Connie Francis Biography
Connie Francis born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, is an American pop singer. She was born on December 12, 1938 in the Italian section of Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of first-generation Italian-American parents, George Franconero, Sr., and Ida Franconero.
From the age of three, George Franconero recognized his daughter’s outstanding talent and, at his persistence, she began taking accordion lessons. However, her musical ingenuity would not be served well by the accordion, but because she was blessed with a golden voice; one that the world would come to adore, and which would inspire and touch the hearts of many millions.
Strongly influenced and encouraged by her father, an impoverished roofer, Connie gave her first performance at the Olympic Amusement Park in Irvington, NJ at the tender age of four, playing her accordion and singing Anchors Aweigh and, in Italian, O Solo Mio. By the age of 10, she was playing “that instrument” and singing an unlikely standard, St. Louis Blues at the Mosque Theatre in Newark, earning third place on The Ted Mack Amateur Hour radio show.
The duality of Connie’s interests would soon become apparent. While appearing on TV weekly, she was also an excellent straight “A” student, co-editor of both her high school newspapers (at Arts High School in Newark and then later, at Belleville High School in Belleville, New Jersey), a member of the National Honor Society, and possessed with lofty aspirations of one day becoming a prominent doctor in research.
At 14, she found herself making demonstration records (demos) for publishers, who would then pitch these yet-to-be published songs to the most popular singers of the day. Before that first four-hour demo session was over, Connie knew, for certain, that if she were ever to find her place in the sun, it would surely begin in a recording studio — the one place which would consume the major part of her time for the next generation and more.
She was still 14 when she won a spot on The Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show, on which, every Christmas, rather than featuring the usual adult singers, Godfrey would highlight child performers instead. It was at the rehearsal for that show that Godfrey, having a tough time pronouncing her Italian last name, summoned her over to his desk. The name Connie Francis was given to her by Godfrey.
Amateur shows were the rage of 1950’s TV, and the talented young Connie soon found a home on a weekly kiddie variety show, NBC-TV’s The Startime Kids. Produced by a former hoofer named George Scheck, it was a program on which she would appear every single week for the next three-and-a-half years. When Startime had its run, Scheck became Connie’s personal manager, a close relationship that lasted almost 30 years.
At 17, with The Startime Kids off the air, George Scheck, together with music publisher, Lou Levy, raised the $6,000 needed for Connie’s first own recording session. They then brought these masters to every record company in the business and, everywhere, they were turned down flat. But as luck would have it, when they took those four masters to the only company remaining, MGM Records, the then president Harry Meyerson, made a much different decision. He signed her to a 20-side/two-year unprecedented contract; one which allowed Connie to choose her own songs to record, and without having to rely on MGM recouping the costs for these sessions — the same unique rights she would enjoy for her next 15 years with the label.
After a string of 18 bomb sides (nine unsuccessful singles) MGM was finally ready to drop her from their roster. Her very wise father had other ideas, and for over a year, he had pleaded with her to record an old standard written in 1923, Who’s Sorry Now. But both she and MGM soundly rejected his suggestion. With only 16 minutes remaining at that final session, Connie’s father gave her no choice other than to record the song about which he’d been hounding her for so long. She whispered to the conductor, Joe Lipman, “If I don’t cut this loser, Joe, then you’ll have to go home with the man today!” On January 1st, 1958, three months after that session, and when the single was a dud like all her previous records, America’s teenage icon, Dick Clark, turned Connie’s world around. He just happened to pick up a record that had been lying on his desk for months; he played it that day, liked it and continued to play it every day until April, when Who’s Sorry Now had sold close to a million records. Following the success of Who’s Sorry Now, Connie embarked on a nonstop manic-paced schedule, filled with endless recording sessions, appearances on every TV variety show in existence, and record-breaking appearances at the nation’s top nightclubs. At “The Greatest American Nightclub” of them all, New York City’s, Copacabana, she became the biggest female draw for the next 11 years. Throughout the 60’s, she continued to break all records at Hollywood’s famous Coconut Grove, the Lincoln Center, the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, Blinstrub’s in Boston, The Elmwood Casino in Ontario, the Concord Hotel in the Jewish Castkills, The Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, and countless others.
In 1958, Cashbox, Billboard and the Jukebox Operators of America named Connie Francis as the #1 Female Vocalist. She was named Top Female Vocalist by all the trades for six consecutive years – a record never surpassed. As well, England’s prestigious New Musical Express also named her the World’s #1 Female Vocalist. She earned two gold records for Who’s Sorry Now? and Stupid Cupid.
Connie Francis also experienced many firsts in her early career. At 22, she was the youngest performer ever to star at the Copa, when it wasn’t during prom season; at 22, the first to land her own ABC-TV network special; also at 22, the youngest-ever star to headline in Las Vegas at the Sahara Hotel; and the first female to have a million-selling rock ’n’ roll hit, Stupid Cupid, written by her friends, Neil Sedaka and Howie Greenfield.
Connie Francis Age
She was born on December 12, 1938.
Connie Francis Spouse
Francis has been married four times. The longest-lasting union was five years (1973–1978) with Joseph Garzilli, a restaurateur and travel-agency owner. She was also married for four months to Dick Kannellis, a press agent and entertainment director for the Aladdin Hotel (1964); ten months to Izzy Marrion, a hair-salon owner (1971–1972); and eight months to TV producer Bob Parkinson (1985–1986).
Connie Francis Son
She got a son, Joseph Garzilli Jr., from her union of five years with Joseph Garzilli.
Connie Francis Children
American singer Connie Francis adopted children are: Lorraine, Yvonne, Valerie, and Alan.
Connie Francis Photos
Connie Francis Net Worth
She has an estimated net worth of $25 million.
Connie Francis Songs
- Stupid Cupid
- Lipstick on Your Collar
- Where the Boys Are
- My Happiness
- Among My Souvenirs
- Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You
- My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own
- I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter
- Al di là
- Breakin’ In a Brand New Broken Heart
- Die Liebe ist ein seltsames Spiel
- Schöner fremder Mann
- If I Didn’t Care
- Carolina Moon
- Someone Else’s Boy
- If My Pillow Could Talk
- Second Hand Love
- Barcarole In Der Nacht
- I Will Wait for You
- Many Tears Ago
- Wenn Du Gehst
- I’m Sorry I Made You Cry
- The Wedding Cake
- Blue Winter
- Love Is a Many Splendored Thing
- Invierno Triste