Connie Francis was pop music’s #1 female vocalist from the late 1950’s to the mid-1960’s.
She recorded 16 top ten hits, including “Who’s Sorry Now”, “My Happiness”, “Lipstick on Your Collar”, “Frankie”, “Among My Souvenirs”, “Mama”, ‘Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool’ (#1 in 1960), ‘My Heart Has a Mind of its Own’ (#1, in 1960), “Many Tears Ago”, “Where the Boys Are”, “Breakin’ in a Brand New Broken Heart”, “Together”, “When the Boy in Your Arms (Is the Boy in Your Heart), ‘Don’t Break the Heart that Loves You’ (#1, 1962), “Second Hand Love” and “Vacation.”
She was born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero on December 12, 1938 in Newark, New Jersey. Francis started her music career at three, playing an accordion bought for her by her contractor father George. At age ten, she was accepted on Startime, a New York City television show that featured talented child singers and performers. The show had no one else who played an accordion. After three weeks on Startime, the show's producer advised her to dump the accordion and concentrate on singing (as well as change her name to something “easier to pronounce,” which became Francis).
Francis performed weekly on Startime for four years. After being turned down by almost every record label she approached, 16-year-old Francis signed a record contract with MGM. "Freddy" was released in June 1955 as the singer's first single. After a series of flop singles, on October 2, 1957, she undertook what was to be her last session for MGM. But two months later, with a cover recording of the classic “Who’s Sorry Now” soared to #4 on the pop charts and had Dick Clark declare that Connie Francis was "a new girl singer that is heading straight for the number one spot."
"Who's Sorry Now" was the first of Francis' long string of worldwide hits. By 1967, she had sold 35 million worldwide, with 35 U.S. Top 40 hits, and three number ones.
In addition to her recording and touring, Francis starred in four films, sang voice-overs in movies for actresses who could not sing, and was a guest star on innumerable TV shows. Music critics who didn't take kindly to Francis' pop music years were eventually won over by her versatility. She also has a long history as being a composer's first choice to interpret songs that went on to become major hits for other artists, including "Somewhere My Love," "Strangers in the Night," "Angel in the Morning," and "When Will the Apples Fall."
From 1969 till 1973, Francis led a domestic life. But in 1973, when the writers of "Tie a Yellow Ribbon," longtime friends, wrote "The Answer" especially for her, she returned to the recording studio.
The mid 1970’s marked a decade long period of personal turmoil, beginning with her 1974 rape while on tour. She finally made her return to the stage and recording in 1989 and Connie Francis continues to sing to sold-out audiences.