Where the Boys Are (Connie Francis song)

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"Where the Boys Are"
Single by Connie Francis
B-side"No One," "Baby Roo"
ReleasedJanuary 1961
Format7" single
RecordedOctober 18, 1960 (A-side)
December 27, 1960 (B-side)
GenreTraditional pop
Length2:43 (A-side)
2:48 (B-side)
LabelMGM Records K 12971
Songwriter(s)Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
Producer(s)Jesse Kaye
Connie Francis
US singles chronology
"Many Tears Ago" / "Senza Mamma e Nnammurata"
(1960)
"Where the Boys Are"
(1961)
"Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart" / "Someone Else's Boy"
(1961)

"Where the Boys Are" is a song written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield for, and first recorded by, Connie Francis as the title track of the 1960 movie by the same name in which she was co-starring.

Original version by Connie Francis[edit]

Premise[edit]

Connie Francis recorded "Where the Boys Are" as the theme song for the motion picture Where the Boys Are a 1961 MGM release filmed in 1960 in which Francis made her movie acting debut as one of four coeds on spring break in Fort Lauderdale.[1]

According to Francis she was on location in Fort Lauderdale when the film's director Joe Pasternak advised her that he had commissioned the Oscar-winning songwriting team of Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen to write a theme song for the movie which Francis would sing.[1] When at Francis' insistence Pasternak agreed to consider a submission from the Sedaka-Greenfield songwriting team behind her "Stupid Cupid" hit - (Pasternak quote:) "They've got a week but it's got to be here by Wednesday: that's when we're picking the song" [1]- Francis phoned through to Howard Greenfield in New York City and Greenfield agreed to complete a "Where the Boys Are" theme song with Sedaka although Francis recalls Greenfield initially reacting unfavorably to the assignment (Greenfield quote: "'Where the Boys Are'? What kind of stupid title is that? Who can write a song with a title like 'Where the Boys Are'?").[1] Sedaka and Greenfield in fact completed two "Where the Boys Are" theme songs and so as to meet Pasternak's deadline the demos of Sedaka singing both songs were given to an airline hostess of Francis' personal acquaintance who was working a Florida-bound flight on which she brought the demos to Francis.[1]

Sedaka and Greenfield had indicated to Francis that they both much preferred one of their two bids for a "Where the Boys Are" theme song over the other and Francis herself concurred with the songwriters' judgement: (Francis quote:) "One of the versions we loved and the other we [three] all hated. Joe Pasternak came to me after [the Wednesday] meeting with the decision. 'You're right, Connie,' he said: 'This is the [right] song.' And it was the version the three of us hated." [1]

An alternate scenario for Pasternak's vetting of the two Sedaka-Greenfield bids for the "Where the Boys Are" theme song indicates that the producer was able to witness a live performance of Francis performing both songs to Sedaka's piano accompaniment: according to this scenario the rejected version of the "Where the Boys Are" theme song was never recorded even as a demo.[2]

Neil Sedaka has stated that "Where the Boys Are" is the only one of his 700 plus compositions not written with any intent of his singing it himself: (Sedaka quote:) "People think I wrote [a lot of] songs for others, but the truth is I wrote them all for me to record. Other people then picked them up and recorded them themselves." [3]

Motion picture version[edit]

The version chosen by Joe Pasternak was recorded for the first time on July 12, 1960 in Hollywood and was only used when combined to medleys with the overture and closing credits scores written by George E. Stoll.[4]

Original released version (1960)[edit]

Francis recorded the single version of Where the Boys Are on 18 October 1960 [5] in a New York City recording session with Stan Applebaum arranging and conducting. The same session also came up with Francis' hits "Many Tears Ago" and "Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart" as well as the songs "On the Outside Looking In", "Happy New Year Baby", and "Mein Herz weiß genau, was es will", which all would remain unreleased until the 1980s.[2]

Subsequently, Francis recorded "Where the Boys Are" in six other languages on November 9, 1960:[5][6]

The German and French singles of the respective translations of "Where the Boys Are" would feature as B-side a translated version of "No One" the flip of the English-language single: the German rendering of "No One" was entitled "Niemand", the French was "Personne". (Francis also recorded renderings of "No One" in Italian: as "Mai nessuno", and Japanese: "Mada".)

The various versions of "Where the Boys Are" would afford Francis a #1 hit in some fifteen countries.[7] The Japanese version Atashi-no was even released in the US on MGM Records Single K 13005.[2]

Where the Boys Are was comparatively less successful in the English speaking world: in the US, the song peaked at #4[8] while the track peaked on both the UK and Australian charts at #5.[9] However, Where the Boys Are became Francis' signature tune and remains a fan favorite.

Charts[edit]

Chart (1961) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[10] 5
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 4

Re-recordings[edit]

After several years of stage absence, Francis recorded a new album entitled Who's Happy Now? in 1978. A revamped Disco version of Where the Boys Are was chosen as the leading track of the album and issued as a single. Although the English recording wasn't able to crack the charts anywhere, Francis also recorded Spanish, Italian and Japanese Disco versions of the song.

Francis would again re-record "Where the Boys Are", the song being one of seventeen of her hits remade for her 1989 album Where the Hits Are a Roger Hawkins production recorded for Malaco Records at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios.[12]

Cover versions[edit]

  • The duo Get Wet: comprising pianist Zecca Esquibel and vocalist Sherri Beachfront (née Lewis), recorded "Where the Boys Are" for their 1981 self-titled debut - produced by Phil Ramone - from which it was issued as the followup to the Top 40 hit "Just So Lonely".[13][14]
  • Lisa Hartman recorded "Where the Boys Are" for the soundtrack of the film's 1984 remake of the same name.[15] Issued as a single in April 1984 - concurrently with the film - the track would be included on the 2011 CD reissue of Hartman's 1982 album Letterock.
  • Lorna Luft, who co-starred in Where the Boys Are '84, recorded a disco version of "Where the Boys Are" released concurrently with the film although it was not a soundtrack item: produced by Joel Diamond this version - credited mononymously to Lorna - featured background vocals by members of the Village People.[15]
  • Tracey Ullman remade "Where the Boys Are" for her 1984 album You Caught Me Out.[16]
  • Linda Martin reached #19 on the Irish charts with a 1990 remake of "Where the Boys Are".
  • Voice actress Kath Soucie performed a cover version of "Where the Boys Are" as her animated skunk character Fifi LaFume from the Tiny Toon Adventures TV series for the 1991 album Tiny Toons Sing![17]
  • The Czars recorded a studio version of the song that appeared on their 2006 b-sides and out-takes album Sorry I Made You Cry.
  • Gerard Joling remade "Where the Boys Are" for his 2004 album Nostalgia.[18]
  • Song co-writer Neil Sedaka included a demo version of the song on his 2007 album The Definitive Collection.[19]
  • Ricky Koole remade "Where The Boys Are" for her 2014 album No Use Crying.[20]
  • Mary Sarah recorded "Where the Boys Are" for her 2014 album Bridges: the track is a duet with its composer Neil Sedaka. Mary performed the song solo on the February 29, 2016 episode of the U.S. version of The Voice.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Podolsky, Rich (2012). Don Kirshner the Man With the Golden Ear: how he changed the face of rock & roll. Milwaukee WI: Hal Leonard Books. ISBN 978-1-4584-1670-4.
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, Ron: Connie Francis 1960–1962, companion book to 5 CD retrospective "Kissin', Twistin', Goin' Where the Boys Are
  3. ^ http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20151008/insights/151008852/
  4. ^ Connie Francis in Hollywood, CD Booklet, Rhino Records SNY 42812, Hollywood 1997
  5. ^ a b Roberts, Ron: Connie Francis Discography 1955–1975, revised editions 1979 and 1983
  6. ^ Feddersen, Jan: Connie Francis, companion book to 5 CD retrospective "Lass mir die bunten Träume", Bear Family Records BCD 15 786 EI, Hambergen 1994
  7. ^ Francis, Connie: Who's Sorry Now? (Autobiography), St. Martin's Press, 1984, ISBN 0-312-87088-4
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 240.
  9. ^ Francis, Connie and others: Souvenirs, companion book to 4 CD retrospective "Souvenirs", Polydor (New York) 1995, Kat.-Nr. 314 533 382-2
  10. ^ "Connie Francis: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ "Connie Francis Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  12. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Connie-Francis-Where-The-Hits-Are/release/3425181
  13. ^ https://www.discogs.com/artist/1086896-Get-Wet-2
  14. ^ Boston Globe 30 November 1995 "Stage Fight" by Michele R. McPhee p.75,79
  15. ^ a b St Petersburg Times 8 April 1984 "Where the Songs Are" p.6A
  16. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Tracey-Ullman-You-Caught-Me-Out/release/738006
  17. ^ https://www.discogs.com/fr/Tiny-Toon-Adventures-Tiny-Toons-Sing/release/1954965
  18. ^ https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/247750/versions
  19. ^ https://www.discogs.com/Neil-Sedaka-The-Definitive-Collection/release/12131668 Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  20. ^ https://www.nu.nl/cd-recensies/3669109/ricky-koole---use-crying.html

External links[edit]