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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites

Come Back To Sorrento
Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites
MGM Records E3791

From the back cover: Connie as all of four years old, dressed in a starched rose pink party dress with matching lace ruffles, when she first performed in public. The occasion? An amateur hour at Olympic Park in Irvington, New Jersey. Connie was slated to play her miniature accordion and sing O Sole Mio.

Nobody believed she could do it. Even the slick master of ceremonies tried to take her out of the show. "She'll panic," he told Connie's father, "and she'll bawl, and we'll have a mess on our hands."

But Mr. Franconero insisted his Connie remain in the amateur hour line-up. There were other students from Miss Masciola's Music School who were scheduled to perform. One by one they went out on the bandstand, and, more often than not, one by one they walked off, unable to sing or play because of stage fright.

Finally came Connie's turn. The tall master of ceremonies announced her name, and doll baby Connie walked out on that podium in her puffy pink party dress, ran her fingers down the black-and-white keyboard of her miniature accordion and began playing and singing O Sole Mio, one of the songs her daddy taught her.

In the background Dick Stabile's orchestra played softly for fear that they might drown out young Connie's voice. But they needn't have worried. For Connie, at the age of four, sang and played like a trouper and her voice could be heard in the last row of the huge audience. Backstage, in the wings, her father cried, and, many years later, he confessed to Connie that he didn't hear all of her song because of his tears. Had she gone flat he wouldn't have noticed it because he nearly burst from the papa-proudness in his heart.

The reception from the audience that summer day was tumultuous. There was thunderous applause, an endless chorus of bravos, much stomping of feet on the floor.

Little Connie, in her bell-shaped party dress, ran out to take a bow. But the ovation was so strong the audience wouldn't allow her to leave the stage. She had to play another chorus of her song.

This is how Connie's exciting life in the show-business world began. To this day Connie hods the song O Sole Mio dear to her heart – for that matter, all the songs of her colorful Italian heritage.

Even now that she has become a big singing star, Connie loves to sit around the fireplace in the Franconero living room with her family to sing the romantic songs of Italy.

Listen to Connie sing her Italian favorites in this album. It's difficult, if you ask me, to imagine these timeless ballads phrased and sung more beautifully! – George Christy - Mayor, Teen Town

From Billboard - February 1, 1960: Connie, just named the disk jockey's favorite girl singer on records played by them in 1959, dishes out a delightful program of Italian Favorites.

Comm'e Bella A Stagione
Anema E Core
Arrierderci Roma
You Alone (Solo Tu)
Non Dimenticar
Toward The End Of The Day
Ciao, Ciao
Bambina (Chiow, Chiow, Bambina)
Do You Love Me Like You Kiss Me? (Scapricciatiello)
I Have But One Heart
There's No Tomorrow
Santa Lucia
Come Back To Sorrento

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