Connie Francis performs in Tokyo in October, 1965.

Connie Francis performs in Tokyo in October, 1965. (Masahiko Nakamure / ©S&S)


IF YOU'D LIKE TO KNOW WHERE THE boys are, you've come to the right guy. They're all running around Tokyo with pens and programs in their hot little hands, attempting to get an autograph from singer Connie Francis, who has the Japanese in a tea-drinking tizzy.

They love her here and in spite of the fact, that the Francis boom was larger two years ago, she's still big on the local scene. Oddly enough the only complaints she's had involve her choice of songs.

The New Jersey-born vocalist has been singing a lot of songs in Japanese, a feat that normally draws applause and giggles of happiness when performed. But Connie's Japanese is so good that she takes all the fun out of it.

In her suite at the Tokyo Hilton the other evening, Connie curled up on the couch with a cup of tea (Sweeta, no sugar) and fielded a number of questions concerning her fantastic popularity.

Singing in several languages ("I do it all by rote") is one reason, but. Commie can hardly be considered an overnight sensation. True to her Italian heritage, Connie spent a lot of time in her youth pushing and pulling away at the accordion.

But today she won't go near it. "I lugged that accordion around for 11 years," moans her father, "and now she won't play it!" Fortunately, Connie's "Lady of Spain" days are over and the money, like rain, is falling mainly in her bank account.

ALTHOUGH SHE'S A STAR in the States, a smash in Europe and an idol in Japan, Connie's biggest bundle of fan mail comes from Indonesia. The postage bills to answer them became so high that a screeching halt had to be called to it all.

There could be a good reason for the Connie Francis for Queen Club in Indonesia, of course. "Do you know what President Sukarno's favorite record is?" says Connie. "My recording of `God Bless America'!"

Which goes to prove that the song just might be mightier than the sword — at least if Connie Francis is involved.

Those around her say that she's a "complicated uncomplicated" person. For example: She is deathly afraid of earthquakes (she cut out during an engagement in Mexico last year because of one). But she's a nut about word games and will spend hours at them.

And even though she is just bouncing back from a broken marriage to a former Las Vegas PR man, Connie is seriously contemplating taking the plunge a second time. This time she'd like to be where both the boys and girls are — especially if they're her own and running around the house.

P.S. — Although no military club dates have been scheduled, Connie is making plans to do at least one show for American servicemen stationed in Japan.

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