Frankie Valli

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About Frankie Valli

In the early ’60s, The Four Seasons formed the bridge between The Rat Pack and The Beach Boys, retrofitting corner-stoop doo-wop harmonies and supper-club classiness for the rock ‘n’ roll era. And Frankie Valli was their streetwise Sinatra, blessed with an astonishing vocal range that could dip from a helium-high falsetto to a soulful rasp on teen-pop touchstones like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man,” where he playfully explored the tension between masculine concerns and feminine expression. But the New Jersey–born Valli and his bandmates also showed future boy-band sensations how to evolve beyond pop novelty, embracing proto-psychedelic fuzz on 1965’s “Let’s Hang On,” and, on Valli’s 1967 solo smash “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” sophisticated, brass-blasted serenades. And for all their vocal prowess, Valli and The Four Seasons always emphasized robust, Motown-worthy rhythms, allowing the band to seamlessly transition into a suave disco outfit on ’70s gems like “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and Valli’s silken-grooved theme song for the film Grease. In the mid-’00s, the jukebox musical Jersey Boys fostered a renewed appreciation for the musical depth and daring that made Valli and The Four Seasons so much more than just harmonious hitmakers.

Newark, NJ, United States of America
May 3, 1934

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