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Song of the Week #162 – “The Christmas Song”

Written by admin on December 23, 2013 – 10:06 am -

Nat King Cole - The Christmas Song

Nat King Cole’s festive standard “The Christmas Song” is Song of the Week on Classic Pop Icons.

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Song of the Week #128 – “Who’s Sorry Now?”

Written by admin on October 15, 2012 – 11:03 pm -


Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now album Connie Francis’ worldwide hit “Who’s Sorry Now?” is Song of the Week on Classic Pop Icons.

“Who’s Sorry Now?” was released on single in November 1957 backed with “You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling in Love)”. It also appeared on the album of the same name released the following April.

Without the success of “Who’s Sorry Now?” Connie Francis’ music career might have come to an end in 1957. MGM Records had signed her in 1955 but had lost faith in her commercial potential after 10 solo singles had failed to chart and a duet with Marvin Rainwater (“The Majesty of Love”, b/w “You, My Darlin’ You”) had only just scraped into the Top 100. Francis was so sure that “Who’s Sorry Now?” would be her last single that she had accepted a four-year scholarship to study medicine at New York University.

“Who’s Sorry Now?” is one in a long list of career-changing songs that was almost never recorded. Francis had little belief in the material and only recorded it because she was encouraged to do so by her father. In an interview that appeared in the September 1991 edition of DISCoveries, Francis recalled:

“Let me tell you how I did it. We threw it in at the end of the session knowing that there was no way I was going to do four songs on that date. But there was 16 minutes left. So over the intercom I said “that’s it fellas, thanks a lot, we haven’t got time.” My father said “wait a second, you got 16 minutes left, cut the damn song.” So it was like pulling teeth. I looked at the arranger and said “okay, let’s go through this turkey. My father likes this song.” He said “alright, let’s do it.” So we did it. And I did half a take, and the tempo was wrong. I did one other take and that was it. That’s all there was time to do. That’s how the record came out.”

Francis’ initial lack of enthusiasm for the song doesn’t come through in her performance, which is one of the best of her career and continues to delight fans more than 50 years on.

Connie Francis

At first it seemed that Connie’s scepticism about the song was justified, as the single received very little attention when released and looked like it might sink without trace. That changed in January 1958 when Dick Clark featured it on his popular television show American Bandstand. Within months it would become the first in an impressive run of worldwide smash hits for Connie Francis.

“Who’s Sorry Now?” – Connie Francis

Authorship

The music for “Who’s Sorry Now?” was written by Ted Snyder and the lyrics were by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. The song was written in 1923 and there were numerous renditions released before Connie Francis made the song world famous.

Recording date/location

“Who’s Sorry Now?” was recorded on October 2, 1957 at Coastal Studios, NYC.

Musicians

Connie Francis’ vocals were backed by the Joe Lipman Orchestra and Chorus. Lipman also wrote the arrangement. The session was produced by Harry Myerson.

Chart performance

“Who’s Sorry Now?” reached number four on Billboard’s “Top 100 Sides” survey for the week ending March 15, 1958. This was before the launch of the Billboard Hot 100.

Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now chart

The single did even better in the UK, topping the singles chart for six weeks in May/June 1958.

Other notable recordings

“Who’s Sorry Now?” – Bobby Vinton

Bobby Vinton recorded a country-tinged rendition of “Who’s Sorry Now?” for his 1967 album “Please Love Me Forever”. It’s a fairly standard and predictable arrangement, but Vinton’s strong and clean vocal does ensure that the recording has some appeal. The well worked descending strings part at the start is also a good touch.

“Who’s Sorry Now?” – Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald included “Who’s Sorry Now?” on her 1960 album “Let No Man Write My Epitaph”. It’s a simple recording, with pianist Paul Smith’s jazzy touches perfectly complementing Ella’s warm vocal.

There will be a new Song of the Week on October 22.

Connie Francis’ “Who’s Sorry Now?” is available on many compilations, including the excellent value 4-CD set “Connie Francis – Eight Classic Albums” which includes the original “Who’s Sorry Now?” album. Another good choice is the 2-CD “The Very Best of Connie Francis”.

 Title

Connie Francis – Eight Classic Albums (4 CDs)

Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now

The Very Best of Connie Francis (2 CDs)

Buy Now Buy Now Buy Now

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Song of the Week #119 – “Heartbreak Hotel”

Written by admin on August 13, 2012 – 10:08 pm -

The 35th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s untimely death is on August 16 and we are marking the occasion by selecting “Heartbreak Hotel” as Song of the Week on Classic Pop Icons.

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Don Kirshner – The man with the golden ear

Written by admin on January 19, 2011 – 4:53 pm -

Harley Payette pays tribute to American song publisher/producer and rock promoter Don Kirshner, who passed away on January 17 aged 76.

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Pop legends say “Things Go Better with Coke”

Written by admin on April 8, 2010 – 4:46 pm -

Before the New Seekers had the world singing along to “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” in 1971, dozens of the biggest artists of the 1960s, including Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, The Supremes and Roy Orbison, had recorded a Coca-Cola jingle as part of the “Things Go Better with Coke” campaign.

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Posted in 60s pop, General | 1 Comment »