Gold's Hall of Fame: Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons
16 March 2022, 12:10 | Updated: 21 March 2022, 11:00
The Four Seasons were one of the most popular vocal groups of the 1960s, scoring countless hits across the world.
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With Frankie Valli as their frontman, the American group are one of the best-selling bands of all time, and later inspired the huge hit musical Jersey Boys.
Here are all the big and important facts about the iconic band:
- Four Seasons star Tommy DeVito dies aged 92 after COVID-19 battle
- Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons announce five UK shows
Who were The Four Seasons?
In 1960, the band launched as The Four Lovers, and later evolved into the Four Seasons.
Frankie Valli was the band's lead singer, alongside Bob Gaudio (previously of the Royal Teens) on keyboards and vocals, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass vocals.
While Gaudio and Valli have stayed in the band ever since (and each owning 50% of the act), other members have come and gone – though Gaudio no longer plays live, which means Valli is the only still-touring member.
Four Seasons songs: What are their biggest hits?
The Four Seasons scored many big hits, including:
1962: 'Big Girls Don't Cry'
1963: 'Walk Like a Man'
1964: 'Rag Doll'
1965: 'Let's Hang On'
1975: 'December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)'
Bob Gaudio co-wrote most of the band's biggest hits, alongside Bob Crewe.
How did The Four Seasons form?
Frankie Valli's first release was 'My Mother's Eyes', as Frankie Valley, in 1953.
He and Tommy DeVito then formed The Variatones, who then performed under various names before settling on the name The Four Lovers.
In 1959, the band started working with producer and songwriter Bob Crewe as a session group, and a year later performed alongside Four Lovers, who had scored a big hit with 'Short Shorts', co-written by a 15-year-old Bob Gaudio
Gaudio was then added to the Four Lovers, and a year later the band failed an audition for a lounge at a New Jersey bowling establishment.
Gaudio later said: "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."
What is Jersey Boys?
Jersey Boys is a musical play based on the lives of the Four Seasons, and opened in November, 2005 to positive reviews.
It later won several Tony Awards after its transfer 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.
The play follows the history of the Four Seasons in four parts, with each part narrated by a different member.
A 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, and was released in 2014.
Where are The Four Seasons original members now?
Frankie Valli celebrated his 87th birthday in 2021, and is still performing with the band.
Bob Gaudio turned 79 in 2021, and is generally retired, but still appears at various Four Seasons-related events.
Tommy DeVito died in 2020 at the age of 92. He had quit the group in 1970, but reunited with the band on several occasions.
Nick Massi passed away aged 73 in 2000 from cancer, a year after the band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.