History[ edit ] — Marks Avenue before the family moved to New Jersey. Francis attended Newark Arts High School in and Godfrey also told her to drop the accordion — advice she gladly followed, as she had begun to hate the large and heavy instrument.
Recording contract and a series of commercial failures[ edit ] In , Startime Kids went off the air. In May that same year,  George Franconero Sr. The story goes that every record label they tried turned her down, mainly because, as a demo singer, Francis could copy other popular singers of the day like Kitty Kallen or Kay Starr , but had not yet developed a distinctive sound of her own.
Finally, even when MGM Records decided to sign a contract with her, it was basically because one track she had recorded, "Freddy", happened to be the name of the son of a company co-executive, Harry A. Myerson, who thought of this song as a nice birthday gift. Hence, "Freddy" was released as Francis' first single, which turned out to be a commercial failure, just as her following eight solo singles were. In the fall of , Francis enjoyed her first chart success with a duet single she had recorded with Marvin Rainwater: Eventually, the single sold over one million copies.
Last chance and breakthrough[ edit ] However, her minor chart success came too late — Francis' recording contract consisted of ten solo singles and one duet single. Though success had finally seemed to come with "The Majesty of Love", Francis was informed by MGM Records that her contract would not be renewed after her last solo single. Francis considered a career in medicine and was about to accept a four-year scholarship offered at New York University.
At what was to have been her final recording session for MGM on October 2, ,  she recorded a cover version of the song " Who's Sorry Now? Francis has said that she recorded it at the insistence of her father, who was convinced it stood a chance of becoming a hit because it was a song adults already knew and that teenagers would dance to if it had a contemporary arrangement.
Her father insisted, though, and when the recording "Who's Sorry Now? By mid-year, over a million copies had been sold, and Francis was suddenly launched into worldwide stardom. After a few hours, Francis began writing in her diary while the songwriters played the last of their ballads.
Afterwards, Francis told them that she considered their ballads too intellectual and sophisticated for the young generation and requested a more lively song.
Greenfield urged Sedaka to sing a song they had written that morning with the Shepherd Sisters in mind. Sedaka protested that Francis would be insulted, but Greenfield said that since she hated all the other songs they had performed, they had nothing to lose. Sedaka then played " Stupid Cupid. It went on to reach number 14 on the Billboard chart and was her second number 1 in the UK. The success of "Stupid Cupid" restored momentum to Francis' chart career, and she reached the U.
She managed to churn out more hits by covering several older songs, such as "My Happiness" number 2 on the Hot and " Among My Souvenirs " number 7 , as well as performing her own original songs. In , she gained two gold records for a double-sided hit: It soon entered the album charts where it remained for 81 weeks, peaking at number 4.
To this day, it is still Francis' most successful album. These albums marked Francis' transition from the youth-oriented rock 'n' roll music to adult contemporary music , which George Franconero, Sr.
Nevertheless, Francis continued to record singles aimed at the youth-oriented market. The last became her signature tune and was also the theme song of Francis' first motion picture of the same name. The movie also introduced the concept of spring break , as the once sleepy town of Fort Lauderdale became the hotspot for college students on their spring vacation in the wake of the movie's success.
Although she appeared in three further motion pictures, Francis was never satisfied with herself as an actress, and after appearing in a made-for-television movie in , she declined further offers.
In her autobiography, Francis mentioned that in the early years of her career, the language barrier in certain European countries made it difficult for her songs to get airplay, especially in Germany. Francis used these reflections as the basis for her April recording, " Everybody's Somebody's Fool. Veteran lyricist Ralph Maria Siegel penned a set of German lyrics, named " Die Liebe ist ein seltsames Spiel ", which, after some friction between Francis and her MGM executives, was recorded and released.
Contrary to popular belief, Francis did not record any further foreign-language versions of "Everybody's Somebody's Fool. It was not until her number 7 on the US charts, "Many Tears Ago," later in when Francis began to record cover versions of her own songs in foreign languages besides German.
Over the following years, she eventually expanded her recording portfolio up to 15 languages. Francis was not fluent in all of these languages and she had to learn her foreign language songs phonetically. Francis explained in a television interview that she was fluent in Spanish and Italian, but always had a translator nearby to make sure her translated lyrics and especially her pronunciation were as grammatically correct as possible.
During the s, her songs not only topped the charts in numerous countries around the world, but also she was also voted the number 1 singer in over 10 countries. In , she was named the most popular artist in Europe, the first time a non-European received this honor.
From mid to mid, Radio Luxembourg closed each day's broadcasts with "It's Time to Say Goodnight", a song Francis had recorded especially for this purpose and which was never officially released until Even at the height of the Cold War , Francis' music was well received in Iron Curtain countries, and some of her recordings were made available on state-owned record labels such as Melodiya in the former Soviet Union and on Jugoton in former Yugoslavia,  although it was common knowledge that rock 'n' roll was highly looked down upon in Eastern bloc countries.
In the US, Connie Francis had a third number-one hit in Francis recalls this story frequently during the introduction to " God Bless America " at her live concerts.
Due to changing trends in the early and mids, namely the British Invasion , Francis' chart success on Billboard's Hot began to wane after She had her final top-ten hit, "Vacation", in A number of Francis' singles continued to reach the top 40 in the US Hot through the mids, with her last top entry being 's " Be Anything but Be Mine ".
Despite her declining success on the Hot , Francis remained a top concert draw, and her singles — now following a more mature style — were charting on the top quarter of Billboard's Adult Contemporary AC Charts and sometimes even reached Billboard's Country Charts.
She continued to have chart hits into the s in some countries and, even to this day, she remains very popular in European countries, though she no longer records or appears as frequently as she used to do.
In late , Francis' contract with MGM Records ran out and she decided not to commit herself any further to her longtime record company, weary from almost 15 years of uninterrupted recording, live appearances, television and motion picture work, and travelling. From until , Francis lived in semiretirement, appearing only occasionally as a special guest on TV shows. The project of recording a German version, though, remained unfinished.
Her rapist was never found. She went through several more operations and even when she got her voice back, she was forced to take vocal lessons. Although she had taken vocal lessons previously, this was the first time she had been asked to do so. In , Francis returned to the recording studio to cut an album titled Who's Happy Now? The leading recording on this album was a disco version of "Where the Boys Are".
She recorded this song also in Japanese, Italian, and Spanish, as she had done before with her original version. Several songs from the Who's Happy Now? All three albums and the singles culled from them were released on United Artists Records.
The latter became the title track of a subsequent album which featured the aforementioned new songs, as well as previously unreleased material from the s and s. Both the single and the album were Francis' last original releases on MGM Records; Polydor bought the label in and discontinued it in More tragedy[ edit ] In , further tragedy struck Francis when her brother, George Franconero, Jr. Francis' newfound success was short-lived, though, as she was diagnosed with manic depression , which brought her career to a stop for a further four years, during which she was committed to a total of 17 hospitals.
Francis admitted that she nearly committed suicide because she found the hospitals to be extremely depressing. Nevertheless, in , Francis was able to write and present her published autobiography, Who's Sorry Now? However, even though her recording "There's Still a Few Good Love Songs Left in Me" brought Francis her last notation on the country charts, several songs never made it beyond the status of being recorded.
Many songs from that time, such as Francis' versions of classics such as "Speak Softly, Love" and " Break It to Me Gently ," and original songs such as "Blue Orleans" are still awaiting their official first-time release. Later career[ edit ] In , Connie Francis resumed her recording and performing career again. For Malaco Records , Francis recorded a double album entitled Where the Hits Are, containing re-recordings of 18 of her biggest hits, as well as six classics of yesteryear Francis had always wanted to record songs such as "Are You Lonesome Tonight?
In , a medley of remixed versions of her biggest German hits charted in Germany. This single, entitled "Jive, Connie", ended up among the top-ten best-selling singles of the year, which brought Connie Francis the prestigious R.
SH short for "Radio Schleswig-Holstein" , back then one of Germany's most important private radio stations. In the wake of this, Francis recorded two duets for the German Herzklang label a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment with Peter Kraus , with whom she had already worked several times in the late s and early s.
A German-language solo album was supposed to follow on Herzklang, but despite all songs being recorded and mixed, the album remains unreleased to this day. Although this album continues to be re-released under various names on countless low-budget labels, With Love To Buddy remains Francis' last original release as of October At infrequent intervals, though, Francis releases compact disc albums and EPs in limited quantities on her own label, Concetta Records, containing previously unreleased material from her private archives.
In late December , Francis headlined in Las Vegas for the first time since She appeared in concert in Manila , the Philippines, on Valentine's Day