Wednesday, October 5, 2016


In the late 1950s, music was changing. A new group of singers emerged from these early days of rock ‘n’ roll. Two of those singers that rose to fame were Bobby Darin and Connie Francis. Not only were they the king and queen of these new recording artists, but they also had a short lived  love affair. It was a love affair that Connie Francis never really recovered from.

Bobby's new manager George Scheck worked hard to help the career of a young new singer he had discovered named Connie Francis (Concetta Franconero). Her father was an intimidating man who wasn't about to let ANYTHING stand in the way of his daughter's career. But this didn't stop Bobby Darin, who fell head-over-heels in love with Connie. In fact, he started to tell people that he wanted to marry her and that, not only would she make the perfect wife, but also the perfect mother for his children! (According to Connie Francis, Bobby actually proposed to her prior to EITHER of them ever having a hit record.). Despite some disagreement about material, after several weeks Darin and Francis developed a romantic relationship. Francis' strict Italian father would separate the couple whenever possible. When her father learned that Bobby Darin had suggested the two lovers elope after one of her shows, he ran Darin out of the building at gunpoint, telling him to never see his daughter again.

Once successful, Bobby and Connie remained close "professional" friends forever, even co-hosting the Heart-To-Heart Telethon for the American Heart Association as the King and Queen of Hearts! In 1959, they appeared together on The Ed Sullivan Show and sang a couple of duets. Ironically, Connie even recorded "My Teenage Love", the demo Bobby had written and recorded that first launched his career! (She also cut his composition "My First Real Love", which was released as her fourth MGM single ... and the backing group credited on the record, The Jaybirds, was, in fact, Bobby Darin overdubbed!

Francis saw Darin only two more times – once when the two were scheduled to sing together for a television show, and again when Francis was spotlighted on the TV series This Is Your Life. By the time of the latter's taping, Bobby Darin had married actress Sandra Dee. In her autobiography Francis stated she and her father were driving into the Lincoln Tunnel when the radio DJ announced Dee and Darin's marriage. Her father made a negative comment about Bobby finally being out of their lives. Angered, Francis wrote, she hoped the Hudson River would fill the Lincoln Tunnel, killing both her and her father.

When Bobby Darin died tragically young at the age of 37 in 1973, Connie had to be sedated. She threatened to slice her wrists and was unconsolable for days. Francis later wrote that not marrying Darin was the biggest mistake of her life. As late as 2011, Connie was talking about her lost love Bobby Darin. Would the relationship have worked? Probably not. Bobby Darin wanted a wife that would sit at home while he had the fame. He found that woman in Sandra Dee. Connie, at the time of their romance, had as much drive and determination as Bobby Darin had. The relationship might have never gone anywhere, but Bobby and Connie both shared a lasting love for each other…

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