9.06.2009

CONNIE FRANCIS: WHERE THE BOYS ARE


Connie Francis (born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, December 12, 1938) is an American pop singer of Italian heritage and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1950s and 1960s. Although her chart success waned in the second half of the 1960s, Francis remained a top concert draw. Despite several severe interruptions in her career, Francis is still active as a recording and performing artist (as of November 2011).

Where the Boy's Are was a retro fabulously scandalous film for it's time. Sexy and explicit in 1960's terms but really dated (almost laughable) by today's standards.



After her modest success with "(Should I) Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree?" Francis began performing regularly again. While appearing at the Westbury Music Fair in New York, on November 8, 1974, Francis was raped at the Jericho Turnpike Howard Johnson's Lodge and nearly suffocated to death under the weight of a heavy mattress the culprit had thrown upon her. She subsequently sued the motel chain for failing to provide adequate security and reportedly won a $2.5 million judgment, at the time one of the largest such judgments in history, leading to a reform in hotel security. Her rapist was never found.

In 1977, Francis underwent nasal surgery and completely lost her voice. She went through several more operations and even when she got her voice back, she was forced to take vocal lessons, something she had never done before.

In 1978, Francis returned to the recording studio to cut an album entitled "Who's Happy Now?". The leading recording on this album was a disco version of "Where the Boys Are". She would record this song also in Japanese, Italian, and Spanish as she had done before with her original 1960 version. Several songs from the "Who's Happy Now?" sessions were subsequently recorded in Italian, Spanish, Japanese and German.


The Spanish and German recordings became albums of their own in as "Connie Francis en Español" in Spain and as "Was ich bin" in Germany. All three albums and the singles culled from them were released on United Artists Records.

Where the Boys Are (1960) is a American coming-of-age comedy film, written by George Wells based on the novel by Glendon Swarthout, about four Midwestern college co-eds who spend spring break in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The title song "Where the Boys Are" was sung by Connie Francis, who also co-starred in a supporting role. The film was aimed at the teen market, featuring sun, sand and romance. Released in the wintertime, it inspired thousands of additional American college students to head to Fort Lauderdale for their annual spring break.

Where the Boys Are was one of the first teen films to explore adolescent sexuality and the changing sexual mores and attitudes among American college youth. Given the censorship of the day, the audience is never sure of exactly what happened to Yvette Mimieux's character, but it is insinuated she was raped.



From Bobby's Fan Site: Bobby Darin and Connie Francis were sweethearts as they both began there careers in the recording industry. Bobby and Connie met in January of 1956. Connie recorded "My First Real Love " a song written by Bobby and Don Kirshner, and Bobby and his group "The Jaybirds" sang the background vocals. 

In Connie's autobiography, Who's Sorry Now (St. Martin's Press), Connie devotes two chapters to her relationship with Bobby. Connie talks about Bobby HERE "Bobby Darin was different--dynamic, versatile, chock full of energy, with a fierce determination I had never seen before," she writes in the book. "I learned to adore him for all the reasons I always would-his respect for the little guy, his sense of fairness,his intellect,candor,and self confidence, his brashness, toughness and sweet tenderness-all the contrasts that made him so fascinating."
 

Francis has been married four times. She married Dick Kanellis against her father's wishes on August 15, 1964. She divorced him three months later after he abused her. She married hairdresser Izadore "Izzy" Marion on January 16, 1971. They divorced the following year. In September 1973 she married Joseph Garzilli; together they adopted a son, Joseph Garzilli Jr. (Joey), born in 1974. She has stated that it was because of her rape in 1974 that she divorced him. After the marriage ended, she married television producer Bob Parkinson, on June 27, 1985.

 Like the others, this marriage ended in divorce. Nasal surgery to correct previous surgery caused a sensitivity to air conditioning and deprived her of her ability to sing professionally for four years. Her brother George was murdered in 1981.  Read the transcripts HERE Francis was later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She has long suffered from continuing mental impairments that developed as a result of her rape, including drug dependencies and suicide attempts. She uses lithium to treat the illness.

  

2 comments:

John Donatelli Jr said...

Connie Francis is still number one! That's why I have my site at http://www.freewebs.com/conniefrancis

RetroKimmer said...

You are absolutely right John! Miss Francis is still number one! I love her and wish her all the best! I will post your site and store too ok?

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