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Connie Francis Biography

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Connie Francis (born December 12, 1938 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American pop singer best known for international hit songs such as "Who's Sorry Now?," "Where The Boys Are", and "Everybody's Somebody's Fool".

Born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero in Newark's Italian Down Neck or Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey neighborhood, she is considered the most prolific female rock 'n' roll hit-maker of the early rock era -- the late 1950s to the early 1960s. After an appearance on Startime, Francis was advised to change her name from Franconero to something more easily pronounceable, as well as to quit the accordion and focus on singing.

Francis' first single "Freddy" (1955) met with little success. Her next nine singles were also failures, and she began considering a career in medicine. However, "Who's Sorry Now" (a cover version of a 1923 song) launched her into super-stardom worldwide. Francis recorded the song at what was to have been her final recording session for MGM, as the label was about to drop her since her previous singles had generated little activity. She has said (paraphrased from The Billboard Book of Number One Singles by Fred Bronson) that she recorded it at the suggestion of her father, who convinced her it stood a chance of becoming a hit because it was a song adults already knew and that teenagers would dance to if it were released with a more contemporary arrangement.

The gamble paid off. In April 1958, "Who's Sorry Now" reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart (number four in the USA) and in 2000, was named one of the Songs of the Century. On January 1, 1958, she debuted it on Dick Clark's American Bandstand television show; by mid-year over a million copies were sold. This was followed by a slew of other hits over the next decade, as Connie Francis became one of the most popular vocalists in the world.

Francis specialized in downbeat ballads delivered in her trademark "sobbing" style, such as "My Happiness," "I'm Sorry I Made You Cry," "Among My Souvenirs," "Together," "Breakin' In a Brand New Broken Heart," and the Italian song "Mama," many of which were remakes of old standards. However, she also had success with a handful of more upbeat, rock-and-roll-oriented compositions, such as "Stupid Cupid," "Lipstick On Your Collar," and "Vacation." Among her other notable performances were "In the Summer of His Years" (a tribute to slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy) and Bert Kaempfert's "Strangers In The Night" (although the latter song is more identified with Frank Sinatra). Both "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" went to No.1 on the Billboard music charts in 1960. In 1962 she had another No.1 hit with "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You."

The screenplay for a movie based on Francis' life, titled Who's Sorry Now? is done, and filming is anticipated in 2007, Gloria Estefan said in a news conference. Latin music star Gloria Estefan wrote the screenplay. She will produce and play the lead. Estefan said, "She [Francis] isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and yet she was the first pop star worldwide, and has recorded in nine languages. She has done a lot of things for victims' rights since her rape in the '70s . . . There's a major story there."

(US = Billboard Hot 200 LPs Chart, C= Cashbox LPS chart, CM = Cashbox Mono LPS chart, CS = Cashbox Stereo LPS chart)

(Key to US Charts: US - Billboard Hot 100 / CB - Cash Box Singles Chart / AC - US Adult Contemporary Chart / C&W - US Country Chart)
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