#985: Too Many Rules by Connie Francis
Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero was born on December 12, 1938. Francis was born in the Italian Down Neck neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey. She spent her firsts years as an infant and toddler in Brooklyn before the family moved back to New Jersey during her childhood. From the age of three, George Franconero recognized his daughter’s promising talent and insisted she start taking accordion lessons. However, her musical ingenuity wasn’t advanced by playing the accordion. An impoverished roofer, her father convinced Concetta to appear on stage at the age of four at the Olympic Amusement Park in Irvington, New Jersey. She played her accordion and then sang Anchors Aweigh in English and O Solo Mio in Italian. When she was ten years old she won third place The Ted Mack Amateur Hour radio for singing St. Louis Blues at the Mosque Theatre in Newark. Growing up in an Italian-Jewish neighborhood, Francis became fluent in Yiddish, which would lead her to later record songs in Yiddish and Hebrew.