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Chris Connor's singing career spanned seven decades and generated about 35 original albums -- not to say anything of countless live performances, and a fair share of 45 rpm singles. Furthermore, Connor sang well over 400 songs, most of them falling under the categories of classic pop and jazz standards. Such commendable numbers notwithstanding, quantities are of lesser relevance than qualities -- at least in Connor's case. This singer's discographical output is most noteworthy for its fair share of relatively obscure gems, many of them recorded during her celebrated years on the Atlantic label: "When The Wind Was Green," "High On A Windy Hill," "On The First Warm Day," "Lilac Wine," "Lonely Woman," "He Was Too Good To Me," "Sweet William," "'Round About," "Follow Me," and others.
Not surprisingly, the Chris Connor Bio-Discography was born out of admiration for the artist's singing. Both Steve Albin (the creator of the program used to prepare this discography) and I (the discographer) consider ourselves enthusiastic Connor admirers, albeit relatively recent ones. Steve first heard Chris' voice in Love Being Here With You, a 1983 Connor album which proved very much to his liking. He grew even fonder of the singer when he listened to her big band vocals in the set Stan Kenton: The Complete Capitol Recordings Of The Holman And Russo Charts, released by Mosaic Records in the early 1990s. From those Kenton years, Steve particularly favors Connor's take on "Jeepers Creepers." (So do I. Also a source of listening pleasure for me: Kenton's and Connor's approach to "I Get a Kick Out Of You.")
My initial exposure to the singer's voice happened more recently. Around 1996, I sampled her Bethlehem LP Chris. I loved it upon first listening. After having a similarly enthusiastic reaction to her other albums on Bethlehem, I proceeded to explore Connor's work on Atlantic Records. On both labels, a good number of her interpretations caught my attention right away: "Get Out Of Town, "Lush Life," "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "Something To Live For," "Poor Little Rich Girl," "These Foolish Things," "You Make Me Feel So Young," etcetera. Even lesser tunes ("I Only Want Some") and the occasional novelty ("Miser's Serenade") proved to my liking. Subsequently, I moved on to albums that Connor had recorded for other labels, and in that process I came across yet more interpretations that I greatly enjoyed, from "I Could Go On Singing" (1963) to "I Walk With Music" (2002). Actually, my all-time favorite Connor album belongs to that later, post-Atlantic period of her career: it's her aptly entitled Classic (1986) on Contemporary Records.
Songbirds was actually the site where the prototype for this discography made its debut, back in the year 2000. That prototype was merely a partial list of albums and songs. I intended it to be a supplement to a similar list that was then available online, at the (now long gone) Cool Singers website.
In July of 2005, Steve (aware of the Connor work that I had previously put together) suggested that we do a full Chris Connor discography. With the help of Brian, his database for the compilation of discographical information, we finished the first edition of this project that same year. We named it the Chris Connor Discography. (If you want to peruse the many other discographies that have been successfully prepared with Brian, go to the Jazz Discography website.) During the summer of 2006, we worked on our second version, to which we gave the name Chris Connor Bio-Discography, and which was integrated to the singer's official website, which is no longer active. (Since it is not active, messages should not be sent to that website; nobody is there to answer them.)
Known as The Chris Connor Bio-Discography, the third and present edition of the work under discussion was completed in April of 2011. Besides its inclusion of the updates and corrections that are par for the course in an endeavor of this kind, this new edition improves on previous ones thanks to an extensive incorporation of bio-discographical notes, and through a substantially enhanced Concert, Radio, And Television page. Here's hoping that the present (and probably final) edition meets your approval.
Chris Connor left us on August 29, 2009, at age 81. Her musical legacy was still remembered in the last decades of her life and, thanks to dedicated fans, it is not likely to be forgotten in years to come. Ever since she became nationally known, Connor has always counted with a relatively small but devoted following, which included not only "lay" listeners but also established musicians, such as pianists Ran Blake and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett.
This discography is another proof of such devotion. It became possible thanks, in large part, to the cooperation of many fellow fans who, like Steve and I, have shared a desire to see a comprehensive chronicle of the artist's career in print or online.
Steve and I are particularly grateful to the following fans, friends and acquaintances, who have provided us with valuable information: Laurence Abzug, Larry Appelbaum, Linwood Baker, Dave Berk, Ran Blake, Bob Blumenthal, Wayne Brasler, Mark Cantor, Ed Chaplin, Noal Cohen, Adrian Cullen, Bill Damm, Mike Fitzgerald, Pierre Giroux, Robert Gray, Tardo Hammer, Warren G. Harris, Jenny Hayes, Jan Kagenaar, Rick Kaye, Max O. Preeo, Dave Loveless, Scott Merrell, Fernando Ortiz de Urbina, Stephen Platt, Kevin Rietmann, Ross Schneider, Andy Smith, Frederick Stack, Peter Stoller, Koichi Sugimoto, Eddie Styles, Keizo Takada, Brian Thomas, Diego Viegas, Scott Weiner, and Brian Yordnoff.
Due to their more extensive contributions, special mention should be made of Donald Martin (an album-oriented, long-time Chris Connor fan who could have prepared a good discography by himself), and Jason Perry (another kind and dedicated fellow fan, who is especially interested in Connor memorabilia).
For her cooperation and involvement in all things Connor, I would further like to single out Chris Connor's life-long partner and personal manager, Lori Muscarelle.
Also supplying answers to a few pertinent queries (in some cases through direct replies, in other cases through their online websites) were the Library of Congress, the discographical site Both Sides Now, and the music list-serv Songbirds: The Singers Of Classic Pop And Jazz.