Music is the fourth great material want; first food, then clothes, then shelter, then music.
Author Christian Nestell Bovee
Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.
Earlier today tickets went on sale for Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons who will be performing at the Milwaukee Theatre on November 17, 2016. Tonight, we bring you a preview of what you might see and hear in a few months.
Members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Four Seasons amassed 46 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts between 1962 and 1995. The boys from Jersey have sold over 100 million records throughout their career. Their extensive list of songs include 71 chart hits (40 in the Top 40, 19 in the Top 10 and 8 that topped the charts at Number 1). From one of their online biographies:
This highly acclaimed New Jersey, USA vocal group first came together in the mid-50s. Initially known as the Variatones, then the Four Lovers, they enjoyed a minor US hit in 1956 with ‘You’re The Apple Of My Eye’, composed by Otis Blackwell.
After being dropped by RCA Records, they recorded a single for Epic, and then Valli departed in 1958. As a soloist he released ‘I Go Ape’, composed by singer Bob Crewe.
Meanwhile, the Four Lovers released several records under pseudonymous names. The group evolved into the Four Seasons, recording the single ‘Bermuda’/’Spanish Lace’ for the End label, before signing with Vee Jay Records.There, they released ‘Sherry’, which reached number 1 in the USA in September 1962. A brilliant example of falsetto, harmony pop, the track established the group as one of America’s most popular. Two months later, they were back at the top with the powerful ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’.
We open with a clip from their November 2, 2008 NBC special….
More from the group’s bio:
All these hits were underpinned by lustrous, soaring harmonies and thick up-front production, which gave the Seasons a sound that was totally unique in pop at that time. Their international fame continued throughout 1964 when they met fierce competition from the Beatles. A sign of their standing was evinced by Vee Jay’s release of a battle of the bands album featuring the Seasons and the Beatles. Significantly, when the Fab Four held four of the Top 5 positions in the Billboard chart during early 1964, the Four Seasons represented the solitary competition with ‘Dawn (Go Away)’ at number 3. The sublime ‘Rag Doll’ brought them back to the top in the summer of 1964.
Valli was a friend of Frank Sinatra’s. From people.com:
Frankie knew that factory life was not in his cards. “I’d seen so many people become stagnant in New Jersey—I had this fear I’d just stay there,” he says. “They’d come out of high school, get a job, get married, have kids and die in Jersey. I wanted more.”
He saw a way out early on, when his mom took him to see Frank Sinatra at around age 6. “The stage felt like it was 100 feet above my head,” says Valli. “Sinatra comes out to all the lights, the audience, the roar—everything. After that I sang around the house a lot.”
At the height of the Four Seasons’ fame in the 1960s, women followed Valli wherever he performed. On a whim he could ring up the Beatles to hang out in their hotel room in Italy. Frank Sinatra, who called Valli “Cheech,” would send his Lear jet for the Four Seasons when he wanted company, and he taught Valli breathing techniques to protect his voice after vocal cord surgery in the late ’60s.
The group enjoyed a ton of hits in the 60’s. In the 70’s, disco for many years dominated. But there was room for other types of music.
One record company decided not to release a particular song so it was sold to Frankie Valli. Several record companies refused to go with it, but Private Stock agreed, only if Frankie Valli’s name was on the record label. The Four Seasons would be left off “My Eyes Adored You” went all the way to #1.
The success of “My Eyes Adored You” sparked a new excitement about recordings by Frankie Valli. His next big hit was just ahead in 1975.
Valli struggled with potential deafness during those mid-70’s, cured by a series of ear operations in 1980.
Back to the group’s bio:
Still going strong, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons have become an institution whose illustrious history spans several musical eras, from the barber shop harmonies of the 50s to the disco beat of the 70s and beyond. It is however the timeless hit singles of the 60s to which the group are indelibly linked.
It’s one of the greatest love songs ever.
That’s it for this week’s segment.
Have a great weekend.
Let’s go back to that ice show and answer the musical question:
WHAT is the word?
God bless this great American group and talent!