The pop vocal group, The Four Seasons, got their start in Newark, New Jersey in 1955.Their lead singer, Francis Castelluccio, known to all as Frankie Valli, formed the group, The Variatones, along with his brothers Nick and Tommy DeVito and Hank Majewski.The Variatones changed their name to The Four Lovers in 1956 and between then and 1961, they had eighteen different stage and recording names, including, FrankieValley and the Travelers, Frankie Valle and the Romans and The Topics.
It wasn’t until 1961, after some personnel changes that included the addition of Charles Callelo, Nick Massi and, most notably, Royal Teens guitarist, Bob Gaudio, that The Four Lovers settled on the name, The Four Seasons.A name they got from a bowling alley, after failing an audition at their lounge.
The Four Seasons first big hit was “Sherry” in 1962 and they continued having hits right into 1976, although Gerri Polci replaced Frankie Valli, as lead vocalist, on many of the songs from the “Who Loves You” album.
Frankie Valli also recorded solo and he had hits which managed to reach the number one spot on Billboard’s weekly charts with “My Eyes Adored You” in 1975 and “Grease” in 1978.
The Four Seasons also recorded as The Wonder Who and had a top twenty hit with the Bob Dylan penned “Don’t Think Twice.”
Here are The Four Seasons twenty biggest hits, according to the Billboard charts, along with some interesting trivia.
1.Big Girls Don’t Cry – 1962 – One of five #1 hits for them.
2.Sherry – 1962 – Their first #1 hit.
3.December 1963 (Oh, What A Night) – 1976 – Lead singer Gerri Polci replaced Frankie Valli on this song, although Valli did sing backup.This was also their last #1 hit.
4.Walk Like A Man – 1963
5.Rag Doll – 1964 – Their only #1 hit on the Phillips label and their last #1 song for twelve years.
6.Let’s Hang On – 1965
7.Who Loves You – 1975 – Their first Top 10 hit in eight years.
8.Dawn (Go Away) – 1964 – Their first hit on the Phillips label.
9.Candy Girl – 1963 – The flip side, “Marlena” was also a Top 40 hit for them.Their only two-sided hit.
10.Ronnie – 1964
11.I’ve Got You Under My Skin – 1966 – This Cole Porter penned tune had two Top 10 versions in 1936.
12.C’mon Marianne – 1967 – Donnie Osmond did a dead-on cover version of this tune and went Top 40 in 1976.
13.Working My Way Back To You – 1966 – The Spinners went to #2 on the weekly charts with a cover version of this song which was included in a medley.
14.Save It For Me – 1964
15.Tell It To The Rain – 1967
16.Bye, Bye, Baby(Baby Goodbye) – 1965
17.Don’t Think Twice – 1966 – Recorded as The Wonder Who?, this Bob Dylan tune was also a #9 hit for Peter, Paul and Mary in 1963.
18.Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout Me) – 1966
19.Stay – 1964 – The Four Seasons covered this Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs hit, who took it to #1 in 1960.Jackson Browne also went Top 20 with it in 1978.
20. Beggin’ – 1967
The Four Seasons still tour today and they were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1990.The smash Broadway musical, “Jersey Boys”, is based on the group’s career.