Born as Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero on December 12, 1938 to parents George and Ida Franconero.
Newark, New Jersey
Connie's love of music was evident even as a child. At 3 years old her parents bought her an accordion which she soon learned how to play. She also developed a strong interest in singing. She appeared and won on Arthur Godfrey's Startime Talent Scout Show when she was 10. It was Godfrey who advised Connie to change her name to something shorter and more memorable. Since then she has used the name Connie Francis. She eventually signed with MGM Records in 1955.
After a few unsuccessful singles, and just as she was about to give up, her big break finally came in 1958. Her song, "Who's Sorry Now," climbed to #4 in the US and #1 in the UK in April 1958. The said song debuted in Dick Clark's show American Bandstand. A slew of hits soon followed.
Her other songs include: "Among My Souvenirs," "Breakin' In a Brand New Broken Heart," "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You," (became a #1 hit) "Everybody's Somebody's Fool," (became a Billboard #1 hit) "In the Summer of His Years," "Lipstick On Your Collar," "Mama," "My Happiness," "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own," (became a Billboard #1 hit) "Stupid Cupid," "Together," "The Wedding Cake," "There's Still a Few Good Love Songs Left In Me," "The Answer," "Where the Boys Are" and "Vacation,"
Connie Francis also appeared on films like Where the Boys Are,Follow the Boys, Looking for Love and )When the Boys Meet the Girls.
Other Accomplishments:In 1961 she starred in her own TV show called Kicking Sound Around.In 1963 she performed at the Alhambra Theatre in Glasgow for Queen Elizabeth II.In 1967 during the Vietnam War, she performed for US Troops.She has supported various charitable organizations including UNICEF.In 1984 she published her autobiography titled Who’s Sorry Now.
Personal Struggles:In 1974, after performing in New York's Westbury Music Fair, she was sexually assaulted while in her hotel room. This incident prompted her to sue the hotel. She won the lawsuit.She refrained from performing for several years after a nasal surgery. In 1981, her brother George was killed.Connie is said to have been diagnosed with manic depression.She married 4 times and has a son named Joey with her third husband Joseph Garzilli.
Aside from being a great singer, she was also a good student. Connie attended Belleville High School and then received a pre-med scholarship to New York University.
"Who's Sorry Now," the song that propelled her to stardom, was chosen by her father. Connie actually didn't like to record the said song but her father insisted.
She recorded several songs written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Among these songs are "Stupid Cupid," "Where The Boys Are," “Lipstick on Your Collar," “My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own,” “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You" and "Everybody's Somebody's Fool."