"My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own"
(Music: "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" by Connie Francis)
September 26, 1960 - October 9, 1960
When "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own" displaced Chubby Checker's "The Twist" from the top of the chart, Connie Francis became the first female singer to have two consecutive singles go to number one.
It was a dramatic turnaround from her first ten singles, all of which failed to make Billboard's chart. When Connie chose material to record at what was going to be her final MGM session, she played the songs for her father. "He said, 'They stink. Here's your hit, dummy.'" And he handed her "Who's Sorry Now."
"I reluctantly did that song and squeezed it in as the last song on a four-hour recording session, and we did it in about 15 minutes." Released by MGM, the song lingered for three-and-a-half months without any signs of becoming a hit.
"It was going nowhere," Connie recalls. "And then it was January 1st of 1958, and about four o'clock in the afternoon we were all seated down to one of those monstrous Italian meals with all the family there. I got up, and like 8.5 million other American teenagers, I tuned my black-and-white TV set to 'American Bandstand.' And I heard Dick Clark mention something about a new girl singer and that she was going right to the top and I said, 'well, good luck to her' --- sour grapes --- and then all of a sudden he played 'Who's Sorry Now.' It was an incredible feeling because it was such a surprise. I screamed ... and I said, 'Dad, Dick Clark is playing 'Who's Sorry Now.' (And dad said) 'Naw, it can't be, the thing's dead' with his usual optimism."
It wasn't dead, it was finally showing signs of life. It became Connie's first chart record, peaking at number four in America and going all the way to number one in Britain.
Her first American number one, "Everybody's Somebody's Fool," was written by Howard Greenfield and Jerry Keller, and for the follow-up, Connie asked them for another song in the same country vein. "Howie used to call me up in the middle of the night and throw titles out at me ... if I love the title, I almost always record the song. And when he called me up and said, 'My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own', I said, "That's a smash! Great title!" 'You haven't heard the song yet,' he said. 'Doesn't matter, it's a great title!'"
A few months after "My Heart Has a Mind Of Its Own" was number one, Connie made her film debut in MGM's Where the Boys Are. She found it difficult to convince Hollywood film executives that two New York songwriters, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, should write the title song. Connie called Greenfield anyway, and told them they had four days to come up with a suitable tune. He said it was impossible, but four days later he and Neil had written two songs called "Where the Boys Are." One they loved and one they hated. Producer Joe Pasternak picked the latter and it went to number four on the Hot 100.
Reprinted from The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, copyright © 2003 by Fred Bronson.