Big Girls Don't Cry (The Four Seasons song)
|"Big Girls Don't Cry"|
|Single by The Four Seasons|
|from the album Sherry & 11 Others|
|B-side||"Connie-O" (non-LP track later included on Golden Hits of the 4 Seasons album)|
|Songwriter(s)||Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio|
|The Four Seasons singles chronology|
"Big Girls Don't Cry" is a song written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio and originally recorded by The Four Seasons. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 17, 1962, and, like its predecessor "Sherry," spent five weeks in the top position but never ranked in the Billboard year-end charts of 1962 or 1963. The song also made it to number one, for three weeks, on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues survey.
According to Gaudio, he was dozing off while watching the John Payne/Rhonda Fleming/Ronald Reagan movie Tennessee's Partner (1955) when he heard Payne's character slap Fleming in the face. After the slap, Fleming's character replied, "Big girls don't cry." Gaudio wrote the line on a scrap of paper, fell asleep, and wrote the song the next morning.
However, the now-famous line does not appear in the Ronald Reagan film. According to Bob Crewe, he himself was dozing off in his Manhattan home with the television on when he awoke to see John Payne manhandling Rhonda Fleming in Slightly Scarlet, a 1956 film noir based on a James M. Cain story. The line is heard in that film.
Like "Sherry," the lead in "Big Girls Don't Cry" is sung mostly in falsetto. With this song, the Four Seasons became the first rock-era act to hit the top spot on the Hot 100 with their first two chart entries (their first single, "Bermuda"/"Spanish Lace," did not appear on any Billboard chart in 1961).
Various episodes of Happy Days feature this song, most notably when it is played in the jukebox at Arnold's diner. It was also used, with customized lyrics sung by the Four Seasons themselves, as the theme song to Joey Reynolds's various radio programs throughout the United States.
It has also appeared in the soundtrack to the 1987 film Dirty Dancing.
- Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance sang this song on the first season episode of The Lucy Show entitled "Lucy Is a Chaperone."
- On the children's television show 3-2-1 Contact, the song is reworded about Ostriches, Emus, and Sesame Street's character Big Bird, with the words changed to "Big Birds Don't Fly."
- In 1991 Kids Incorporated sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" in the Season 7 episode "That's What Friends Are For."
- Edith Massey did a rare punk rock version of this song with her band, Edie and the Eggs; it is featured on The Rhino Brothers Present the World's Worst Records.
- "Big Girls Don't Cry" was covered by Massachusetts girl group IQ in 2006.