Stupid Cupid

Album: Connie's Greatest Hits (1959)
Charted: 1 14
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  • This song was written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Sedaka was only 19 when he penned this, and it became the first of many Billboard Hot 100 hits for the New York singer-songwriter. Sedaka was originally hesitant to offer the song to Connie Francis as he thought it was much too juvenile for her. He and Greenfield originally intended it for a girl group.
  • "Stupid Cupid" was practically the first song produced by the brand-new Aldon music formed by producers Don Kirshner and Al Nevins. Connie Francis, too, had just begun her career that year; her first hit was "Who's Sorry Now," released just earlier that year.

    According to Rich Podolsky's book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear, Sedaka and Greenfield, two teenagers with hardly any experience, had been pounding on doors trying to get their songs produced. They had a flirt with success at Atlantic Records selling songs to Jerry Wexler, but had been turned down cold by Hill and Range. Asking his high school friend Mort Shuman for a referral, Sedaka was directed to the offices of Aldon music. They arrived at Aldon's office to find that they had literally just moved in; cardboard boxes were everywhere in a tiny office with two desks and an upright piano. Kirshner listened to the two songwriter's sales pitch, then thumbed them over to the piano to show him what they had. Yes, it worked just like that!

    While Greenfield was hesitant to sign the lads, Kirshner insisted that songwriters like Sedaka and Greenfield were exactly the kind of talent he'd hoped to find. Kirshner invited them back to meet Connie Francis. (Is this story turning into the who's-who of Brill Building heraldry or what?)

    It turned out that Connie had become discouraged from her lack of another hit since "Who's Sorry Now" and was tired of other people picking out songs for her. So when Kirshner called her up, she actually blew them off to go to the hairdresser's instead! Undaunted, Kirshner, Sedaka, and Greenfield piled into a car and drove to the hairdresser's, circling the block waiting for her to come out because this is New York we're talking about, where there's no place to park.

    The little group then met at Francis' home, where Sedaka and Greenfield played one slow ballad for her after another, which she hated. Thinking that slow ballads were a good match for her style, they were hesitant to try "Stupid Cupid," but when she finally heard it, she was thrilled and agreed to sign a deal.
  • In the UK this was a double A-side with a cover of the 1920s Gene Austin number "Carolina Moon."
  • In an interview with DISCoveries Magazine, Francis explained how the song came to her through a "down-and-out singer named Don Kirshner," saying, "He had an office with a broken chair and desk in it. Also, though I was a big star with the kids, I was still living in this impoverished house because we didn't even have time to move from this shack. Anyway, Donnie says, 'I've got two writers for you to see. One is an errand boy, a gopher at a publishing company, and the other one is an art student. These kids are the best.' I agreed."

    Those kids were Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, who were surprised to meet the star in such humble surroundings. "I'll never forget, it was a hot, hot day and they came to my house, and Neil looked around my house and nudged Howie with his elbow. And I said, 'What were you expecting, Paris? 'There were no carpets on the floor, exposed radiators, etc. It was hysterical."
  • Francis and her famous pal Bobby Darin thought Sedaka and Greenfield's music sounded "too educated" until they brought "Stupid Cupid" to the table. Francis explained: "By 8:00 p.m. Donnie Kirshner left, and I was getting very tired of listening to their music. Bobby Darrin, who was there, felt their music was too educated, and he said, 'Connie, drop the G when you sing words ending in 'ing'. Sing dancin' instead of dancing.' He would tell me these things. He told me to sound more like Fats Domino than Eddie Fisher. So I'm listening and lying on my sofa getting bored. After every song they played, I said, 'It's gorgeous, what else have you got?' Finally, after what seemed like 97 hours, I was writing in my diary, and falling asleep. Neil said, 'Could I take a look at your diary?' I said, 'Please, Neil, no one looks at my diary.' Much of it is in short hand but certain words aren't, so no. Go ahead and play something else.'"

    "Finally I said, 'Look, fellas. I hate to tell you this and don't get me wrong, your music is beautiful, but it's too educated. The kids don't dig this kinda stuff anymore. You guys are putting me to sleep. Don't you have something a little more lively?' So Howie says, 'Neil, play her the song we just gave to the Shepherd Sisters.' Horrified, Neil says, 'What, are you crazy, Howie, she's a classy singer, she'll be insulted!' So Howie says, 'Neil, listen. What have we got to lose, she hates everything we wrote, doesn't she? Play it already!'

    So Neil played a few lines of 'Stupid Cupid' and I started jumping up and down and I said, 'That's it! You guys got my next record!' 'Stupid Cupid,' what a smash, it was even a hit title! There was no way it could miss even if the song was bad. There are such things as hit titles and this was one."

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 27th 1958, "Stupid Cupid" by Connie Francis was at #22 on Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart; a little under a month later on September 22nd, 1958 it would peak at #17 {for 2 weeks} on the Top 100 and it stayed on the chart for 14 weeks…

    On September 14th, 1958 it peaked at #14 {for 1 week} on Billboard’s Best Sellers chart…

    Exactly three years later on August 27th, 1961 Ms. Francis appeared as the 'mystery guest’ on the CBS-TV weekly-quiz show 'What's My Line?'*...

    * And then exactly ten years later on August 27th, 1971 Bennett Cerf, who was a panelist on 'What's My Line?' from 1951 to 1971, passed away at the age of 73.
  • Don from Auckland, New ZealandJust heard it played on Coast radio, Auckland, New Zealand. As good as ever. It was a smash hit for Connie.
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