Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons
Author(s): Robin Roth
Photos: Robin Roth
Editor: Savannah Burke
Published: March 23, 2009

Frankie Valli and THE FOUR SEASONS






I know the bands today rock-out in a whole different way and universe, but without the heritage paved out by groups like Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, bands wouldn’t have role models to bring them up to date. Valli and the Seasons were not only way ahead of their time, but they brought a sound to music that no one had ever heard before. What's more, their songs still are incredible to listen to today...

These guys were nothing short of genius. Valli’s one of a kind voice was legendary. Let us not forget the miraculous master mind of Bob Gordy, who wrote all of the music and lyrics for Frankie and the Seasons to shine.


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Which all brings me now to the absolute fact; Rock-and-Roll has never been more alive then at the brand new, elegant, PALAZZO HOTEL. The Palazzo is now the place where, “THE JERSEY BOYS” (TONY AWARD WINNING BROADWAY SHOW) is rockin' the house nightly to sold-out crowds.

FYI, The Jersey Boys recounts the rags-to-riches story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The story tells how a group of blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds, sold 175 million records worldwide and all before they were thirty. The show features such hits as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Oh, What a Night,” and many more classis rock-and-roll number one songs. You can sing along, I know I totally did. I didn’t care one bit about the faces everyone was giving me. I was moved and didn’t care!!! The Jersey Boys Las Vegas show will no doubt take you on a ride down memory lane. The show is not only simply put, “stellar”, but over-the-top outstanding, and an absolute must see, feel good show. The Jersey Boys story is real, which makes it all the more amazing to be a part of.  


As I looked around the Palazzo Theater, all I could see was an entire audience, smiling, singing, laughing, enjoying, and totally wrapped up into this amazing true story musical and incredible ‘Seasons’ music. It’s not hard to understand why the show has captivated audiences from around the world for it is exhilarating, fast paced, exciting; and you will not want it to end. The thrilling music, marvelous storyline, out-of-this-world-performances, and all around mesmerizingly brilliant show, all make for truly magical evening.


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Frankie Valli the 74 year old music Rock-and-Roll-Hall-of-Fame genius is a music ICON and giant. I had the royal pleasure of being friends with Frankie when he was recording for the movie “Grease”. I will tell all too. Not only is he talented with a capital T, but he is charismatic, charming, the most kind, modest, humble, generous man I have ever known. For a man of his success and celebrated status, he is quite shy and soft spoken. For him, it is not about the fame and glitz of the biz, it is all about the music and the quality of the music. That is all he ever cared about. In other words, Frankie Valli …ROCKS!


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For those of you out there too young to remember or even know of these rock-and-roll music legends, (if that is possible) let me back up a bit and help you out…

One of the most long-lived and successful white vocal groups of the 60s, The Four Seasons scored a series of smash hit singles between 1962 and 1967 featuring the unique falsetto, three octave voice of Frankie Valli. His remarkable range allowed him to create brilliant harmonies, while able to hit high notes without his voice breaking.
During their nearly 40 year career Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons sold over a 100 million records making them the most long lived and successful white doo-wop groups in rock and roll history... The Four Seasons and the Beach Boys were literally the only American groups whose successful careers were not ruined when the Beatles and British Invasion bands hit the States in 1964. The Four Seasons enjoyed two dozen Top Forty singles.

Frankie Valli was born Frank Castelluccio on May 3, 1934 and was one of three brothers who grew up in a tough, working-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. At the age of seven, Valli's future was set when he saw young Frank Sinatra perform at the “ Paramount ”. As a teenager in the 1950s, Valli sang with several Jersey groups at school events and in local clubs. Valli started out solo with his first solo recording, in 1953, was "My Mother's Eyes." He formed The Varietones with guitarist brothers Nick and Tommy DeVito and bassist Hank Majewski around 1954.  Changing their name to The Four Lovers in 1956, they signed with RCA Victor Records that same year and had a minor hit with, "You Are the Apple of My Eye." Valli's parents supported his interest in music, though at times they were concerned about his slowly blooming career. The group evolved and became at long last the Four Seasons and achieved ever lasting success in 1962.

Following the group's initial wave of success in 1956, the quartet performed three times on the Ed Sullivan Show and found themselves in the company of another rising star, Elvis Presley.


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 After several years, Valli and producer Bob Gaudio (who started their partnership almost 40 years ago on a simple hand shake) set up a dual career, with Valli recording for Private Stock and a new Four Seasons group for Warner Brothers Records. Valli had his first solo #1 in 1975 with "My Eyes Adored You", (a song that no one believed in other then the duo and Gaudio made it happen by himself) followed by "Swearin' To God" and a revival of Ruby And The Romantics' "Our Day Will Come." In 1978 he sold two million copies of the Barry Gibb -composed theme song from Grease. The follow-ups, "Fancy Dancer" and "Where Did We Go Wrong"





Frankie Valli subsequently rejoined the Four Seasons and enjoyed further success when "Big Girls Don't Cry" was included in the movie Dirty Dancing.  On December, 1963 “Oh, What a Night" appeared on the soundtrack to Forest Gump, and reentered the singles chart getting its second lease on life. It became the longest-charting single in history with fifty total weeks. Legends? I think I rest my case!

A fact that many people don’t know is, Valli had a series of ear operations to cure his increasing deafness. Doctors had discovered that he had otosclerosis, a rare ear disease for which there is no real cure. One day, Frankie just began to notice sounds around him dropping out. "I was destroyed", he later said. "I mean, if I couldn't hear, I couldn't sing, so what was the point of living"? Fortunately, delicate operations restored much of the hearing loss. How amazing is that.

At long last The Four Seasons (group members 1960–1965) were deservingly inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.

Well, rock-and-roll purists, I must say, run to the Palazzo in Vegas and enjoy a night of CLASSIC rock with The Jersey Boys!


JERSEY BOYS Perform: Monday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday: 7:00 p.m. Tuesday:
6:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., Saturday, 6:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. Wednesday: Dark 

Phone: 702.414.9000 OR Email: tickets@Palazzolasvegas.com


Notable Four Season songs include:

1962: "Sherry" #1,  1965: "Don't Think Twice", 1966: "Working My Way Back to You”, 1966: "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)", 1966: "I've Got You Under My Skin", 1966: "Tell It to the Rain", 1975: "Who Loves You", #3 1975: "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" #1, 1994: "December,  (Oh, What a Night)", 1962: "Big Girls Don't Cry" #1, 1963: "Walk Like a Man #1, 1963: "Ain't That a Shame", 1963: "Candy Girl"/"Marlena", 1964: "Dawn (Go Away)", 1964: "Stay", 1964: "Ronnie",1964: "Alone", 1964: "Rag Doll #1, 1964: "Save It For Me", 1964: "Big Man in Town", 1965: "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye) 1965: "Girl Come Running", 1965: "Let's Hang On!", 1967: "Beggin'", 1967: "C'mon Marianne",  1967: "Watch the Flowers Grow", 1968: "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", 1994: "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)".