Big Girls Don't Cry (The Four Seasons song)

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"Big Girls Don't Cry"
Big Girls Don't Cry.jpg
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)
ReleasedOctober 1962
RecordedSeptember 1962
GenreRock, doo-wop, brill building
Length2:26
LabelVee-Jay
Songwriter(s)Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio
Producer(s)Bob Crewe
The Four Seasons singles chronology
"Sherry"
(1962)
"Big Girls Don't Cry"
(1962)
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
(1962)

"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.[1] It was also the quartet's second single to make it to number one on the US R&B charts.

Background[edit]

According to Gaudio, he was dozing off while watching the John Payne/Rhonda Fleming/Ronald Reagan movie Tennessee's Partner 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.[2][3] However, the line does not appear in that film. According to Bob Crewe, he was dozing off in his Manhattan home with the television on when he awoke to see Payne manhandling Fleming in Slightly Scarlet, a 1956 film noir based on a James M. Cain story. The line is heard in that film.[citation needed]

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).

Personnel[edit]

Partial credits.[4]

The Four Seasons
Additional musician and production staff

Charts[edit]

Weekly[edit]

Chart (1962–63) Peak
position
New Zealand (Lever Hit Parade)[5] 1
UK [6] 13
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[7] 1
U.S. Billboard R&B [8] 1

All-time charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 183

Other versions[edit]

Samples[edit]

  • "Big Girls Don't Cry" was sampled by MC Lyte in "Don't Cry Big Girls", on her 1988 debut album Lyte as a Rock.

Song in Popular Culture[edit]

  • Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance sang this song on the first-season episode of The Lucy Show titled "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 Bird Doesn't Fly."
  • In 1991 Kids Incorporated sang "Big Girls Don't Cry" in the Season 7 episode "That's What Friends Are For".
  • 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 212.
  2. ^ Joe Sasfy, liner notes (1987). "The Rock 'N' Roll Era". Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. Time-Life Records.
  3. ^ "Jersey Boys Playbill", with discussion of history of hits
  4. ^ https://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Panama_Francis.html
  5. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 17 January 1963
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 210. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 212.
  9. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved January 14, 2019.

External links[edit]