The continuing interview by Jerry Osborne

jerry osborne
from DISCoveries Magazine September 1991

July 2006

DISC: In Los Angeles, where I was in 1960, one of the stations got a hold of a British pressing of Mama, and began playing it's flip, Robot Man, which was out in th US by Jamie Horton.  Why wasn't Robot Man issued here?

CONNIE:  Here's why Robot Man wasn't on the other side of Mama.  When Mama came out, I had only two songs in the can.  One was Teddy, and the other was this silly song, Robot Man, which I hated.  After the Como show when Mama was rushed out as a single we had to decide.  Since the Anka's and I had this 50-50 arrangement, I called Mr. Anka, Paul's father, and said "I'm releasing Teddy on the other side of my next single, 'cause I hate the Paul Ankaonly other song I have in the can.  Neither of them am I crazy about, but Teddy is better than the other one."  I told Mr. Anka that Paul and I had a 50-50 deal on Teddy.  He said "If Paul says that's the deal then that's the deal."  Don't worry about it.  Paul's in Europe right now, but if that's what he said, no problem."  I said okay.

After I don't know how many hundreds of thousands of copies were pressed in the US with Teddy on the other side, Paul came back from Europe and said "I never agreed to such a thing."  Stunned, I asked, "What did you just say?"  He said "I never told you we were going to have a 50-50 publishing arrangement on this song."  I said, "Ok, fine."  Then I called and stopped the presses so that everywhere outside the United States Teddy got pulled and I put Robot Man on the flip side of Mama.  As it turned out, Robot Man became a Number 1 song in parts of Europe.

DISC:  But you still didn't like the song.

CONNIE:  I thought it was the dumbest song I ever recorded [Connie singing] "I'd just have to wind him with a Robot key....I'd have a steady date seven nights a week, and he would never cheat, 'cause it would be impossible for him to see."  What a dumb song!Johnny Walsh

DISC:  No more so than Girl Machine, by Johnny Walsh, which was the 1961 male response to Robot Man.

CONNIE:  I've never heard that one.  But now you know why Robot Man was on the flip of the overseas pressings of Mama.

DISC:  Mama went Top 10, but your next single, in the summer of 1960, finally gave you your first No.1 hit nationally.

So.  Do you know what song they will be talking about in the next part of "An Interview with Connie Francis"?
Check out Part 11 to find out!

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