Connie Francis

Sings Folk Song Favorites

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Folk songs provided an easy album formula in the '60s with the popularity of commercial folk music, and everyone from Kate Smith to Chubby Checker cut ersatz folk albums -- all it took was a vocalist and a platter's worth of folk or folk-like songs arranged for maximum pop appeal. Connie Francis was one of the most versatile pop singers of her time, so it makes sense that she, too, would cut a folk album of her own. Connie Francis Sings Folk Song Favorites has light instrumentation with an acoustic guitar in front, the Jordanaires providing vocal support, and a collection of songs with varying degrees of pertinence to folk music. Francis performs the recitations in "Boll Weevil" charmingly, her rinky-dink piano version of "Clementine" with good humor, and "True Love True Love" (a variant of "In the Pines") with somber sweetness. "Come On Jerry" is a lumberjack song in the vein of "Big Bad John" and is an enjoyably uncharacteristic piece of material for her. Francis delivers several of the songs "in character" with an affected Southern drawl, which is cute but a little ridiculous. The album is about as authentic as a tomahawk made in China, but is a fun bit of folk-era fluff.

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