The 1950s through the ‘70s were a golden age of Italian-American male crooners—Vic Damone, Dean Martin, Al Martino, Jimmy Roselli, Sergio Franchi, Jerry Vale—who honored the Italian popular song, with all its lush melody and openhearted sentiment. But for Vanessa Racci, who grew up in a Neopolitan-descended, Italian-American family in Thornwood, New York, the queen of that repertoire was Connie Francis. “She was always my idol. She has a cry in her voice that is characteristic of Neopolitan singers; you can feel the emotion and the authenticity.”
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