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Connie Francis

Connie Francis is the prototype for the female pop singer of today. At the height of her chart popularity in the late '50s and early '60s, Francis was unique as a female recording artist, amassing record sales equal to or surpassing those of many of her male contemporaries. Ultimately, she branched into other styles of music -- big band, country, ethnic, and more. She still challenges Madonna as the biggest-selling female recording artist of all time. Like Madonna, Concetta Rosemarie Franconero came from an Italian-American background. Francis started her music career at three, playing an accordion bought for her by her contractor father, George. Her father's dream was not for his daughter to become a star, but for Francis to become independent of men as an adult with her own accordion school of music. At age ten, she was accepted on Startime, a New York City television show that featured talented child singers and performers. The show had no one else who played an accordion. Its host, legendary TV talent scout Arthur Godfrey, had difficulty pronouncing her name and suggested something "easy and Irish," which turned into Francis. After three weeks on Startime, the show's producer and Francis' would-be manager advised her to dump the accordion and concentrate on singing. Francis performed weekly on Startime for four years.

After being turned down by almost every record label she approached, 16-year-old Francis signed a record contract with MGM, only because one of the songs on her demo, "Freddy," also happened to be the name of the president's son. "Freddy" was released in June 1955 as the singer's first single. After a series of flop singles, on October 2, 1957 she undertook what was to be her last session for MGM. Francis had recently accepted a premed scholarship to New York University and was contemplating the end of her career as a singer. Having recorded two songs, she thanked the technicians and musicians, hoping not to have to record the third song her father had in mind, an old tune from 1923. After a false start, she sang it in one take. When Dick Clark played "Who's Sorry Now?" on American Bandstand, he told the show's eight million viewers that Connie Francis was "a new girl singer that is heading straight for the number one spot."

"Who's Sorry Now?" was the first of Francis' long string of worldwide hits. By 1967, she had sold 35 million worldwide, with 35 U.S. Top 40 hits and several number ones ("Everybody's Somebody's Fool," "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own," "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You," and "Stupid Cupid") to her credit. Released in 1963, "In the Summer of His Years," written as a tribute to the assassinated John F. Kennedy, remains one of the earliest known charity records, with proceeds donated to dependents of the policemen shot during the incident.

Francis had an affinity for languages and was one of the first pop singers to record her songs in other languages; 1961's title song from the movie Where the Boys Are was recorded in six languages. She starred in four (nondescript) films, sang voice-overs in movies for actresses who could not sing, and was a guest star on innumerable TV shows. Music critics who didn't take kindly to Francis' pop music years were eventually won over by her versatility. Her Italian and Jewish albums transformed Francis from a teenage idol to a mature performer at leading nightspots around the world. She has also had a long history being a composer's first choice to interpret songs that went on to become major hits for other artists, including "Somewhere My Love," "Strangers in the Night," "Angel in the Morning," and "When Will the Apples Fall."

While the recording of "Who's Sorry Now?" in 1957 was planned to be her final session for MGM, she actually ended that relationship in 1969, choosing not to renew her contract when MGM was taken over by Polydor. She opted instead for domestic life with her third husband. Francis didn't return to the recording studio until 1973 when the writers of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," longtime friends, wrote "The Answer" especially for Francis. In 1974, her husband encouraged her to return to the stage, with disastrous consequences. After her third performance, she was raped at the hotel where she was staying. Ultimately, this incident contributed to the end of her marriage. During 1975, nasal surgery temporarily robbed her of her voice. She was on the comeback trail in 1981 when her brother, George, was brutally murdered. It took seven years to determine that through all of those events, she was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She finally made her return to the stage and recording in 1989, and Connie Francis has continued to sing to sold-out audiences into the new millennium. She has recorded more than 70 LPs. ~ Ed Nimmervoll, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

One of the great singers of the 50's and 60's
I was born in love with Connie Francis. Thank you very much.
Connie Francis has been my No. 1 artist as a child. My mother took me to see her perform at the old McCormick Place in Chicago. At only 12 years of age, she kissed me on my cheek. Twenty years later, I returned to Mill Run Theater with a date, went back stage to see her and when I reminded her what she did when I was 12, she once again kissed me in front of my date. Both women got a kick out of it. Best time of my life.
What a voice. Thru high school she was my favorite artist. Saw her perform in Minnesota at the Celebrity Room in the 80's. What a singer.
I saw her USO show in Viet Nan in 1967. Maybe a clue to where she disappeared. Loved her voice before, while she was singing in that huge airplane hangar at the airport on Qui Nhon airport, and even more ever since. She was in a white mini dress and white go go boots. What a visual and what a voice! Love her.
connie francispatsy cline two best female singers ever..
Connie. I know you have been through a lot of hurtful things, but we miss you. I am talking for myself and others. You were and are awesome. Nancy. from MA now in FLA
I love the late 50''s and the early 60's with Connie Francis, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, and Loreta Lynn
Most likely the greatest female voice there ever was. Miss Connie Francis.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters. This is so scary because it actually work
manch27
Don't compare her with Judy Garland. Judy is to me so, so, what with the tremble. Not with Madonna. Streisand is nasal. Connie has a solid, soothing voice. Reverberatio n coming from her vocal chords is so pleasing to my ears. She is the best singer in my lifetime.
consultvsilv a
Nice to read all the appreciation writen about her as always thought she had the best voice of the female singers!
I have loved to listen to the fablous voice of Connie Francis since my teen years. I was wondering why I hadn't heard her of late. I thought that her bio would maybe indicate herwhereabou t s today. Connie Francis and Patsy Cline are my favorite female singers. She has so much feeling in her voice. Keep playing her music for this new generation to enjoy!! Jean Presson, Misouri
pperone
Heard Connie for the first time on my Aunt's stereo some 50 years ago and haven't stopped listening since. No other female singer can deliver a song like she does.
Connie Francis is very much alive.Shirle y , i t was Patsy Cline died in a plane crash. Connie was one of the greatest singers ever but she was attached & raped in a hotel back many years ago resulting in a nervous breakdown.Sh e has spent many years in different mental hospitals.I loved hearing her sing & still do
stempien1959
I like connie france she is a very good singer back in the DAY. but its sad that she had to die in a plain crash .
Loved her voice, her songs; one of my very favorites singers
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SINGERS (Love all of her songs)
japt13
beautiful love song
One of my very favorite female singers. Brings back good times!
A voice like an angel...beli s s i m a . .
connie francis' songs and voice will live on for a while, long after all these disposable pop stars are barely blips in music history.
johnharris48
Beautiful voice and beautiful woman too.Love you Connie
no one can sing like Connie Francis, she could belt live and in the studio, not too many singers could sing out of a studio, Connie is one of those singer who could, and sound even better, just Like Garland.
I CRY EVERY TIME I HEAR CONNIE FRANCIS SING AMONG MY SOUVENIERS
taria234
MR BLACKIE THE BLACK CAT JUST LOVES JERRY VALE HE WAS SUCH A GREAT SINGER HE IS THE GREAT ONE THAT INTERTAINED US MAY HE ALWASYS BE SAIDS MR BLACKIE THE BLACK CAT
Nobody can sing MAMA like Connie. Her voice is unmatched. Will always be my favorite female singer.
heard this at the end of one of my favorite skate videos of all times ''Sorry'' dope song yo...
this is a voice that will go on long after she is gone just like Judy Garland
The best!!!...Wh a t a voice, delivery, tone!!!
bubojohn
Connie Francis is absolutely one of the most talented professional singers and would still be in my book, today. It is so wonderful to listen to her songs - a sheer pleasure.
This is one of the most beautifull song I've ever heard in my life...
jblittle92
I graduated from FLHS when Where the Boys Are was released. Connie was an icon and she added much to our 50th year reunion. Thanks, Connie!
hazelclyde
i love connie francis,
gtortosa
She is timeless! My favorite is her version of "Mama". No one sings it with the emotion that Connie puts into it!
Love her
raeisenberg
Her version of Misty Blue is, by a long way, the best. Only Dorothy Moore comes close. Where is it on Pandora?
I'd love to see her in concert...
One of my favorite songs is "zingara".Sh e can sing anything and such talent should be heard by everyone who likes good music
One of the greatest singers of all time.
jancooney
my favorite is Ava Maria...my god what a delivery!
She is such a beautiful woman with a wonderful voice!
parebalo
Connie Francis has a wonderful voice
steve3691
Connie Francis was one of the very BEST!!
thank U Pandora for making it possible for me to listen to one of my old time favorite star and many others
bgmakriswork
we had the 50th anniversary this past May on Ft Lauderdale Beach...very sureal watching the movie on the very beach where it was filmed. Connie can still belt this one out of the ball park. It was very sureal watching the movie in the very spot where it was filmed.
maureenkijek
I've loved her ever since I was little, and her music still pulls my heart. She is also a favorite of my teenagers now.
jkcooney
What a voice, what a life, what tragedy and suffering.
robinangel87
Pure awesome. What a voice!
kibach3
SHE'S THE BEST......I LOVE HER TALENT!!!!
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