Saturday, July 21, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Connie Francis

Artist:Connie Francis
Song:Everybody's Somebody's Fool
Album:20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Connie Francis

Connie Francis was one of the biggest stars of the late 50s-early 60s. She is also adept at singing in foreign languages so she has a huge international following. Everybody's Somebody's Fool was her first number one hit in 1960. She was born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero Dec. 12, 1938 in Newark, NJ. Her father George Franconero Sr. encouraged her to perform as a child. She sang and played accordion. While rehearsing for her appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, Godfrey suggested the name change to Connie Francis and he told her to get rid of the accordion. Soon after, Connie became a demo singer. She even dubbed Tuesday Weld's singing voice in the 1956 film Rock, Rock, Rock. She was under contract to MGM Records but they didn't like her much. She had one recording left on her MGM contract and Connie planned to accept a scholarship to study medicine at New York University. Her father insisted she record the chestnut Who's Sorry Now. Connie hated the song and argued with him. But she did record it and Dick Clark played it on American Bandstand. The song reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958 and MGM renewed her contract. After follow up singles stiffed, MGM had Connie sit down with Brill Building songwriters Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield to find her a hit. Stupid Cupid was the final song played for her and it reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. She had more top ten hits like My Happiness, Among My Souvenirs and Lipstick On Your Collar. In 1959, she recorded Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites and it was a big international hit. She recorded in German, Yiddish and other languages. This was a huge part of Connie's success over the years. She says she saw potential in breaking the language barrier and it paid off for her. After some more hits, she finally had her first number one hit with Everybody's Somebody's Fool in 1960. Howard Greenfield wrote the song with another Brill Building veteran Jack Keller. Connie had German lyrics written and Everybody's Somebody's Fool was a big hit in Germany. She was also starring in films like Where The Boys Are. Her other number one hits were My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own and Don't Break The Heart That Loves You. Of course she faded when the British Invasion came but she continued to be a good live and international draw. She semi-retired when her MGM contract ran out in 1969. But she started performing again in 1974. While appearing at the Westbury Music Fair on Nov. 8, 1974, she was raped in her hotel room. She sued Howard Johnson's and won a $2.5M judgement. The rapist was never found. Connie Francis returned in 1978 and though she has recorded occasionally, she still tours regularly. She wrote her autobiography Who's Sorry Now in 1984. Her plans to produce a biopic with Gloria Estefan did not work out when the two clashed over the script. There is currently a growing movement to induct Connie Francis into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. She should be there. Connie Francis was a big star and has had a long career. This budget comp is a good intro to her music. Beware of off label comps that are not remastered or have re-recordings or alternate takes. Here's Connie Francis performing Everybody's Somebody's Fool.

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