Rag Doll (The Four Seasons song)

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"Rag Doll"
Single by The Four Seasons
from the album Rag Doll
B-side"Silence Is Golden" (from the album Born to Wander)
ReleasedJune 1964[1]
GenrePop rock[2]
LabelPhilips Records
Songwriter(s)Bob Crewe
Bob Gaudio
Producer(s)Bob Crewe
The Four Seasons singles chronology
"Rag Doll"
"Save It for Me"

"Rag Doll" is a popular song written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. It was recorded by the Four Seasons and released as a single in 1964.


According to songwriter Bob Gaudio, the recording was inspired by an occasion involving the homeless children who, at stop lights in the city, would run into the street and clean windshields for spare change. In the Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan neighborhood, a young girl with a dirty face and wearing ragged clothes approached Gaudio's automobile. When he reached into his wallet to pay her, he found that none of the notes were smaller than $10. He gave the girl a $10 bill. (Some accounts indicate that it was a $5 bill.)[3] "The image of her stuck in my head until I wrote 'Rag Doll'", Gaudio recalled in a 2009 interview.[4]

Billboard described the song as a "sentimental slow dance ballad."[5] Cash Box described it as "a touching, cha cha beat opus...that the group serves up in their fabulous style" and that features the "hit sounds" of Frankie Valli.[6] In 1989, critic Dave Marsh ranked "Rag Doll" at No. 401 on his list compiled in the book The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made, being one of five songs by the Four Seasons included in the book.[7] In 1997, Mojo also listed the song as one of the 'Bubbling Under' singles in its list of 'The 100 Greatest Singles Of All Time'.[8]


In 2010, radio station WCBS-FM in New York City rated the Four Seasons' "Rag Doll" as the No. 1 song of all time, as voted on by its listeners.[9]


  • In 1966 the band Pooh recorded the Italian version in the single entitled Quello che non sai (What you do not know), text by Antonietta De Simone, (Vedette, VVN 33114) for the album Per quelli come noi (For those like us) of the same year (Vedette, VRM 36033).


The B-side was the original version of "Silence Is Golden", also written by Crewe and Gaudio. In 1967, that song was covered by the English band the Tremeloes and peaked at No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 8 in Canada, and No. 11 on the US charts.[10][11][12]



The Four Seasons
Additional musician and production staff

Chart history[edit]

"Rag Doll" reached the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 18, 1964, and remained on top for two weeks.[14] The song was also a No. 1 hit in Canada, and reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 4 in Ireland.


  1. ^ The Four Seasons; Frankie Valli (1991), Greatest Hits, Volume 2, Internet Archive, Warner Special Products, retrieved 2023-01-30
  2. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "Rag Doll song review". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 October 2022.
  3. ^ Who Wrote The Book Of Love?
  4. ^ We're all ears: 'Jersey Boys' Bob Gaudio talks about what inspired his Four Seasons hits
  5. ^ "Singles Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. June 13, 1964. p. 20. Retrieved 2021-05-01.
  6. ^ "CashBox Record Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. June 13, 1964. p. 12. Retrieved 2022-01-12.
  7. ^ "The Heart of Rock and Soul by Dave Marsh - 1001 greatest singles".
  8. ^ "Rocklist.net...Mojo Lists Page 2".
  9. ^ "CBS-FM's Top 1,001 Countdown". Wcbsfm.cbslocal.com. CBS Radio Inc. 2012. Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  10. ^ An Avid's Guide to Sixties Songwriters
  11. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - August 12, 1967" (PDF).
  12. ^ Rag Doll Songfacts
  13. ^ "Classic Tracks: The Four Season's "Rag Doll"". December 2000.
  14. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits. New York: Billboard Books. p. 152. ISBN 0823076776. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  15. ^ "RPM Top 40-5s - July 13, 1964" (PDF).
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Rag Doll". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  17. ^ Flavour of New Zealand, 23 July 1964
  18. ^ 2 September 1964
  19. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–1990ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  20. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 18, 1964". Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  21. ^ "UK-Charts - 1964".
  22. ^ Musicoutfitters.com
  23. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1964". Archived from the original on June 1, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2017.