August 22, 2014
The Four Seasons had one of the most successful six-month periods in pop history as three of their singles topped the Billboard Magazine Pop Singles chart for a total of 13 weeks.
“Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry” were recorded at the same session, but “Sherry’s” five-week run as the number one song in America ended October 20, 1962. Four weeks later The Four Seasons were back on top.
Success did not come quickly for the group. They formed during 1955 and used such names as the Variatones, Frankie Valley and The Travelers, The Four Lovers, Frankie Tyler, and Frankie Valle and The Romans, but a name change to The Four Seasons was the charm. They would go on to sell over 175 million records and be inducted into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
In the pop world of the 1960s pre-Beatles era, if you succeeded, the rule was don’t change anything if you could help it. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Sherry” were very similar. Both were catchy up-tempo tunes with tight harmonies backing Frankie Valli’s falsetto. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” had a bigger sound and the harmonies were fuller. All in all, it had a very smooth pop feel, which would be similar to their string of hits during the remainder of the decade.
Band member Bob Gaudio wrote or co-write most of the group’s hits. Here he shared the writing credit with producer Bob Crewe. He and Crewe both agreed that the title came from a line in a film but they disagreed on which film. Gaudio has always stated it came from the movie Tennessee Partner and Crewe from the film Slightly Scarlet. Both starred John Payne and Rhonda Fleming. Whatever the song’s origin, it was a perfect blend of East Coast doo-wop and
rhythm & blues.
The Four Seasons had 40 chart singles during the 1960s with four reaching number one. They were one of the few American groups to remain commercially successful during the British Invasion years. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” is considered their biggest chart hit and on November 17, 1962, it began its five weeks on top of the American music world.
November 21, 2012
The first phase of The Four Seasons career was coming to an end. They had produced dozens of hits for the Vee Jay and Philips Label’s. Their last gasp was “A Patch Of Blue,” which was issued in May of 1970. The music world was changing as the new decade dawned and it just made the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart at number 94.
They would not have another hit until the disco era of the mid 1970s when they would top the charts once again. “A Patch Of Blue” remains one of the bands more obscure singles.
April 17, 2012
The Four Seasons were a hit making machine during the 1960w placing 40 singles on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart, 1962-1969.
“Save It For Me” was the follow-up single to their number one “Rag Doll.” Released during the summer of 1964, it reached number ten on the National charts.
It was a good release but not one of their top echelon hits. The harmonies with Frankie Valli’s voice floating over the mix were fine but the actual melody was not one of their best. It remains one of their lesser known top ten hits.
March 4, 2012
It probably seemed like a good idea at the time. From 1964 to 1969, The Four Seasons were hit making machines, placing two dozen singles on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart, while signed to the Philips label.
During mid-1969 they switched to Bob Crewe’s label, aptly named Crewe. Hw was also the band producer. This move effectively brought the most productive era of their career to and end and it would be over five years before they had another significant hit, long after they left the Crewe label.
Their one chart single for Crewe was “And That Reminds Me,” which reached number 45 on the American Singles Chart during the fall of 1969. Ir was the instruental song, “Autumn Concerto,” with new lyrics added.
All in all, it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.
February 17, 2012
The Four Seasons placed 13 singles in the top 10 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart during the 1960s with four reaching the number one position.
“Ronnie” is probably one of their lesser known big hits as it was released between “Dawn (Go AWay)” and “Rag Doll.” It was similar to many of their best songs with tight harmonies and Frankie Valli’s falsetto floating above the mix. The melody may not have been as strong as their best material but it was still catchy pop and perfect for AM radio play during the mid-1960s.
It reached the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart April 11, 1964, and peaked at number six.
January 28, 2012
The Four Seasons career was on a downward spiral as the 1060s came to a close. The music landscape was changing and their brand of pure pop was not being recived as well as in the past. It would not be until the mid-1970s that they would make a comeback.
The Four Seasons began to tinker with their sound and “Saturday’s Father” was symbolic of their new style. The harmonies were still present but the songs and melodies were not as smooth.
The public re-action to their new style was poor as “Saturday’s Father” became one of their very few singles not to chart.
August 28, 2011
Beginning in 1966, Frankie Valli began releasing music as a solo artist as well as with the Four Seasons.
“The Proud One” was his second solo single, released November 12, 1966. It was not one of his popular releases as it only reached number 68 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.
It was a strong up-tempo song with his clear falsetto voice soaring above the mix. While he would have a number of huge solo hits, this remains one of my favorites.
June 21, 2011
“Big Man In Town” was released November 7, 1964, right when the Four Seasons were at the height of their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Career. It may not have been the biggest hit of their career, but it had an odd beat, plus the story lyrics made it pleasureable. It peeked at number 20 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE POP Single Chart.
Two years later the group would move from a strict pop/vocal group toward a band with their own instrumental backing. It would change the dynamic of the group, plue there would be personnel changes as the years passed. The picture sleeve shows them as I like to remember them.
“Big Man In Town” does not come around very often on oldies stations, but it remains an interesting, if not classic Four Seasons performance.
June 2, 2011
The Four Lovers struggled during the mid to late 1950’s, but did manage to produce a minor hit during 1956 with “You’re The Apple Of My Eye” for the RCA label.
During early 1962, they signed with the Vee Jay Label and changed their name to The Four Seasons. It was their first step on the road to their induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame during 1990.
Their first single release for Vee Jay was “Sherry.” It was an up-tempo piece of pop that featured Frankie Valli’s falsetto voice rising above the mix. It would top the American singles chart for five weeks and was the first of their five number one hits.
The Four Seasons would go on to place 48 songs on the American charts. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are still on the road today.
October 23, 2010
When The Four Seasons left The Vee Jay label during 1963 they left behind alot of unused material. As the Four Seasons climbed to new heights of popularity with their new label, Vee Jay would continue to raid their vaults and gradually release what was available.
“Little Boy (In Grown Up Clothes)” was the fifth and last single to be released under the Vee Jay brand. It would also be the best of the five. Why it had not been released as a single before this point is beyond me.
It featured typical and tight Four Seasons harmonies with Frankie Valli’s falsetto floating above the mix. It only reached number sixty on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE pop charts and deserved better.
The Vee Jay material would run dry after this release but it remains a fine remembrace of The Four Seasons at their best.