While Connie Francis had already become a sensation in the teen market with hits like "Who's Sorry Now
," the 22 year old wasn't taken seriously as an adult singer until her father convinced her to record the Italian-language "Mama," written in 1941 by Cesare Andrea Bixio and Bixio Cherubini as "Mama son tanto felice" (Mum, I am so happy). Her performance of the tune on the Perry Como Show
proved to be a turning point in her career.
Francis explained in an interview with DISCoveries Magazine
: "Before I did 'Mama' on the Perry Como Show
, everyone considered me a rock and roller, even though 'Who's Sorry Now' wasn't a rock and roll song. Still they pegged me a rock and roller because of 'Stupid Cupid
' and 'Lipstick On Your Collar,' etc. and the adults didn't pay me any mind. Not true in foreign countries. Overseas, especially in England, I was an adult star before I was an adult star in America. But here, they didn't take me serious until that night on the Perry Como Show
. I remember it was a Wednesday night, and I had a concert at Carnegie Hall the following Sunday and only two hundred seats had been sold. Within 24 hours after doing the Perry Como Show
they were scalping tickets to get into my show at Carnegie Hall."