April 1999
Part 3

- by Jerry Osborne Jerry Osborne in

September 1991

  Welcome to PART THREE of the interview that appeared in the September, 1991 edition of DISCoveries Magazine.


There are only two female singing stars whose name is found among the Top 20 in all three chart achievement categories: Most Charted Singles; Most Top 40 Songs; and Most Top 10 Hits.  One is Aretha Franklin - the other is Connie Francis.

-For the record, the records speak for themselves: 56 charted singles; 35 Top 40 hits; and 16 Top 10 hits.

-From 1958 until the British invasion, Connie Francis and Brenda Lee were clearly the queens of rock and roll, not just in America but worldwide.  However, looking just at the top artists, overall, of the rock era, as compiled by Joel Whitburn from Billboard, Connie is ranked No. 18, and ranks behind only one other lady singer, Aretha Franklin (No. 8).

-To fully comprehend the incredible recording success of Connie Francis, though, it's important to keep in mind, no matter how immense she was in the States, she was never as popular here as she was internationally.

-Yes, for the record & the records, Connie Francis is clearly a Promethean performer - and interviewing this courageous lady was a rare treat.

(Connie talking about singing foreign songs phonetically)

DISCoveries:  Since when? (...other than Italian which you have always sung.
Connie recording
"Since my Grandma taught me songs in Italian when I was two or three."

Was Italian the primary language spoken in your home?

Connie: Except for my parents.  They spoke real bad Italian.  But my grandparents spoke only Italian.  So Grandma would teach me Italian songs, and then I took Spanish throughout high school and college, so Spanish wasn't unfamiliar to me.  But at the age of nine, my father had me singing La Vie en Rose in French, and Siboney in Spanish at the Steel Pier with my accordion.  What's more, he was a fanatical country music fan."

Disc: And you?

"Not then.  When he used to put Paul Brenner on the radio on Sunday afternoon to hear that Ozark-type, real hillbilly stuff, I used to get a headache.  I used to say "daddy, no more!, and he'd say "go ahead, laugh all you want, but someday country music is going to be as popular as the stuff you're listening to on the radio now."

"Little did you realize you'd one day have an album titled Country Music Connie Style."

"I know [laughing].  And he had been telling me from '58 to go to Nashville and record.  Patti Page was one who had done that already.  In Nashville, I was amazed that there were no arrangements.  I just couldn't believe that strings could play together a song that there was no arrangement on.  And singers could sing a song that there was no arrangement on.  I can't ever learn a song by listening to it.  I can listen to a song a hundred times, and I can't learn it.  I have to look at the music, see the words, and it has to click in my head, and then I'll know it.  I just couldn't believe in Nashville how incredible they were.  And each person in the office was a talent unto himself.  We had folks like Boots Randolph on tenor sax and Floyd Cramer on piano.  Everyone there was already a country star.

And you also used the Jordanaires.
This is a long interview, so I may update at any time. Make sure you e-mail me below to be notified when I do!
Miss parts of this Interview? NOT!

You are at PART 3
Go To

Part 01 Part 02
Part 04 Part 05
Part 06 Part 07
Part 08 Part 09
Part 10 Part 11
Part 12 Part 13
Part 14 Part 15
I've loved Connie's music for about 51 years now. I try to get my hands on as much of her music as possible. If you'd like to see what I've amassed over the years; and, by the way still am collecting; check out the other pages listed in the Directory. If nothing else, they are informative and entertaining!



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