Chris Connor's singing career spanned 7 decades and generated about 35 original albums, not to say anything of countless live performances and a fair share of singles. She covered over 400 songs, too. But in Connor's case, quantities are of lesser relevance than qualities. During its peak years, her singing voice was enthusiastically praised for what was variously described as its smokiness, intimacy, and lushness. Connor's intense singing style also earned considerable attention. Driven to experiment, she would often alter rhythms and melodies in thought-provoking ways. As for her work on record, it received frequent commendation for the fair share of relatively obscure gems that she interpreted, especially 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 many others.
Naturally, the Chris Connor Bio-Discography was born out of admiration for the artist's singing. Both webmaster Steve Albin (this site's webmaster) 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 thoroughly 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.
The artist left us on August 29, 2009, at age 81, but those of us who remain her fans do hope to keep her musical legacy current and ongoing for many generations to come. In the realm of "musical fandomania," she always counted with a relatively small but devoted following, which included not only "lay" listeners but also well-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 me, share a desire to have a comprehensive chronicle of the artist's career.
Steve and I are particularly grateful to the following fans, friends and acquaintances, who have provided us with a variety of missing information: Dave Berk, Ran Blake, Bob Blumenthal, Wayne Brasler, Mark Cantor, Ed Chaplin, Noal Cohen, Bill Damm, Mike Fitzgerald, Warren Harris, Jenny Hayes, Jan Kagenaar, Rick Kaye, Dave Loveless, Scott Merrell, Ross Schneider, Andy Smith, Frederick Stack, Peter Stoller, Eddie Styles, Keizo Takada, Brian Thomas, Scott Weiner, and Brian Yordnoff. Due to their more extensive contributions, special mention should be made of Donald Martin (an album-oriented, long-time fan who could have prepared a good discography 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 were the Library of Congress, the discographical website Both Sides Now, and the music list-serv Songbirds: The Singers Of Classic Pop And Jazz.
Songbirdswas 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 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.
The third edition, known as The Chris Connor Bio-Discography, was completed in April 2011. Aside from the updates and corrections that are par for the course in an endeavor of this kind, this new edition improves on previous ones through the extensive incorporation of bio-discographical notes, and through a substantially enhanced Concert, Radio, And Television page. Here's hoping that it meets your approval.