Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Connie Francis - Behind the Fame

Updated July 29, 2016

Connie Franconero grew up in New Jersey, of Italian heritage.
In 1955 MGM gave Connie a contract for several singles. The first one was Freddy, which the MGM chief wanted as a gift for son Freddy's birthday. A pretty good song, but they say it was only played at the local park merry-go-round. The following singles had some good pop items, but not enough for hits. In 1957 Connie sang the voice of Tuesday Weld in the movie Rock Rock Rock  for two songs, which became one of the singles. Really lame songs.
After the 10th non-hit her father got serious and stepped in. He decided to choose the song Who's Sorry Now, which was a pop oldie. Finally she had a big hit and the rest is history.

From then on her father directed her recording career. In the earlier days they had been approached by mobsters, who said they could make her a star because they owned all the jukeboxes. Father turned it down. Now he seemed to have the golden touch in choosing records.
Connie became interested in a relationship with Bobby Darin then. Father didn't approve and that was stopped. I don't know but possibly Bobby had mob connections. There's a lot of that.
For her first movie Where the Boys Are in 1960 father approved only if there was nothing sexual for her. So Tuesday Weld did that stuff. Connie was not made up very attractive and was not presented as exciting. That improved in later films.

Now from 1958 to 1963 she was blessed by great pop-rock compositions by New York composers like Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. A lot of sentimental love songs with great harmony and melody.
From 1963 the caliber of American songwriting started to wane and like everyone else she was having less success.
That year she had a hit with In The Summer Of His Years, which was a tribute to President John F. Kennedy after his assasination. Strangely, that song is completely ignored since then. I think it's politics. Jews who mostly control the media want to suppress him.
Some songs are overlooked because of the timing of her hits albums. I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter came too late for her second hits album. However it did get included in the 15 Hits LP which covered her from the start. Other hits that came too late for the hits LPs were Blue Winter and Your Other Love.

Albums continued thru the 1960s along with some lesser hits.
As time went on she had problems with marriage, and in 1974 she was raped in her hotel in Long Island after performing.
In the late 60s she had plastic surgery to make her nose look less Italian and more American. She looked fine but it affected her vocal range negatively. Then a couple decades after that she had it again to somewhat revert her look, to where she is now.

Apparently she bought the copyrights to her recordings from MGM (or Polydor), which was having constant problems with repeated bankruptcies and ownership changes (also affecting the James Bond films). She does not tolerate unauthorized distribution, including posts on YouTube. If I could hear from her maybe I could present some samples here.

Connie still performs today. She was the best selling female artist in the world until Mariah Carey came.

Connie Francis on the Statler Brothers Show 1998:
video

You can also see her biography program starting at this link.