Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero—professional name Connie Francis—sold more records than any solo female singer during the 1950s and 1960s. She produced a number of perky, upbeat pop songs, including “Stupid Cupid” and “Lipstick On My Collar,” and a few soaring ballads, “Where The Boys Are” and “Follow The Boys.” But it was through her series of sad ballads that she gained the greatest fame.
“Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You” was symbolic of her group of angst-laden ballads. It was the story of a woman trying to understand why her lover was treating her so bad, and ends with her begging him to take her back. Released during early 1962, it reached the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on March 31, 1962. It also spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Easy Listening Chart. It was her third and last number one hit.
She issued a fairly creative interpretation of the song (written by Benny Davis and Ted Murry). It featured her voice overdubbed into two-part harmonies. She then added a spoken bridge to connect the two parts of the song.
After the song’s success in the United States, Francis recorded versions in German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese that would propel the song to becoming a worldwide hit. She has recorded her material in 15 different languages. (Margo Smith would take the song to the top of the Country Chart during the late 1970s but would substitute a saxophone solo for the spoken bridge, which made it a little less maudlin.)
While she would continue to issue a number of hit singles and albums, as the 1960s progressed and musical tastes changed, her commercial success began to wane. Despite a number of tragedies and personal issues, she continues to tour and perform and is a regular on the Las Vegas circuit.
When performing on stage, Connie Francis has a vast catalogue of hits to draw from. One of the biggest was “Don’t Break The Heart That Loves You,” which topped the music world for seven days 50 years ago this week.