Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Spotlight on Connie Francis

In the early years of rock and roll, there wasn't a bigger female pop singer than Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, better known as Connie Francis.

Francis dominated the charts from 1957 to 1963, churning out 28 Top 40 songs including 14 that reached the Top 10. She had two No. 1 singles -- "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" in 1960 and "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" two years later.

While her first charted song was "Who's Sorry Now?" in 1957, Francis attracted younger fans in 1958 with the Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield tune, "Stupid Cupid."

Francis appeared in movies such as "Where the Boys Are," the first beach movie, in 1961; performed on all the top television shows and stages around the world; and became an international star with her recordings in German, Italian, Spanish, Yiddish, French other other languages. Her love ballads are timeless.

Through the years she has proven to be a mighty woman by putting her life together after being beaten and raped at knifepoint in 1974; surviving mental illness and helping others deal with the disease; and working on important military veterans' issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder. The Newark, N.J., native has also written two autobiographies.

Francis, who is 76, still records and performs. She is truly a remarkable person who has accomplished so much in her professional career, overcome numerous obstacles, and inspired others in many ways.

Surprisingly, this artist who paved the way for so many other "girl singers" has never been nominated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame although she's been eligible since the doors opened in 1986. She deserves to be among rock's royalty.

And now for a few of Connie's biggest hits:

Until the next time...

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