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Connie Francis
"The Very Best Of Connie Francis Volume Two"

© Polydor

December 11 - 17, 2022

Year of Release: 1987
  • When The Boy In Your Arms
    (Is The Boy In Your Heart)
  • Mama
  • Blue Winter
  • Together
  • God Bless America
  • Be Anything
  • For Mama (La Mamma)
  • Al-Di-La
  • Malaguena
  • I Was Such A Fool
    (To Fall In Love With You)
  • Jealous Of You
    (Tango Della Gelosia)
  • Time Alone Will Tell
    (Non Pensare A Me)

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    This week's chosen artist is Connie Francis, a very well-known popoular singer from the 1950s and 1960s. Born on December 12, 1937, (it's her 85th birthday!) she recorded many popular songs, and of them, achieved the #1 spot with a total of three: "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" (1960), "My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own" (1960), and "Don't Break The Heart That Loves You" (1960). Of course, there were many other hits she had, that should have reached the top spot, such as "Who's Sorry Now" and "Where The Boys Are" (to name a few). But she will always have a place in Rock and Roll, being one of the most popular and famous female vocalists of the "Rock Era." Her music wasn't really categorized as "Rock & Roll"; that is in the ranks of the male-dominated Rock artists who would be Rock Icons, such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis (oh, the list goes on and on...) Her music would probabliy be best categorized as "Easy Listening." Her very Best Of Connie Francis Volume Two would cover her songs from 1959 to 1967. She didn't have as many popular songs from these years, however she did reach #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart in 1961, with "Together."

    "When The Boy In Your Arms (Is the Boy In Your Heart)" (1961) is such a beautiful song, and Connie's voice shines as well. "Mama" (1960) truly sounds as a great Italian-inspired song. (Yes, Connie is Italian, her real name is Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero.) Again, another beautiful song, with great orchestration. "Blue Winter" (1964). It's compared to another winter/Christmas song, "Blue Christmas" -- "I'll have a Blue Winter without you." "Together" is the next song as it spent one week at #1, in August, 1961.

    "God Bless America' (1959) is much well-known by Kate Smith, yet Connie's version gets recognition and fitting the Easy Listening and even Rock & Roll eras. It's energetic, just as this famous patriotic song has always been. "Be Anything" (1964) could be part of the early 1960s Country - it has a Patsy Cline feel, yet it's the recognizable voice of Connie Francis that makes it great. Also, it fits her peak years of her hits, in this particular style. "Mama (La Mamma)" (1965), continues from the 1960 version. Both versions could easily have been in the Godfather movie soundtracks, which would surface later in the 1970s decade.

    "Al-Di-La" (1962) is another Italian-sounding song, and once again, Connie's voice truly shines, as it always has. "Malaguena" (1960)is another energetic song, showcasing her great voice, mexican style. (Amazing that Connie would sing in different languages.) Another great tune that easily fits her most well-known songs from the 1950s, "I Was Such A Fool (To Fall In Love With You)" (1962) is another great song, with her recognizable voice and style. Another great Italian-sounding tune follows, "Jealous Of You (Tango Della Gelosia)" (1960). Italian or Mexican, it's another great Connie Francis song, as she sings in great form. Ending the second volume is the Easy Listening flavored "Time Along With You (Non Pensare A Me)" (1967). Again, outstanding vocals from the one and only, Connie Francis.

    Is Connie Francis in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? The answer is No. She SHOULD be. She was major pop music female star. Singing in multiple languages also. With many of her well-known songs, it's a wonder that she isn't in the Rock Hall. Hoping that she will see herself there, she isn't getting any younger these days. She is currently 85 years old, and basically many of the true Rock & Roll stars have already left us. (Another well-known female pop [and Country] star who is still alive, is Brenda Lee. She was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2002. And Connie isn't...)

    There was always a possibility of a bioography movie on Connie Francis. Gloria Estefan was to produce and star as Connie, yet Connie wanted write Robert Freeman to write the screenplay. Freeman had written the miniseries regarding Judy Garland - Life With Judy Garland: Me And My Shadows. Freeman wasn't hired, and the movie project was dropped. Another well-known singer to try and make Connie's movie was Dolly Parton. But owing her commitment to Estefan's organization, she was not able to accept Parton's offer. Parton's movie was to have actress Valerie Bertinelli portray Connie. (This was all mentioned in her Wikipedia article.) Also, she was romantically involved with Bobby Darin, which Connie's father was not in favor of. Darin would later marry actress Sandra Dee.

    In reading her Wikipedia article, there was no mention of Connie Francis' rape in a motel room, in 1974. She also suffered the loss of her brother, George, who was murdered gangland-style, in 1981. The rape caused a mental breakdown, a crumbling marriage, and nearly ended her career. She had lived seven years out of the spotlight. Her brother was an attorney, and then involved with the mob, and cooperated with the government for three years. You can read more about this here.

    The Very Best Of Connie Francis (Volume One) has the well-known songs that Connie Francis recorded. Volume Two would be the next phase, as she continued to have hits into the 1960s decade. As mentioned, the 1960s decade may not have had songs that were as popular from the 1950s leading into the 1960s, yet on The Very Best Of Connie Francis Volume Two, the twelve songs on this compilation truly displays how great her voice was. Also to mention, the great orchestrations that were included in this set, as conductors such as Don Costa, Tony Osborne, Alan Lorber, Cliff Parman, Ray Ellis, Giulio Libano, Geoff Love, Bill McElhiney, Stan Applebaum, and Joe Sherman were all involved on these recordings.

    Happy 85th birthday, Connie Francis.. Let's all hope you will live long enough to see yourself as part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. That time is NOW.

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