1953 and 1955.
    More Details Hide Details During the rehearsals for her appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, Francis was advised by Godfrey to change her stage name to Connie Francis for the sake of easier pronunciation. Godfrey also told her to drop the accordion – advice she gladly followed, as she had begun to hate the large and heavy instrument. Around the same time, Francis took a job as a singer on demonstration records, which were brought to the attention of established singers and/or their management who would subsequently choose or decline to record the song for a professional commercial record. In 1955, Startime Kids went off the air. In May that same year, George Franconero Sr. and Francis' manager George Scheck raised money for a recording session of four songs which they hoped to sell to a major record company under Francis' own name. The story goes that every record label they tried turned her down, mainly because, as a demo singer, Francis could copy other popular singers of the day like Kitty Kallen or Kay Starr, but had not yet developed a distinctive sound of her own.
  • 1951
    Francis attended Newark Arts High School in 1951 and 1952.
    More Details Hide Details Her family and she moved to Belleville, New Jersey, where she graduated as salutatorian from Belleville High School Class of 1955.
  • 1938
    Born on December 12, 1938.
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