The Four Seasons (band)

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The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons in 1966. Top: Tommy DeVito; left: Bob Gaudio; right: Joe Long; bottom: Frankie Valli.
The Four Seasons in 1966.
Top: Tommy DeVito; left: Bob Gaudio; right: Joe Long; bottom: Frankie Valli.
Background information
Also known asThe Four Lovers (1956–1960)
The Wonder Who? (1965–1967)
OriginNewark, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres
Years active1960–1977; 1979–present
Labels
MembersFrankie Valli
Robby Robinson
Ronen Bay
Craig Cady
Aaron Alexander Gordon
Noah Rivera
Basil Fung
Rick Keller
Alfredo Lopez
Carmen Grillo
Andy Sanesi
Past membersTommy DeVito
Bob Gaudio
Nick Massi
Joe Long
Demetri Callas
Clay Jordan
Gerry Polci
Don Ciccone
Lee Shapiro
John Paiva
Jerry Corbetta
Larry Lingle

The Four Seasons is an American vocal quartet formed in 1960 in Newark, New Jersey. Since 1970, they have also been known at times as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The band evolved out of a previous band called The Four Lovers, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer, Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, and Nick Massi on bass guitar and bass vocals. On nearly all of their 1960s hits, they were credited as The 4 Seasons. The band had two distinct lineups that achieved widespread success: the original featuring Valli, Gaudio, DeVito, and Massi (with that success continuing after Joe Long succeeded Massi in 1965) that recorded hits throughout the 1960s, and a 1970s quintet (sometimes billed as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons) consisting of Valli, Lee Shapiro, Gerry Polci, Don Ciccone and John Paiva, with Gaudio and Long providing studio support.

The legal name of the organization is the Four Seasons Partnership, formed by Gaudio and Valli, and was taken after a failed audition in 1960. Valli and Gaudio (who has been a non-performing member of the group since 1973) each own 50% of the act and its assets, including virtually all of its recording catalog.[5][6] The touring lineup of the group includes Valli as the sole remaining original member,[7] backed by a separate vocal quartet and a band led by musician Robby Robinson, who has served as the group's music director since 1984.[8] The touring version of The Four Seasons is slated to end after Valli's farewell tour concludes in 2024.[9]

The band's original line-up was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990,[10] the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999[11] and the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2017.[12] They are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.[7]

History[edit]

Before The Four Seasons[edit]

Frankie Valli's first commercial release was "My Mother's Eyes" (as Frankie Valley) in 1953. The following year, he and guitarist Tommy DeVito formed The Variatones (with Hank Majewski, rhythm guitar, Frank Cottone, accordion, and Billy Thompson, drums),[13] which between 1954 and 1956 performed and recorded under a variety of names before settling on the name The Four Lovers, based upon a Latin lover gimmick[5][14] and playing country music.[13] The same year, the quartet (DeVito, his twin brother Nick, Majewski and Valli) released their first record, Otis Blackwell's "You're the Apple of My Eye", which appeared on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart, peaking at #62.[15] Five more Four Lovers singles (on RCA Victor) were released over the next year, with virtually no sales, airplay, or jukebox play. In 1957, the band's seventh single (this time on Epic) had a similar lack of success.[16]

From 1956 until 1958, the group stayed together, performing in clubs and lounges as The Four Lovers and recording on music labels under various names: Frankie Tyler, Frankie Valli, Frankie Valli and the Travelers, Frankie Valli and the Romans, the Village Voices, and the Topics are some of the 18 "stage names" used individually or collectively by the members of the band. Majewski left the band due to creative differences,[13] while Nick DeVito left the group (portrayed in Jersey Boys as being due to an extended prison sentence, though Tommy DeVito stated in 2008 that he had fired the two because he had booked a gig opening up for Tony Bennett, believing it would be the group's big break, only for Majewski and Nick DeVito to refuse to travel to it, forcing him to cancel).[17] To fill the gap, two members of the Hollywood Playboys, another touring group in North Jersey, joined Valli and Tommy DeVito: lead keyboardist Hugh Garrity and guitarist Nickie Massey.[13][18] Massey left in 1959 to front his own short-lived group the Nite-Lites,[19] replaced for a time by Charles Calello.

In 1959, the band started working with producer/songwriter Bob Crewe, primarily for session work (Crewe wrote "I Go Ape", which Valli recorded with the intention of releasing it as a "solo" single, only to be beaten to the punch by an unrelated song of the same name from Neil Sedaka, who became friends with Valli later on). Later that year, The Four Lovers were performing in Baltimore on the same stage as the Royal Teens, who were riding the wave of success of "Short Shorts", a song co-written by then-15-year-old Bob Gaudio, who was also the Royal Teens' keyboardist. In late 1959, Gaudio replaced Garrity (who left to reform the Hollywood Playboys). Early the following year,a now-renamed Nick Massi returned to replace Calello. Calello remained associated with the group, arranging instruments while Massi arranged the vocals.

In 1960, despite the changes of personnel, the fortunes of The Four Lovers had not changed—they failed an audition for a lounge at a Union Township, Union County, New Jersey bowling establishment. According to Gaudio, "We figured we'll come out of this with something. So we took the name of the bowling alley. It was called the Four Seasons." Despite the last few years of frustration of The Four Lovers, this proved to be the turning point for the band. Later, on a handshake agreement between keyboardist/composer Bob Gaudio and lead singer Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons Partnership was formed.

Rise[edit]

The Four Seasons signed as artists to Crewe's production company, and they released their first Crewe-produced single under their new name in 1961 ("Bermuda"/"Spanish Lace" on Gone Records). The single did not chart. The band continued working with producer Bob Crewe as background vocalists and sometimes leads under different names, for productions on Crewe's own Topix label. As a follow-up, Bob Gaudio wrote a song that, after some discussion between Crewe and Gaudio, was titled "Sherry". After the song was recorded, Crewe and the members of the band solicited record labels to release it. It was Frankie Valli who spoke with Randy Wood, West Coast sales manager for Vee-Jay Records (not the founder of Dot Records) who, in turn, suggested the release of "Sherry" to the decision-makers at Vee-Jay. "Sherry" made enough of an impression that Crewe was able to sign a deal between his production company and Vee-Jay for its release. They were the first white artists to sign with Vee-Jay.[20]

In 1962, the band released their first album, featuring the single "Sherry", which was not only their first charted hit but also their first number-one song. Under the guidance of Bob Crewe, the Four Seasons followed up "Sherry" with several million-selling singles, generally composed by Crewe and Gaudio, including "Big Girls Don't Cry" (their second #1 hit), "Walk Like a Man" (their third #1), "Candy Girl" (written by Larry Santos), "Ain't That a Shame", and several others. Also, they released a Christmas album in December 1962 and charted with a unique rendition of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town".

From 1962 to early 1964, the Beach Boys were the only band to match the Four Seasons in record sales in the United States, and their first three Vee-Jay non-holiday single releases (i.e., ignoring their version of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town") marked the first time that a rock band hit #1 on the Billboard singles charts with three consecutive entries.

In 1962, they were invited to perform their hit "Big Girls Don't Cry" on the show American Bandstand.

From Vee-Jay to Philips[edit]

Despite the band's success, Vee-Jay Records was in financial distress. The label had released several early Beatles singles in America. When the Beatles became hugely popular, Vee-Jay was swamped with orders, and they shipped more than two million Beatles records in a single month. The demands of mass production, the cash-flow problems involved, and the loss of the Beatles when Trans-Global (a firm licensed by EMI to distribute its products) canceled Vee-Jay's contract on August 3, 1963, due to non-payment of royalties, found Vee-Jay hard-pressed to stay afloat. Vee-Jay continued to produce one Beatles album (in various forms) in defiance of the cancellation. After over a year of legal negotiations, Capitol Records was finally able to stop Vee-Jay, effective October 15, 1964.[21]

While the label went through internal turmoil with the Beatles and Capitol Records, a separate royalty dispute between Vee-Jay and the Four Seasons headed to court. In January 1964, after several successful albums but a lack of money from Vee-Jay, the Seasons left Vee-Jay and moved to Philips Records, then a division of Mercury Records.[22] In the 1965 settlement of the lawsuit, Vee-Jay retained release rights for all material the band recorded for the label. Vee-Jay exercised those rights liberally over the following year. The group was obligated to deliver one final album to Vee-Jay, which they did in the form of a "faux" live LP. (When Vee-Jay was finally declared bankrupt in 1966, the Four Seasons' Vee-Jay catalog reverted to the band to settle unpaid royalties, and the tracks were then reissued by Philips.)[23]

The change of label did not diminish the popularity of the Four Seasons in 1964, nor did the onslaught of the British Invasion and Beatlemania. However, "Dawn (Go Away)" was kept from the #1 spot on the Hot 100 by no fewer than three Beatles singles in the March 21, 1964, edition (two weeks later, the top five slots were filled by Beatles singles). In a two-record set dubbed The Beatles vs the Four Seasons: The International Battle of the Century!, Vee-Jay created an elaborate two-disc package that the purchaser could use to write on and score individual recordings by their favorite artist. The discs were reissues of the albums Introducing... The Beatles and Golden Hits of the Four Seasons, featuring each original album's label, title, and catalog number. Today, this album package is a collector's item.[24] Valli credited the band's continued success in the face of the British Invasion to staying true to their original mission of an original sound and not trying to imitate British acts.[25]

One band, several acts[edit]

Charles Calello (seen here in 2018), in addition to briefly filling in as bassist in 1965, did extensive arrangement for Valli and the Seasons throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

Nick Massi left the Four Seasons in September 1965. The band's arranger, Charles Calello (a former member of The Four Lovers), stepped in as a temporary replacement. A few months later, Joe Long was permanently hired and became a mainstay of the band on bass and backing vocals until 1975, with Calello returning to arranging. Massi's departure coincided with the addition of new songwriters such as Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, who eased the burden on Gaudio, while Randell absorbed some of Massi's arranging duties.[26] In the meantime, the Four Seasons released recordings under a variety of names, including the Valli Boys, the Wonder Who?, and Frankie Valli. Every Valli "solo" recording from 1965 to "My Eyes Adored You" in 1974 was recorded by the Four Seasons at the same time and in the same sessions as other Four Seasons material; these were usually distinguished in that material written and marketed as Valli solo numbers did not have Valli's trademark falsetto.[27] Valli's first post-1960 single without the Seasons was 1975's "Swearin' to God".

More top 20 singles followed in 1965, 1966, and 1967, including "Let's Hang On!", "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" (as the Wonder Who?), "Working My Way Back to You", "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'bout Me)", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (released under Valli's name as a "solo" single), "Beggin'" (later covered by Norwegian duo Madcon and Italian band Måneskin), "Tell It to the Rain", "C'mon Marianne", and "I Make a Fool of Myself" (Frankie Valli "solo"). Also, other Crewe/Gaudio songs that did not become hits for either Valli or the Four Seasons became international hits in cover versions, such as "Silence Is Golden" (the Tremeloes) and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" (the Walker Brothers). However, 1968's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" was the band's last top 40 hit for seven years (reaching #24), just after Valli's last "solo" hit of the 1960s, the #29 charted "To Give (The Reason I Live)".

End of the 1960s and move to Motown[edit]

By 1969, the band's popularity had declined, with public interest moving towards rock with a harder edge and music with more socially conscious lyrics. Aware of that, Bob Gaudio partnered with folk-rock songwriter Jake Holmes to write a concept album titled The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette, which discussed contemporary issues from the band's standpoint, including divorce ("Saturday's Father"), and Kinks-style satirical looks at modern life (e.g., "American Crucifixion and Resurrection" and "Genuine Imitation Life"). The decision to create a concept album was a major departure for the group, which Bob Crewe had purposely marketed as a singles act (so much so that the group's early albums were simply the name of a major hit single appended with some variation of "and Other Songs").[25]

The album cover was designed to resemble the front page of a newspaper, pre-dating Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick by several years. The record was a commercial failure and led to the band's departure from Philips shortly after that, but it did catch the attention of Frank Sinatra, whose 1969 album, Watertown, involved Gaudio, Holmes, Valli and Calello. The Seasons' last single on Philips, 1970's "Patch of Blue", featured the band's name as "Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons", but the change in billing did not revive the band's fortunes. Reverting to the "Four Seasons" billing without Valli's name upfront, the group issued a single on Crewe's eponymous label, a rendition of "And That Reminds Me", which peaked at number 45 on the Billboard chart. Frustrated by the group's workload, and facing debts from gambling and a divorce, DeVito accepted a buyout and left the band in 1970.[28] In DeVito's place, the Seasons hired their first non-New Jersey member, Maryland native Demitri Callas.[29] Callas stayed with the group until 1974, when it became apparent that his erratic behavior was going to get him fired.[30]

After leaving Philips, the Four Seasons recorded a one-off single for the Warner Bros. label in England, "Sleeping Man", backed by "Whatever You Say", which was never released in the USA. John Stefan, the band's lead trumpeter, arranged the horn parts. Following that single, the band signed to Motown. The first LP, Chameleon, released by Motown subsidiary label MoWest Records in 1972, failed to sell. A 1971 Frankie Valli solo single on Motown, "Love Isn't Here", and three Four Seasons singles, "Walk On, Don't Look Back" on MoWest in 1972, "How Come" and "Hickory" on Motown in 1973, sank without a trace. A song from Chameleon, "The Night", later became a Northern Soul hit and reached the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, but was not commercially released in the United States as a single, although promotional copies were distributed in 1972, showing the artist as Frankie Valli. Valli has consistently spoken of how much of the group's late 1960s and early 1970s material was poorly marketed and only later received the appreciation that he felt it deserved.[25]

In late 1973 and early 1974, the Four Seasons recorded eight songs for a second Motown album, which the company refused to release, and later in 1974, the label and the band parted ways. On behalf of the Four Seasons Partnership, Valli tried to purchase the entire collection of master recordings the group had made for Motown. After hearing the amount needed to buy them all, Valli arranged to purchase "My Eyes Adored You" for $4,000.[25] He took the tape to Larry Uttal, the owner and founder of Private Stock Records, who wanted to release it as a Frankie Valli solo single. Although the band remained unsigned in the later part of 1974, Valli had a new label—and a new solo career.

Resurgence[edit]

Lee Shapiro (seen here in 2022) joined as keyboardist and arranger in 1973.

While new hits for the Four Seasons had dried up in the first half of the 1970s, the band never lost its popularity as a performing act. Longtime member Joe Long stayed in the group until 1975; over the course of the 1970s, Valli and Gaudio would begin assembling a new lineup. 19-year-old keyboardist Lee Shapiro was recruited to replace Gaudio (on Valli's explicit recommendation) as the latter moved to a studio role, in addition to taking on arrangement and some songwriting duties.[31] A member of the group's backing band recruited drummer Gerry Polci, who would eventually take over a large portion of lead vocals to ease the load on an ailing Frankie Valli (who was gradually losing his hearing due to otosclerosis, though eventually surgery restored most of it);[32] Polci, in turn, recruited The Happenings' guitarist John Paiva to replace Callas on guitar.[33] Don Ciccone, whose career with The Critters had come to an abrupt end due to his entry into the armed forces, succeeded Long as bassist and took on the occasional lead vocal.[34] As "My Eyes Adored You" climbed the Hot 100 singles chart in early 1975, Uttal was persuaded to release The Four Seasons Story, a two-record compilation of the band's biggest hit singles from 1962 to 1970. It quickly became a gold record, selling over one million copies before the RIAA started awarding platinum records for million-selling albums.

Uttal was unwilling to sign the group as a whole, but left a loophole in Valli's contract allowing him to stay with the group if they signed with another label. Gaudio then approached Warner Bros. Records with a new song, "Who Loves You," with Ciccone on lead vocal due to Valli being overseas during the recording; intrigued by a new Four Seasons lead singer, they signed the group. Valli was unwilling to give up lead vocal duties and managed to halt the release of "Who Loves You" until he could replace Ciccone's vocal with his own.[34] The album Who Loves You became a surprise million-seller for the band, as Valli ultimately agreed to partially cede lead vocals to Polci and Ciccone, making it the first album since Massi's departure to prominently feature a lead or co-lead other than Valli.

In 1975, record sales exploded for both Valli and the Four Seasons as both acts had million-selling singles in the United States ("My Eyes Adored You" hit #1 on the Hot 100 for Valli in March, "Who Loves You" (with Valli on lead) peaked at #3 in November for the band and number 6 in the UK chart). In the United Kingdom, Tamla Motown released "The Night" as a single on the 'Mowest' label and saw it reach the #7 position on the UK Singles Chart. "My Eyes Adored You" was also a top 10 hit in the United Kingdom in February of that year. Valli had his first truly solo hit in the summer of 1975 when the Bob Crewe-produced "Swearin' to God" followed "My Eyes Adored You" into the upper reaches of the Hot 100, peaking at the #6 position and capitalizing on the growing disco craze. The song was released in three forms: the eight-minute album version, the ten-minute extended 12-inch single version, and the four-minute single version. This record featured Patti Austin on bridge vocals before she became well-known. Valli followed this with a discofied #11 hit version of Ruby & the Romantics' "Our Day Will Come", also featuring Austin.

The Four Seasons opened 1976 atop the Billboard chart with their fifth #1 single, "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)", co-written by Bob Gaudio and his future wife, Judy Parker. The single also hit number one in the United Kingdom. "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" had Polci singing lead on the verses, Ciccone featured on specific sections, and Valli on lead vocals only on the two bridge sections and backup vocals on the chorus.

Although the band also scored minor chart placements with "Silver Star" (with Valli on harmony vocals) (#38 in 1976) and "Down the Hall" (#65 in 1977), both sung by Polci, and "Spend the Night in Love" (#91 in 1980), which again featured Polci as main lead vocalist and Valli singing the bridge section and contributing to backup group vocals, "December, 1963" marked the end of the Seasons' hit-making run. Both singles were hits in the United Kingdom, with "Silver Star" making the top 10. (A dance remix of "December, 1963" returned them briefly to the upper reaches of the Billboard singles charts almost two decades later).

After disco[edit]

Valli with The Modern Gentlemen, who served as The Four Seasons from 2003 to 2018

The success of Who Loves You increased the popularity of the Four Seasons as a touring group and reignited recording unit. In 1977, the band recorded Helicon as a follow-up to Who Loves You; it proved to be not as successful, with its lone American single "Down the Hall" peaking in the lower half of the Hot 100 and narrowly reaching the top 40 of the American easy listening charts and the UK charts. Additional top-40 UK hits would come with "Rhapsody," and a non-album cover version of The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" (from All This and World War II).

The band broke up in 1977 as keyboardist Lee Shapiro got married,[31] Polci began working for Barry Manilow[32] and Valli—who also had surgery to restore his worsening hearing[35]—accepted an offer to sing the theme song for the movie Grease. Both the film and song were major hits, the latter reaching #1, and by 1980 the band had reunited, with a lineup consisting mostly of its 1970s lineup along with Jerry Corbetta, who had been lead singer of Sugarloaf.[36] In January 1981, Warners released Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons Reunited Live. Produced by Bob Gaudio, it was a double album of concert recordings which included the two studio recordings "Spend the Night in Love" and "Heaven Must Have Sent You (Here in the Night)" sung by Valli. The latter became a UK single but failed to chart, while the former was released as a single in America, inching its way into the Hot 100 and became a top-5 hit, the group's last, in South Africa.[37] Valli had planned to add his daughter Francine to the act in 1980, but Francine unexpectedly died that year.[38]

In 1984, a long-awaited collaboration between the Four Seasons and the Beach Boys, East Meets West, was released on FBI Records, owned by the Four Seasons Partnership, which included most of the surviving Beach Boys (including Brian Wilson). However, the record did not sell well. Even after the rise and fall of the band's sales in the disco era, the Four Seasons, in one version or another, continued to be a popular touring act, with Valli and keyboardist/music director Robby Robinson (who replaced Corbetta in 1984)[8] being the only constants in the midst of a fluctuating lineup. Polci, the last member of the group's 1970s lineup aside from Valli, ultimately left in 1990 when he married Valli's daughter Toni.[39] Although Gaudio is still officially part of the band (he and Valli are still equal partners in the Four Seasons Partnership), he now restricts his activities to writing, producing, and the occasional studio work. In August 1985, MCA Records released the band album Streetfighter, which yielded two singles in the title track and "Book of Love", a post-disco-style revamp of the Monotones' 1957 recording. In September 1992, a band album was released entitled Hope + Glory on the MCA/Curb label. In 1994, "December 1963" re-entered the Hot 100 by way of a remix.

In 2003, Valli revamped the group and started touring with a new band of Four Seasons consisting of Landon Beard, Todd Fournier, and brothers Brian Brigham and Brandon Brigham. Beard, Fournier and the Brigham brothers performed as The Four Seasons for 15 years, longer than any other lineup and longer than any of the band's other members except Valli and Gaudio. In 2018, the Beard/Fournier/Brigham quartet spun off and began performing as The Modern Gentlemen, with Valli's blessing, and Valli recruited a new quartet of musicians to back him. The 1970s lineup of the group (Polci, Ciccone and Shapiro) reunited without Valli in 2011 as The Hit Men; it toured with several other session musicians of good repute. Shapiro has continued The Hit Men as a standalone project after Ciccone died in 2016 and Polci withdrew from the group in 2017.[40]

A massive 3CD + 1DVD box set ...Jersey Beat... The Music Of Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons was released in mid-2007, marketed as the most comprehensive collection of Four Seasons music yet. The album title Jersey Beat is a play on Jersey Boys, a successful Broadway musical about the Four Seasons, as well as on Mersey Beat, a term first coined as the title of a music magazine published in Liverpool, England, from 1961, but subsequently also used to describe Liverpool's "beat music" culture of the early 1960s.

In 2008, the Four Seasons' "Beggin'" was revived by two acts. Pilooski made an electro remix of that song, while rap act Madcon used it as the basis of their song "Beggin'". The latter reached number 5 in the UK charts and was a hit across Europe. The song was featured in a TV commercial for adidas shoes entitled "Celebrate Originality". The Adidas commercial is a popular hit on YouTube and features a house party with famous celebrities such as David Beckham, Russel Simmons, Kevin Garnett, Missy Elliott, Katy Perry, and Mark Gonzales.[41][42]

As part of the BBC Proms in the Park they performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra in Hyde Park on September 10, 2016.[43]

In 2020, the group launched a YouTube channel, featuring the group virtually re-recording some of their songs.[44]

A limited-edition 44-disc career box set called "Working Our Way Back to You: The Ultimate Collection" was initially going to be released in the summer of 2021 by The Four Seasons Partnership and Snapper Records,[45] but it missed the release due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the box set was later rescheduled for release on December 9, 2022, before the release date was pushed back to April 14, 2023. The box set was eventually released on June 2, 2023, by The Four Seasons Partnership and Madfish/Snapper Music. It includes every album released by the band (including both mono and stereo mixes, where available), a CD of unreleased tracks from the band's Mowest years, three live shows taken from soundboard recordings as well as numerous other rare tracks and alternative versions.

The Four Seasons announced their farewell tour, Last Encores, to run through 2024, including several extended stays at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.[9] In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Valli did not rule out future appearances after the tour, stating that "I’m not sure whether I’m gonna keep going out."[46]

Other names[edit]

From 1956 until "My Eyes Adored You" in 1975, records which the Four Seasons recorded had the following artist credit (a sampling):

Pre-1960[edit]

  • Frankie Vall
  • Frankie Valley
  • Frankie Valle and the Romans
  • The Four Lovers
  • Frankie Tyler
  • The Variatones

1960 and after[edit]

  • The Four Seasons
  • Hal Miller and the Rays
  • Billy Dixon and the Topics
  • Johnny Halo featuring the Four Seasons
  • The 4 Seasons
  • The Wonder Who?
  • Frankie Valli
  • The Valli Boys
  • Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
  • The Romans
  • The Village Voices

Members[edit]

Partial credits before 1994.[47][48]

Current members[edit]

  • Frankie Valli – vocals (1960–present)
  • Robby Robinson – keyboards, musical director (1982–1996, 2004–present)
  • Ronen Bay – backing vocals (2018–present)
  • Craig Cady – backing vocals (2018–present)
  • Aaron Alexander Gordon – backing vocals (2022–present)
  • Noah Rivera – backing vocals (2020–2023)
  • Rick Keller – saxophone, flute, keyboards, percussion (2002–present)
  • Basil Fung – guitar (2018–present)
  • Andy Sanesi – drums (2018–present)
  • Carmen Grillo – guitar (2021–present)
  • Alfredo Lopez – bass (2021–present)

Former members[edit]

Studio and touring members[edit]

  • Tommy DeVito – vocals, guitar (1960–1970, died 2020)
  • Bob Gaudio – vocals, keyboards, guitar (1960–1971)
  • Nick Massi – vocals, bass (1960–1965, died 2000)
  • Joe Long – vocals, bass (1965–1975, died 2021)
  • Demetri Callas – vocals, guitar (1971–1973, died 2020[29])
  • Clay Jordan – vocals, keyboards (1971–1972, 1973)
  • Gerry Polci – vocals, drums (1973–1977, 1979–1982, 1988–1990)[49]
  • Lee Shapiro – keyboards (1973–1977)[50]
  • Don Ciccone – vocals, bass, rhythm guitar (1974–1977, 1979–1982, died 2016)[51]
  • John Paiva [de] – vocals, lead and rhythm guitars (1975–1977)[52][note 1]
  • Jerry Corbetta – vocals, keyboards (1979–1985)[53]
  • Larry Lingle – guitar (1979–1993, 2015)
  • Rex Robinson – vocals, bass (1982–2003)
  • Lynn Hammann – vocals, drums (1982–1988)
  • Chuck Wilson – percussion (1982–1990); drums (1990–1993)
  • Tim Stone – vocals, keyboards (1991–1996?)

Touring members[edit]

  • Charles Calello – backing vocals, bass (1965)
  • Bob Grimm – vocals, guitar (1970–1971)
  • Bill DeLoach – vocals, keyboards (1972–1973)
  • Mike Lingle – drums (1982–1985)
  • Robin Swenson – keyboards (1985–1991)
  • Howard Larrabee – vocals, keyboards (1988–1990)
  • Richie Gajate-Garcia – percussion (1990–2019)
  • Daniel "Zoro" Donelly – drums (1994–2005)
  • Adrian Baker – vocals, guitar (1994–1995)
  • Tommy Alvarado – saxophone, percussion (1994–1996)
  • Fino Roverato – guitar (1994–2003?)
  • Warren Ham – saxophone (1996–2000)
  • Todd Fournier – vocals (2002–2018)
  • Jason Martinez – vocals (2002–2007, 2018)
  • Rich Callaci – keyboards (2003)
  • Landon Beard – vocals (2003–2018)
  • Brian Brigham – vocals (2003–2018)
  • Keith Hubacher – bass (2004–2007, 2016–2018)
  • Craig Pilo – drums (2005–2018)[54]
  • Val Martinez – vocals (2006)
  • Brandon Brigham – vocals (2006–2018)
  • John Schroeder – guitar (c. 2012)
  • Robbie Angelucci – guitar (c. 2012)
  • John Menzano – bass (c. 2012)
  • Brad Sharp (2015–2016)
  • Erik Bates – vocals (2018–2020)
  • Joseph Ott – backing vocals (2018–2022)
  • Sandro Rebel – keyboards (2018–2020)
  • Wil Roberts – bass (2018–2020)
  • Christian Moraga – percussion (2019–2020)
  • Edwin Livingston – bass (2020)
  • Jamie Kime – guitar (2020–2021)
  • Steve Warren – bass (2021)
Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

This is not a complete list of album releases. These recordings have been reissued on a variety of labels, some of which are noted here. This list includes only those Frankie Valli solo albums (the first two) that were recorded as Four Seasons productions.

Date of release Title Billboard
peak[55][56]
Label Catalog number
September 1962 Sherry & 11 Others 6 Vee-Jay LP-1053 (Mono) / SR-1053 (Stereo)
December 1962 The 4 Seasons Greetings 13 LP / SR-1055
February 1963 Big Girls Don't Cry and Twelve Others... 8 LP / SR-1056
June 1963 The 4 Seasons Sing Ain't That a Shame and 11 Others 47 LP / SR-1059
February 1964 Born to Wander – Tender and Soulful Ballads (Folk-Flavored) 84 Philips 200–129 (Mono) / 600–129 (Stereo)
March 1964 Dawn (Go Away) and 11 Other Great Songs 6 200–124 / 600–124
July 1964 Rag Doll 7 200–146 / 600–146
March 1965 The 4 Seasons Entertain You 77 200–164 / 600–164
November 1965 The 4 Seasons Sing Big Hits by Burt Bacharach... Hal David... Bob Dylan... 106 200–193 / 600–193
November 1965 All New Recorded Live • On Stage with The 4 Seasons
(studio album with audience overdubs)
68 Vee-Jay VJS-1154
January 1966 Working My Way Back to You 50 Philips 200–201 / 600–201
May 1967 New Gold Hits 37 200–243 / 600–243
June 1967 The 4 Seasons Present Frankie Valli Solo
(credited to Frankie Valli)
34 200–247 / 600–247
July 1968 Timeless
(credited to Frankie Valli)
176 200–274 / 600–274
January 1969 The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette 85 600–290
May 1970 Half & Half
(alternating recordings credited to The 4 Seasons and solo Frankie Valli)
190 600–341
May 1972 Chameleon MoWest MW108L
November 1975 Who Loves You 38 Warner Bros. BS 2900
April 1977 Helicon 168 BS 3016
August 1985 Streetfighter MCA/Curb MCA-5632
September 1992 Hope + Glory Curb D2-77546

Compilation and live albums[edit]

The peak position on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart follows the album title.

  • 08/1963: Golden Hits of the 4 Seasons — #15 (Vee Jay LP/SR-1065; compilation package plus two new recordings "Silver Wings" and "Star Maker")
  • 09/1963: Folk Nanny — #100 (Vee Jay VJS-1082 reissue of previously released Vee Jay recordings; later repressed as Stay and Other Great Hits)
  • 08/1964: More Golden Hits by The Four Seasons — #105 (Vee Jay VJS-1088)
  • 10/1964: The International Battle of the Century: The Beatles vs The Four Seasons — #142 (Vee Jay DXS 30 2LPs repackage of previously released Vee Jay albums)
  • ??/1965: Girls Girls Girls – We Love Girls: A Girl for Every Season (Vee Jay VJS-1121)
  • 11/1965: The 4 Seasons' Gold Vault of Hits — #10 (Philips 200–196 / 600–196) US Gold[57]
  • 11/1966: The 4 Seasons' 2nd Vault of Golden Hits — #22 (Philips 200–221 / 600–221) US Gold[57]
  • 11/1966: Lookin' Back — #107 (Philips 200–222 / 600–222 reissue of previously released Vee Jay recordings)
  • 11/1966: The 4 Seasons' Christmas Album — #28 (Philips 200–223 / 600–223 reissue of previously released 'The Four Seasons Greetings')
  • 12/1968: Edizione D'Oro: The 4 Seasons Gold Edition – 29 Gold Hits — #37 (Philips 2-6501 2LPs) US Gold[57]
  • 12/1975: The Four Seasons Story — #51 (Private Stock PS 7000 2LPs)
  • 08/1980: Superstar Series Volume 4 (Motown M5104V1)
  • 01/1981: Reunited Live (Warner Bros/Curb 2WB 3497 2LPs)
  • 05/1988: 25th Anniversary Collection (Rhino Records Inc RNRD 72998-2 3CDs)
  • 06/1990: Volume 1: Rarities (Rhino Records Inc R2 70973)
  • 06/1990: Volume 2: Rarities (Rhino Records Inc R2 70974)
  • 07/1993: The Dance Album: December 1963 (Oh, What a Night) (Curb Records D2-77634)
  • ??/1994: Sherry / Big Girls Don't Cry (2 LPs on 1 CD + bonus tracks) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 507)
  • ??/1994: Dawn (Go Away) / Rag Doll (2 LPs on 1 CD) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 554)
  • 01/1995: December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) (Curb Records D2-77693)
  • 03/1995: The 4 Seasons Entertain You / Working My Way Back to You (2LPs on 1 CD + bonus tracks) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 582)
  • ??/1995: The 4 Seasons Sing Ain't That a Shame / Live on Stage (2LPs on 1 CD + bonus tracks) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 596)
  • ??/1995: The 4 Seasons Christmas Album / Born to Wander (2 LPs on 1 CD) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 615)
  • 04/1996: The 4 Seasons Sing Big Hits by Burt Bacharach... Hal David... Bob Dylan / New Gold Hits (2LPs on 1 CD + bonus tracks) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 620)
  • ??/1996: The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette (plus bonus tracks) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 628)
  • ??/1996: Half & Half (plus 6 bonus tracks) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 635)
  • ??/1997: The 4 Seasons: Edizione D'Oro (double album on CD contains versions of their hits previously unreleased on CD) (Ace Records Ltd CDCHD 642)
  • 05/2001: In Season: The Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons Anthology (Rhino/Warner Special Products R2 74266 2CDs)
  • 05/2001: Off Seasons: Criminally Ignored Sides from Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons (Rhino/Warner Special Products R2 74267)
  • 2002: The Very Best of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
  • 06/2007: ...Jersey Beat... The Music of Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons (Rhino Entertainment Company R2 74852 3CDs + 1DVD)
  • 05/2008: The Motown Years (Hip-O Select.com Motown Records a Division of UMG Recordings Inc B0010777-02 2CDs)
  • 05/2011: Working My Way Back to You (Rhino UK, a division of Warner Music UK Ltd. 5249837702 2CDs)
  • 12/2022: Working Our Way Back to You: The Ultimate Collection (Madfish SMABX1132, 44 CDs and one LP)

Selected singles[edit]

The US chart position on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart follows the song title. Only singles that reached a position of #30 or higher on the Hot 100 are listed.

Jersey Boys[edit]

Jersey Boys, a musical play based on the lives of the Four Seasons and directed by Des McAnuff (The Who's Tommy, 700 Sundays), premiered at his La Jolla Playhouse and opened on November 6, 2005, to generally positive reviews. It subsequently won multiple Tony Awards after its move to Broadway. The original cast included John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, and J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi.[58] The play portrays the history of the Four Seasons in four parts, with each part narrated by a different member of the band and supposedly reflecting that band member's perspective on the band's history. The author of the book of the play, Rick Elice, interviewed Valli, Gaudio, and DeVito in writing the play, and pieced together Nick Massi's point of view based on those interviews (Massi had died before the play was written.) The Broadway production won four 2006 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Actor (for John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli), Best Featured Actor (for Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito), and Best Lighting Design. There are currently three U.S. productions of Jersey Boys running outside New York and other productions overseas including productions in Toronto, London, Australia, South Africa and The Netherlands.

The movie adaptation, directed by Clint Eastwood, starred John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi and Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio. This film was released on June 20, 2014.[59]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In the early 1970's, John Paiva was a member of the band The Happenings and a studio musician.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aquila, Richard (2000). That Old-time Rock & Roll – A Chronicle of an Era, 1954–1963. University of Illinois Press. p. 225. ISBN 9780252069192. Retrieved October 7, 2022. A pop-rock group with a pedigree…a dynamic blend of pop and doo wop, showing how good 1960s pop rock could be.
  2. ^ Guarisco, Donald A.. The Four Seasons – The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette: Review at AllMusic. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  3. ^ The following sources cite the Four Seasons as either white soul, blue-eyed soul, pop-soul, or Northern soul:
  4. ^ a b Unterberger, Richie. "The Four Seasons Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 23, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (1992). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (3rd ed.). Billboard Books. ISBN 0-8230-8298-9.
  6. ^ Sasfy, Joe (1987). Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons: 1962–1967 (Liner notes). Warner Special Products. Time-Life Music The Rock 'N' Era 2RNR-15.
  7. ^ a b "Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 19, 2013.
  8. ^ a b Eggers, Kerry (June 20, 2018). "Frankie Valli: a man for all seasons". Pamplin Media Group. Retrieved December 1, 2021. Valli: Including four singers, we have 15 or 16 in our group. We have a couple of new members. I feel good about what we have now. It's something you put together very slowly to make sure you have the right people. My musical director, Robby Robinson (and longtime keyboardest and honorary "Fifth Season" for the group), has been with me about 40 years.
  9. ^ a b "Frankie Valli Announces "The Last Encores" 2023-2024 Tour Dates". October 4, 2023. Retrieved October 5, 2023.
  10. ^ "The Four Seasons". Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  11. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "The Four Seasons". Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2009.
  12. ^ "New Jersey Hall of Fame - 2017 Inductees". New Jersey Hall of Fame. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c d Walter Gollender. Bim Bam Boom No. 8 (December 1972).
  14. ^ Joe Sasfy. Liner notes to Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons: 1962-1967 (Warner Special Products, 1987: Time-Life Music The Rock 'N' Era 2RNR-15)
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1994). Top Pop Singles 1955–1993. Billboard Publications. ISBN 0-89820-105-5.
  16. ^ Umphred, Neil (1994). Goldmine's Rock 'n' Roll 45RPM Record Price Guide (3rd ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0-87341-287-7.
  17. ^ Fink, Jerry (April 2, 2008). "Vegas man knows 'Jersey Boys'". Lasvegassun.com. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  18. ^ Florio, Steve (December 28, 2000). Four Seasons member succumbs to cancer, Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2023.
  19. ^ "Record Reviews." Cashbox. October 24, 1959. p. 12
  20. ^ Goldmine. Issue 60. May 1981.
  21. ^ How they became the Beatles. E.P. Dutton. 1989. ISBN 9780525248231. Retrieved August 14, 2012 – via Internet Archive. gareth how they became the beatles.
  22. ^ Billboard – Google Books. January 18, 1964. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  23. ^ Billboard – Google Books. August 13, 1966. Retrieved July 16, 2011.
  24. ^ York, Robert. "The Beatles vs the Four Seasons". The Beatles at the Web Spot. Robert's Web Spot. Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  25. ^ a b c d Willman, Chris (August 27, 2023). "Frankie Valli on the Four Seasons' Legacy and Their Massive New 45-Disc Boxed Set: 'We Didn't Want to Try to Sound Like Anybody Else'". Variety. Retrieved August 27, 2023.
  26. ^ McIntosh, Danny (November 7, 2011). Songfacts Interview with Denny Randell, Retrieved September 27, 2023.
  27. ^ "Bio – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons". September 14, 2019.
  28. ^ Elfman, Doug (June 1, 2009). "How a Jersey boy worked his way back". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  29. ^ a b "Pantelis "Demetri" Callas". The Frederick News-Post. January 27, 2020. Retrieved May 20, 2021.
  30. ^ McGuire, Colin (January 16, 2020). "'He was built like a superhero': Local legend 'Penny' Callas dies". The Frederick News-Post. Retrieved December 19, 2023.
  31. ^ a b Bloom, Nate (June 27, 2014). "There had to be a Jewish "Jersey Boy" – and there is. And he's local!". Jewish Standard. Archived from the original on July 12, 2020. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  32. ^ a b James, Gary (2015). "Gary James' Interview With Gerry Polci Of The Four Seasons". classicbands.com. Archived from the original on May 16, 2019. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  33. ^ Limnios, Michael (January 26, 2012). "An Interview with the brilliant guitarist John Paiva: I have learned from everyone including my students. You never stop learning". blues.gr. Retrieved January 7, 2024.
  34. ^ a b James, Gary. "Gary James' Interview With Don Ciccone Of The Four Seasons". classicbands.com. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  35. ^ Robins, Wayne (September 3, 2013). "Frankie Valli Q&A: Looking Back at 50 Years of The Four Seasons". Billboard. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  36. ^ "Jerry Corbetta, Sugarloaf Singer, Dies at 68". Best Classic Bands.com. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  37. ^ "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  38. ^ "Frankie Valli Oh, What a Life!". People. May 26, 2008. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  39. ^ Klausner, Howard (February 5, 1995). "A Four Seasons Singer Is Back in the Limelight". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  40. ^ "Musicians Hall of Fame to Honor Session Legends The Hit Men". Billboard. Associated Press. October 17, 2019. Archived from the original on October 19, 2019. Retrieved July 12, 2020.
  41. ^ "YouTube". Youtube.com. Archived from the original on July 4, 2015.
  42. ^ "Frankie Valli, the original Jersey Boy, can't wait to get to Cleveland for two shows Dec. 10–11 at Palace Theatre". Cleveland.com. December 9, 2011. Retrieved June 29, 2012.
  43. ^ "BBC Proms in the Park Hyde Park". BBC.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  44. ^ "Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons". YouTube. Retrieved March 24, 2021.
  45. ^ "2021 Brings Long-Awaited 44-Disc Career Set For Four Seasons Fans". AllYourScreens.com. January 9, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  46. ^ Wood, Mikael (October 25, 2023). "At 89, Frankie Valli is ready for one last encore". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 26, 2023.
  47. ^ "Four Seasons 'Rock Family Tree'". Seasonally.co.uk. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  48. ^ "The Four Seasons: Ten Years And Still Hanging On". Teachrock.org. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  49. ^ "Gary James' Interview With The Four Seasons' Gerry Polci". Classicbands.com. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  50. ^ Bloom, Nate. "There had to be a Jewish "Jersey Boy" – and there is. And he's local!". Jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  51. ^ "Don Ciccone (1946–2016) – Obituary". Legacy.com. October 10, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  52. ^ Posted by Michael Limnios Blues Network on January 26, 2012 at 2:00am; Blog, View. "An Interview with the brilliant guitarist John Paiva: I have learned from everyone including my students. You never stop learning". Blues.gr. Retrieved September 23, 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  53. ^ "Sugarloaf Sings About a 'Green-Eyed Lady'". Bestclassicbands.com. August 27, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  54. ^ "Craig Pilo Exclusive Interview :: Drummer for Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons | Feeling the Vibe Magazine". Feelingthevibe.com. Retrieved September 23, 2020.
  55. ^ "The Four Seasons". AllMusic. November 8, 2007. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  56. ^ "Frankie Valli". AllMusic. n.d. Retrieved April 4, 2012.
  57. ^ a b c "Gold & Platinum". RIAA. Retrieved March 2, 2020.
  58. ^ Cote, David (2007). Jersey Boys: The Story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0-7679-2843-4.
  59. ^ "Clint Eastwood Is Bringing Jersey Boys to the Big Screen". Woman Around Town.

External links[edit]