Connie's portrait CONNIE FRANCIS:
All 1961—1962
Romantic Twist hits
Connie's portrait 2
Connie's Twist Vinyls

Connie's final English language session of 1961 on November 20 was to have been a token acknowledgement of a dance fad started by Chubby Checker and his 1960 #1 The Twist. When recording Mr. Twister, she could not have foreseen that a revival of Checker's disc would establish him as the only artist to top the U.S. charts twice with the same record, and make the dance even more popular. Seven weeks later she would return to the studio to cut an entire album of similar material. The twist's renewed popularity also prompted Italian, Spanish and Japanese versions of Mr. Twister but, despite its pedigree of having been co-written by Don Mercy, Mercy Covay, the track was by-passed for singles release in the U.S. and played second fiddle to Don't Break The Heart That Loves You in Germany and Don't Cry On My Shoulder in Britain.

Also given the singles B-side treatment was Connie's first recording of 1962, Ain't That Better Baby?, another track to be included on the forthcoming twist album. From that same session came Don't Cry On My Shoulder, a highly melodic double-tracked offering that gained limited release but which, for reasons best known to themselves, then British MGM licensees EMI Records sabotaged by prematurely fading out the second chorus, and the unreleased Love Bird, another twist album contender.

On January 8 and 9 Connie was back at the studio armed with 13 twist-oriented selections — 11 of them, like Love Bird, written by Eddie Curtis who in 1959 had supplied her with one of the best titles of her early career in the blues-tinged You're Gonna Miss Me. Infectiously and rhythmically arranged by Sammy Lowe, the tracks were easily among the best things she had attempted in the rock genre, and entirely due to the sassiness of her performances, the non-white feel on some of the more suggestive titles — e.g. Lovey-Dovey Twist and Telephone Lover — and the overall 'sound' of the production. As desirous as she was to tackle material with a little more bite, Connie decided against including Lovey-Dovey Twist, which like Cha Cha Twist is now released for the first time. The first title cut at these sessions, Gonna Git That Man, did not make it to the 'Do The Twist With Connie Francis' album and, like Ain't That Better Baby? before it, wasted on being relegated to the B-side of Second Hand Love. Although two versions of this track were released, mono pressings are, in fact, merely an abbreviated form of the stereo master. Tastelessly housed in plain black sleeve with fluorescent lettering on rush-release, the set was subsequently repackaged and retitled 'Connie Francis Dance Party' following the dance craze's demise.

Ron Roberts
London, March 1996


  1. MR. TWISTER (John Berry-Don Covay-Mark Lewis) November 20, 1961 (unissued), November 20, 1961 (MGM/GB 1151, MGM/D 61057, SE 4022)


  2. AIN'T THAT BETTER BABY? (Cathy Lynn-Phil Medley) January 4, 1962 (MGM/GB 1157, SE 4022)


  3. GONNA GIT THAT MAN (Eddie Curtis) January 8, 1962 (complete version, SE 4049)


  4. TEACH ME HOW TO TWIST (Eddie Curtis) January 8, 1962 (SE 4022)


  5. JOHNNY DARLIN' (Eddie Curtis) January 8, 1962 (SE 4022)


  6. DOES OL' BROADWAY EVER SLEEP? (Eddie Curtis) January 8, 1962 (MGM/GB EP 773, SE 4022)


  7. KISS' N' TWIST (Mike Canosa) January 8, 1962 (MGM/D 61099, SE 4022)


  8. CHA CHA TWIST (Don Christopher-Don Stirling-Larry Fresno) · January 8, 1962 (unissued)


  9. TELEPHONE LOVER (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (SE 4022)


  10. DROP IT JOE (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (K 13059, SE 4022)


  11. HEY RING-A-DING (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (MGM/GB EP 773, SE 4022)


  12. LOVEY-DOVEY TWIST (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (unissued)


  13. MOMMY YOUR DAUGHTER'S FALLIN' IN LOVE (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (MGM/GB EP 773, SE 4022)


  14. I WON'T BE HOME TO YOU (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (SE 4022)


  15. MY REAL HAPPINESS (Eddie Curtis) January 9, 1962 (SE 4022)


All these performances were released only at the CD4 of 5-CD box set «CONNIE FRANCIS, THE EARLY 1960s: Kissin', Twistin', Goin' Where The Boys Are» (Bear Family Records, Germany, BCD 15826 EI, 1996):
CONNIE FRANCIS, THE EARLY 1960s (5-CD box set)
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Some of these performances were released at the CD «CONNIE ROCKS» (Bear Family Records, Germany, BCD 16318 AR, 2003):
CONNIE ROCKS
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Go to Connie's Refined Rock'n Roll page

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