Sunday, October 21, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Connie Stevens

Artist:Connie Stevens
Song:Sixteen Reasons
Album:The Complete Warner Bros. Singles

Connie Stevens is mainly known as an actor in films and TV. But she started out as a singer and Sixteen Reasons was her biggest hit in 1960. She hasn't recorded since the early 60s. She was born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingoglia Aug. 8, 1938 in Brooklyn, NY. Her parents Teddy Stevens (Peter Ingoglia) and Eleanor McGinley were both singers. Her parents were divorced so Connie was raised by her grandparents. When she witnessed a murder at age 12, she was moved to Missouri to live with family friends. She was part of the vocal group The Fourmost. The three guys in that group went on to be The Lettermen. She moved with her dad to Los Angeles in 1953 and was a member of the singing group The Three Debs. She also started appearing in films. Jerry Lewis spotted her in the B-movie Dragstrip Riot and cast her in the 1958 film Rock-A-Bye Baby. Then she signed with Warner Bros. Her debut album Concetta was released in 1958. Connie's big break came when she appeared in a few episodes of the hit TV series 77 Sunset Strip and also sang the hit Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb with series star Edd "Kookie" Byrnes. Warners spun her character off to the hit series Hawaiian Eye. So now she's a star and Sixteen Reasons was her biggest hit as a singer. It reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. The song was written by the husband wife team of Bill and Doree Post. It would be their only hit as Doree Post died of cancer in 1961. The record was produced and arranged by Don Ralke who worked at Warners and was musical director of 77 Sunset Strip and Hawaiian Eye. Later on, he produced records by non-singers like Lorne Greene and William Shatner. Connie recorded a few more albums but by the mid-60s she quit recording to concentrate on her acting career. This 2CD Razor & Tie comp has all her singles. Connie Stevens has appeared in numerous films and TV shows and on stage. So it's easy to forget she had success in music in the early 60s. Here's Connie Stevens performing Sixteen Reasons on the TV show Shivaree 1965. The guy in the video is the show host Gene Weed.

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