Even if you have no idea who sings it, you’ve probably heard the sweet falsetto of “Big Girls Don’t Cry” or “Sherry”.
Believe it or not, those high notes are sung by an all men’s group that was popular in the 60’s. The ragtag group of Jersey boys worked their way up from the rough streets to the high class life in identical tuxedos and fluid dance moves.
The band was made up of four men: Bob Gaudio,Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, and Frankie Valli as their falsetto singing frontman. The group couldn’t really be classified as a “boy band” or even a rock band. The group was known for their flowing, synchronized movements, their lovely harmonies, and of course Valli’s high notes.
Some of my earliest memories are of me sitting in my car seat, feet kicking, to bands such as the Beatles, the Monkees, and of course the Four Seasons. I also remember singing the lyrics to “Oh What a Night” which, if you actually take the time to listen to it, is quite controversial.
A musical was created based off the lives of the members and how they grew up on the rough streets of New Jersey. The musical is well-named Jersey Boys. I had the privilege of seeing the show my sophomore year with my grandparents. The only downside to the show was a scene where the dialogue is almost all f-bombs and I was seeing it with my incredibly conservative grandparents. I knew there would be some vulgar language, but nothing beats the embarrassment of sitting next to your grandmother listening to her say “Oh!” every time the f-word is dropped.
The band lulled after the 60’s until they came out with their hit “Who Loves You” in the 70’s. The band gained momentum until each member drifted their own way, and Frankie Valli started his solo career. One of his solo songs was featured in the beginning of the movie Grease, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Valli’s song was affectionately named Grease.
The band is no longer together, as Nick Massi passed away in December of 2000, and Tommy DeVito left the group in 1970 and sold the rights to the remaining members of the band. Bob Gaudio no longer plays live and Frankie Valli is the only remaining member who still tours, performing solo songs and songs from the Four Seasons repertoire. Although they broke up, they came together to sing when the band was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Music Hall in 1990, and again in 1999 when they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. The group came together again in 2012 to perform at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Although the band seems to have finally drawn to a close, their legacy still lives on, however cheesy that sounds. The Four Seasons and their music have left a great impact on my life, and their happy harmonies never fail to get me in a good mood.