Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...

updated 07/18/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/18/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

>Harry Connick Jr.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, BUT BEing onstage comes close for Harry Connick Jr. "The only stage fright I ever feel is being too far away from it," says Connick, 26, in his thick Louisiana drawl. "That curtain goes up—it's the greatest. They have to use one of them big canes to pull me off."

The Crescent City piano man made his stage debut at 6, serving up the national anthem at his father's swearing-in as a district attorney. "I played and they clapped," recalls Connick. "I couldn't believe that they were clapping for me, so I started my second number. My dad was like, 'Whoa! Whoa! This is my day,' and pulled me off the piano."

Too late. Addicted to the applause, Connick began sitting in with local jazz bands during outings to the French Quarter with his father, Harry Sr., and mother, Anita, a small-claims-court judge who died when Connick was 13. Fifteen years after his auspicious premiere, Connick broke into the platinum circle with When Harry Met Sally...and is now enjoying a newly funked-up sound. "She is all the stuff I grew? up with," says Connick, who married former Victoria's Secret model Jill Good-acre three months ago. "I hope the fans aren't too surprised."

Connick has yet to find his signature tune, like Sinatra's "New York, New York." When it comes, it had better be good. As he says, "I don't want to be singing some song I hate for the rest of ray life."

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