Connie Francis is among the best female recording artists of all time in terms of record sales. She was the top female vocalist of the late 50's and early 60's.
She was born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero in 1938 in Newark, New Jersey. At age three she learned to play an accordion. She appeared on local television at age 10, on Arthur Godfrey's talent show at 11, and on the television variety show Startime for several years.
In May of 1955 she recorded her first song Freddy for MGM. It was the beginning of a long association with MGM, for whom she would record a total of 35 songs that placed in the top forty between 1958 and 1964. Connie's breakthrough hit, released in 1958 when she was 19 years old, was Who's Sorry Now?, a song that had been very popular in 1923. The song had been suggested to her by her father, a domineering figure who pushed her throughout her career.
Connie Francis had a good, strong voice. Many of her songs followed one of two formulas: either it was a slickly produced catchy song with a rock-n-roll beat [such as Stupid Cupid or My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own] or a song that had been popular earlier in the Twentieth Century. Examples of the many songs she did that had been recorded earlier by other artists include Among My Souvenirs [from 1928], My Happiness , and Who's Sorry Now .
In 1961, Connie began her film career with her role in Where The Boys Are, for which she sang the title song. Other film appearances from 1961 to 1965 included Follow The Boys, Looking For Love, and When The Boys Meet The Girls.
She also recorded more than 60 LP's, three soundtrack albums, country songs, and many, many other records. In the late 60's Connie went to Vietnam to sing for the troops, and she did a great deal of charity work for organizations such as UNICEF, the USO, and CARE. She recorded many of her hits in several languages which also topped the charts in many countries.
Following a performance at the Westbury Music Fair in Westbury, New York in November, 1974, Connie was the victim of a robbery and assault at knifepoint, which devastated her. She left the entertainment business entirely for a while, released an album of her previous hits in 1977 and returned to Westbury to perform in 1981. She still suffers from the effects of the crime that was committed against her.
Connie Francis had her last top ten song in 1962, her last top forty in 1964, and her last top 100 in 1969. Following is a complete list of her top ten songs. All were released from 1958 to 1962, and all were on MGM. The three songs that reached number one are indicated with an asterisk.
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