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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 September 2012
At the height of her popularity, Connie's hit singles left me somewhat unmoved but as the years progressed, I heard some superb tracks from the plethora of albums she recorded for MGM as well as her German-language platters that seemed to deliver something extra - maybe the harshness of the lingo suited Connie's metalic sounding sob-sister delivery.

Without a doubt, her albums reveal a maturity and versatility not obvious in those hit singles with it being fortuitous many are now reaching CD with this sing-along coupling the latest.
CONNIE FRANCIS SINGS FOLK SONG FAVORITES was the first of a trio of albums the singer recorded with Cliff Parman and his Orchestra and the Jordanaires in Nashville in mid-1961. Whilst it can be argued the dozen selections do not necessarily represent the true folk genre, the mood throughout remains true to the concept with OH SUSANNAH! a cheery Stephen Foster opener and TRUE LOVE TRUE LOVE, RED RIVER VALLEY, SHE'LL BE COMING 'ROUND THE MOUNTAINS, BEAUTIFUL BROWN EYES and CLEMENTINE varying the tempo as well as utilising Connie's emotional outpourings to best advantage. THE BOO WEEVIL SONG, once the territory of Huddie Leadbetter and later Brook Benton, receives a notable performance and I was surprised to discover that AURA LEE's tune - a soulful performance by Connie - was later resurrected to carry the lyrics of LOVE ME TENDER for Elvis! COME ON JERRY (TIMBER!) is represented by a definite FEVER-type arrangement whilst blues number CARELESS receives a more jaunty tempo.

Sharing disc space, SING ALONG WITH CONNIE FRANCIS was never intended for MGM release but licenced directly to Mati-Mor Records for brand-name purposes via TV commercials and a television Special sponsered by Brylcream, with purchase of the men's hair product presumably offering a low-priced deal on the album. In mono with a annoying echo, Connie gallantly joins a male chorus for ten oldies including TAVERN IN THE TOWN, AND THE BAND PLAYED ON and IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, with AULD LANG SYNE the set's appropriate closer. Think Mitch Miller's sing-along series or BBC radio's SING SOMETHING SIMPLE and you will get my drift with little for Connie to artistically rise above. However, the album's rarity and its specific commercial aims will attract the attention of buyers.

Four bonus numbers are excellent interpretations of PEACE IN THE VALLEY, NOW IS THE HOUR, YOU MADE ME LOVE YOU plus a terrific "live" melding of WHEN THE SAINTS COME MARCHING IN with BILL BAILEY WON'T YOU PLEASE COME HOME from a COPACABANA nightclub performance to give a great finish.

Unfortunately, Connie's personal life was later dogged by ill-health and misfortune so it's appropriate to recall her in good spirits at the height of her popularity with Sepia's remasterd sound, thorough notes and attention to detail reaching the usual high standards.
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This CD contains the tracks from the original albums Connie Francis sings folk song favorites (tracks 1 to 12) and Sing along with Connie Francis (tracks 13 to 24) plus four bonus tracks, although the last two of these, especially the last track, don't fit with the rest of the CD. They should have been omitted and saved for other releases, but as it is easy to stop the CD early, they are easily ignored and there's no point in knocking a star off.

I've heard most of these songs before in one form or another, but perhaps the most interesting is Aura Lee, here as originally written. The tune was later used for Love me tender, an early Elvis Presley classic that Connie would have been very familiar with. It might even be that she was inspired to record Aura Lee because of Love me tender, though I have no information on how any of the tracks were chosen.

Another track here, And the band played on, reminds me of the book And the Band Played on: The Enthralling Account of What Happened After the Titanic Sank, which is about the aftermath of the Titanic sinking for one family and its descendants. The same song title has been used elsewhere. However, like Aura Lee, it's many years since I heard the original song and I'm pleased to find it here.

I've certainly heard Tavern in the town; it may even be somewhere else in my music collection, but not being sure about that, I'm glad it's here.

Songs that I've heard more recently in something like their original form include Oh Suzanna, Red River valley, Boll weevil, Clementine, She'll be comin' 'round the mountain, Beautiful brown eyes, On top of old Smokey (which was even covered by Abba, who used it in a medley they recorded for a charity, although I'm familiar with other versions too), Home on the range, My wild Irish Rose, Auld Lang Syne, Peace in the valley and Now is the Hour.

The real charm of this set is the songs that I've heard but can't remember where or when, but this is a fantastic collection that is well worth a listen if you enjoy traditional songs.
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on 16 September 2012
Connie Francis is the best female singer of all time....and this double album proves it.
The folk songs are superb, the sing a long very good (originally released as a Brylcream album!)
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on 5 December 2012
Any style - Connie sinmgs with gusto. I have seen Connie in concert and she still packs a punch and leaves the likes of the younger vocalists standing
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on 26 October 2014
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on 6 October 2013
If Your A Fan Of Connie Francis This Will Please You But Dont Think Its Going To Sound Like The Old Connie That
You Know So Well. This Recording Seems To Be A Vinyl Transfer, So If You Are Lucky Keep Your Vinyl Recording.
The Transfer Is Ok And The Arrangement Is The Original. But Some Tracks Seem To Have Lost Depth, But Connies
Voice Safes The Track, Your Mind Will Wonder From Some Off The Tracks, But All In All Its Not A Bad Recording. You Have To Be A Fan Of Folk Songs And Connie Francis.
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