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Conchetta

Connie Stevens

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Album Review

Conchetta (1958) is the first of three albums that actress/vocalist Connie Stevens would cut for the burgeoning Warner Bros. record label. Although only 20 years old at the time, her mature and seemingly effortless vocal style is well matched to the dozen light jazz and pop standards on this disc. Although still a year away from her role as Cricket Blake on the weekly television spy/drama Hawaiian Eye, as this disc demonstrates, Stevens' could have easily continued as a singer.

A majority of Conchetta incorporates a small combo to accompany Stevens' light, earthy vocals. "Blame It on My Youth," "Looking for a Boy," and "Spring Is Here" are charming in their austerity. Because of her leanings as an actress, Stevens seems to have an underlying sense and capacity for drama. This is perhaps most aptly spotlighted on her rendition of the Nat King Cole hit "Too Young." Stevens' voice is angelic and the empathetic arrangement — prominently featuring an acoustic guitar, piano, and bass accompaniment — could not be more perfectly suited to further enhance the track's insular mood. By contrast, "The Trolley Song" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" are more fully orchestrated. Likewise, both feature an uncredited jazzy support vocal combo, similar in style to the tight-knit Four Freshmen. They can also be heard throughout these sides, especially on the decidedly perky "It's a Lovely Day." As record companies were wont to do during the early days of long-playing records, Stevens' follow-up disc, Connie Stevens As Cricket in 'Hawaiian Eye', recycles one-quarter of the material from this album. These sides include "The Trolley Song," "Why Try to Change Me Now," "Slow Boat to China," and "Too Young." In 2000, Collectors' Choice Music reissued Connie Stevens' Warner Bros. catalog on CD, featuring newly inked liner essays as well as full-color reproductions of the original album artwork.

Biography

Born: 08 August 1938 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Actor/singer Connie Stevens was born Concetta Rosalie Ann Ingolia on August 8, 1938, in Brooklyn, NY. Coming from a highly musical family (both her parents were jazz musicians and her brother was a drummer), the up-and-coming singer changed her last name to Stevens after her father's stage name (Teddy Stevens). At the age of 16, she was singing in her first group, the Three Debs. By the late '50s, Stevens had co-launched a singing and acting career, signing with Warner Bros. and issuing her debut...
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Conchetta, Connie Stevens
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