They became legends, Concetta Marie Franconero and Robert Walden Cassotto and their stars briefly crossed when their lives were still relatively simple. Bobby Darin and Connie Francis were sweethearts in the early years of their rise to fame. They met in January 1956 when Connie recorded “My First Real Love”, a song written by Bobby and Don Kirshner. Bobby and his group, The Jaybirds, sang the background vocals.
But their romance was not to be. Their love affair was brief and sadly, so was the life of the incredibly talented Bobby Darin. This Sunday’s CIAO! will feature a segment on Connie Francis and Bobby Darin and the love that Connie Francis has said she felt for Darin “til the day he died and beyond.”
My co-host, Jim Battaglia takes us back with his memories of Italian style picnics. Jim rattles of all of the parks and though there were a number of them, I remember that my family always went to Willow Bay. The women, Jim says, were up before dawn preparing the feast to be enjoyed all day long.
Shortly after arriving at the park, the women busied themselves preparing for each course beginning with coffee perked on the open fire and biscotti before noon, followed by antipasti (before the meal) of olives, cured meats like soppressata, provolone and mozzarella cheeses, sliced tomatoes with fresh basil leaves, yellow banana peppers (some hot, some sweet), red roasted peppers and crusty Italian bread.
Later in the day while the men played Bocci and the kids played tag, the women emptied their coolers and laid out the eggplant parmagiana, chicken and veal cutlets, Italian style potato salad, sausage, frittata, lasagna, fried and baked chicken ending with more coffee to accompany the sponge cakes, and Italian cookies. And, of course this was a great time to share and brag about homemade wines!
My memories are centered more on the great fossils I always found on the rocky shoreline of Onondaga Lake but both Jim and I remember that going on a picnic with friends and family was an exciting event back in the the 1950s!
As always, CIAO! is where you can celebrate the Italian in YOU! Join us every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 WCNY FM 91.3 on your dial with me, Joey Nigro and my co-host Jim Battaglia (or online at http://www.wcny.org/radio/listen-now/classicfm). Italians love to say, “Canta che ti passa!” “Sing that it will pass!” so we always feature great music…a mix of old and new songs by our Italian American artists and Italian singers and composers…music that will lift your spirits…and music that you won’t hear anywhere else!
Tags: Bobby Darin, Ciao, Connie Francis, Jim Battaglia, Joey Nigro, WCNY Classic FM