The Four Seasons

“We took the name of the bowling alley -- it was called 'The Four Seasons'." -- Bob Gaudio
The Topics, The Village Voices, Frankie Valley and the Travelers, Billy Dixon and The Topics, Frankie Valley and The Romans ..... in the early 1950's, Frankie Valli recorded with a variety of people under a variety of names, but with little success. In 1956, the group settled on the name, The Four Lovers. They played clubs and lounges mainly in the New Jersey area, but recording success eluded them. In 1958, they met Bob Gaudio who had a top ten single with the Royal Teens, "Short Shorts." By 1960, the group consisted of Valli, Gaudio, Nick Massi, and Tommy DeVito and their recording efforts were mainly as backup singers for producer Bob Crewe and artists like Bobby Darin, Freddy Cannon, and Danny & The Juniors. Crewe kept promising to give the group their own recording session, but it wasn't happening. In the meantime, the group continued to pursue performance bookings. After one failed audition at a bowling alley, they decided on one more name change. The name of the bowling alley was "The Four Seasons" -- the group had a new name. And then Crewe finally came through on his recording offer, challenging song writer Bob Gaudio to come up with a hit. Gaudio wrote "Sherry," in about 15 minutes, just before going to the recording studio and assuming the song would be reworked. But the group liked it just as he wrote it. Vee Jay records agreed to release the single and within a month of its release it became the #1 song on September 15th, 1962. The followup release, "Big Girls Don't Cry" would also go to #1in November. And "Walk Like a Man" would follow that to #1 in March of 1963. The Four Seasons are the only group to have their first three charted recordings reach number one. The group's success continued through the 1960's. After leaving Vee Jay for the Phillips label, they would have top ten success with "Dawn," "Ronnie," and "Rag Doll" was their fourth single to top the chart in July of 1964. The Four Seasons are the only group to have top ten records before, during, and after The Beatles hit the U.S. charts. Their success continued into the 1970's with "Who Loves You" (#3, 1975) and "December, 1963" (#1, 1976). Franki Valli had success as a solo performer with "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (#2, 1967), "My Eyes Adored You" (#1, 1974), and "Grease" (#1, 1978). In 1990 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2006, a Broadway musical based on their career, "Jersey Boys," received the Tony Award for Best Musical.

 

title week debuted highest ranking weeks on chart
Sherry 9/1/1962 1 12
Big Girls Don't Cry 10/27/1962 1 14
Walk Like a Man 1/26/1963 1 12
Aint That A Shame 5/4/1963 22 6
Candy Girl 7/20/1963 3 10
Dawn 2/8/1964 3 11
Ronnie 4/18/1964 6 8
Rag Doll 6/27/1964 1 11
Save It For Me 9/5/1964 10 6
Big Man In Town 11/21/1964 20 5
Bye, Bye Baby 1/30/1965 12 6
Let's Hang On 10/30/1965 3 12