Saturday, 2 August 2014

CONNIE FRANCIS - February 1965

Connie Francis visited Brazil in early 1965, when her popularity here was at its greatest due to her MGM album 'Connie Francis sings modern Italian hits' featuring 'Al di là'. Connie flew straight from Italy where she had sung 'Ho bisogno di vederti' at famous Festival di San Remo which takes place in late January.  

Judging by the two photos below, Connie had a major reception at Rio de Janeiro's airport being welcomed by Impresario Abraham Medina, 'Revista do Rock's editor Jeanette Adib and Vera Lucia Couto, Miss Brazil 1964, who had been a sensation the year before for having been the very first Black miss to be elected in a major beauty peagant.  

Connie Francis had the honour to be the first act to perform at Teatro Republica, that had been just built as part of Rio de Janeiro's 4th Centenary celebrations. 

Jornal do Brasil - 2 February 1965.

Connie Francis - 2 February 1965 (Jornal do Brasil) - Connie Francis hoje no Rio, inaugura Teatro da República. Connie desembarca no Rio de Janeiro em voo vindo de Roma, onde ela se encontrava depois de se exibir no Festival de San Remo, onde defendeu 'Ho bisogno di vederti' em dobradinha com Gigliola Cinquetti, a vencedora de 1964. O empresario carioca Abraão Medina, contratou Connie Francis para a inauguração do novo teatro, num programa onde aparecia o sexteto de Paul Winter também.

Houve uma grande recepção a Connie Francis no Aeroporto do Galeão, com a presença de Vera Lucia Couto, famosa Miss Brazil 1964, e o empresário Abraão Medina, que geralmente era associado da TV Rio, Canal 13 e seu programa 'Noite de Gala'. Connie não se apresentou em São Paulo, ficando restrita a essa apresentação na Cidade Maravilhosa.

Jeanette Adib (editora da Revista do Rock) e o empresário Abraão Medina ladeiam Connie ao chegar ao Rio de Janeiro.

Connie Francis fell in love with Jair Rodrigues' 'Deixa isso p'ra lá' - one of the biggest selling single in 1964 - and said she intended to record it when she went back to USA. 'O Estado de S.Paulo' 9 February 1965. The article on the left appeared at 'O Estado de S.Paulo' of 10 February 1965. It says Connie sang at TV Excelsior, Teatro de Cultura Artística in rua Nestor Pestana the previous night. Miss Francis sang 'Malagueña', 'Never on Sunday', 'The girl from Ipanema', 'Exodus' and 'Al di là' her most recent hit in Brazil. T.S.C., the journalist, is obviously confused about the more recent history of American pop and didn't know much about Connie Francis career either. But that is natural in Brazil, where those in the position to write for prestigious newspaper don't know much about what they are supposed to write.

Connie Francis in São Paulo in February 1965.

Connie on the cover of 'Manchete' Brazilian most popular illustrated weekly magazine. 
Connie Francis in 'Manchete'...

Connie Francis a few weeks earlier at San Remo Song Festival 1965

These are the most popular songs at San Remo 1965.

1. Se piangi, se ridi (Bob Solo / New Christy Minstrels)
2. Abbracciami forte (Ornella Vanoni / Udo Jürgens)
3. Ho bisogno di vederti (Gigliola Cinquetti / Connie Francis)
4. Invece no (Betty Curtis / Petula Clark)
5. Io che non vivo senza te (Pino Donaggio / Jody Miller)
6. Le colline sono in fiori (Wilma Goich / New Christy Minstrels)

7. Cominciamo ad amarci (John Foster / Joe Damiano)
8. Devi essere tu (Ricky Gianco / Jody Miller)

Even though Connie Francis sang mostly rock'n'roll at first like 'Stupid cupid' and 'Lipstick on your collar', in Brazil she was mostly known as an International act releasing a few albums of Spanish and Italian evergreens.

Connie Francis' EP and LP singing in Italian sold like hot cakes in Brazil in 1964 and 1965.

'Connie Francis canta boleros e canções espanholas' was Connie's best selling album in Brazil until she recorded the one in Italian. 'Malagueña' was the most played on the radio followed close behind by 'Granada'.

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