continue with our interview from DISCoveries Magazine with Part 6.
CONNIE - I was going
through my old press kits recently. I had all my fan club people
here (in New Jersey) from Connecticut. They all came to help me make
up a new press kit using some of the mountains and mountains of old press
clippings. Among it is so much stuff about Elvis and myself that
came out in the '50s and early '60s; all the polls and such. He and
I topped the polls many times for top male and female singers. It
was either myself or Brenda Lee.
Any early memories of Elvis?
CONNIE - The
first time I saw Elvis in person was shortly after his mother died.
He was in the audience front row center at the Sahara in Las Vegas.
Knowing that, I was just dying to meet him after the show. I sang
Mama and he started to cry and left the showroom. That was
it that night. The next day he sent me two dozen
yellow roses with a note apologizing for leaving the show, but
his mother had just died and that was the reason. He could not listen
Oh, one other thing about Elvis. He was always such a gentleman.
I have to say that. With me and with everyone else I've known.
On one of the anniversaries of his death, I don't remember what year it
was, but I did a TV interview, and on the show was Joe Esposito.
I asked Joe why someone didn't try to stop him. And I said, Joe,
you were so close to Elvis and I know that you really loved him.
And he said, if he had said anything, and he tried, he would have been
out of Graceland, I think that is so sad.
Many would agree. Your next single was a deviation because it was
your first rocker, Stupid Cupid.
CONNIE - I'll
tell you something about that. There wasn't an original rock and
roll hit before by any white girl singer. Sure there were cover versions
of things by Georgia Gibbs, etc,. but I don't think there were any original
rockers by white girls before Stupid Cupid. Even the black
girls, like Lavern Baker, who had pop hits were really rhythm and blues
singers more than pop.
Where did you get the soulful feeling that other white, female pop stars
lacked at the time?
CONNIE - That's because
in my shows from 1956 on I was doing I'm Walking and I Hear You
Knocking, and other rockers. I did things by Fats Domino, Ray
Charles, and others. I just love them so. Also, doing rock
and roll was somewhat because of knowing Bobby
Darin. When I met Bobby in '56 he was such a rock and
R&B fanatic. We always tried to go to see James Brown at the
Apollo. I became a rock and roll and rhythm and blues freak because
of Bobby Darin. I knew there was no way I could ever sound like Lavern
Baker or the others I liked. So I decided to just wing in on Stupid
Cupid. I knew I had to come up with a smash hit on the third
record. It was crucial. I listened to every publisher's song
in New York, but nothing was hitting me. I said, "Why don't we do
another standard, Daddy?" "No", he said. "Think of something else."
How did Stupid Cupid find it's way to you?
CONNIE - Through
a down-and-out singer named Don Kirshner. He had an office with a
broken chair and desk in it. Also, though I was a big star with the
kids, I was still living in this impoverished house because we didn't even
have time to move from this shack. Anyway, Donnie says, "I've got
two writers for you to see. One is an errand boy, a gopher at a publishing
company, and the other one is an art student. These kids are the
best." I agreed.
we all know who they were, don't we? If not, come back next update
and find out who these writers were! Heck, even if you do know, come
on back next update anyway for the whole story!
In the meantime, if you've missed any back
chapters of this interview you can still check them out!
Would you like to know when
"The Incomparable Connie Francis" is updated?
Drop Me A Line!
|This site created and maintained by John A
©1999-2015 John A. Donatelli,