WHO’s SORRY NOW
From an article written in 1982 I read that the next singer was the biggest selling female singer of all time. If one looked between 1958-1963 she was hardly missing from the charts. Yet, her music was low-key, often ballads, or teen movie type songs.
By 1969 she had amassed an amazing 55 hits and become a world star and a well
dressed one on every level. As a teenager, her image was that of a mature woman and
she acted like one, whilst her songs were versatile. In 1959 ‘Lipstick on Your Collar’ and ‘Frankie’ were in the charts for the teen population ‘God Bless America’ and ‘Among My Souvenirs’ aimed at their parents.
Her name Connie Francis
Born Concetta Franconero in 1938 of Italian heritage, the young girl began her career
by playing the piano accordion firstly at school, then appearing on a TV talent show
called Star-time. With exposure George Scheck became her manager, and like Pat Boone, Concetta appeared also on the Arthur Godfrey Talent show. By 17 with a
new name, the New York arm of MGM signed a contract with Connie Francis.
At 19 Francis took the role of a young singer in the movie Jamboree, with MGM
trying to turn their new star into a token idol amidst what the critics called a trashy
plot and musical appearances from Count Basie, Fats Domino, Carl Perkins, and
Jerry Lee Lewis.
In 1958, ‘Who’s Sorry Now’ raced up the charts to No 4 in the US for Connie with
the UK placing it at No 1 and some saying this set the standard of her musical mpath.
She would go on to sell 9 separate million dollar sales which included a No 1 in the
UK with the Neil Sedaka song ‘Stupid Cupid’ ‘My Happiness’ and ‘Majesty of Love’
followed. The last a duet with Marvin Rainwater.
Movie roles poured in for Connie after her No 1 hit in1960 for ‘Somebody’s Fool’
The title track from the 1961 movie ‘Where the Boys Are’ along with ‘Follow the
Boys’ in 1962 were hits for Francis. These had followed ballads ‘Don’t Break the
Heart that Loves You’ and ‘My Heart has A Mind of its Own’.
By the time of the movie in 1965 ‘When The Boys Meet The Girls’ the writing was
on the wall with MGM steering Connie into the world of Light Entertainment, Latin
American albums and also country.
Its hard to see the relevance of Connie Francis in the Rock era, however, popularity
and the such are measured by chart success.
Footnote: 1959 was the year of Teen idols. Paul Anka with 4 hits, Fabian 7 hits,
Pat Boone 7 hits, Frankie Avalon 5 hits, Ricky Nelson 6 hits amd
Connie Francis 7 hits.
In 1960 the 5th Annual poll organised by the American Bandstand was won by
Elvis Presley and Connie Francis.