After seeing a young Frank Sinatra at the age of seven, Frankie Valli decided that he would make his living as a singer. Born in 1934 (although in some publications Valli’s birth year has been varied, either using 1934 or 1937), Francesco Stephen Castelluccio created his stage name by taking the last name of his favorite female musician at the time (“Texas” Jean Valli) and after using a variant spelling (Valley) for a couple of singles, he shifted back to the original spelling, creating Frankie Valli. He started his music career in his late teens, and like many musicians, Valli was in many groups including the Variety Trio and The Variatones (which later became known as The Four Lovers). In 1956, he had his first taste of success through the minor hit “You're the Apple of My Eye", a The Four Lovers release. After a few band member shuffles, The Four Lovers became the legendary rock and pop group The Four Seasons.
In 1962, Frankie Valli along with the other members of The Four Seasons had the first of many of their hit singles; “Sherry”, featuring Valli’s signature falsetto, caused girls across the country to wish that they had that magic first name. In addition to his work with The Four Seasons, Valli also pursued a solo career, where his first successful solo effort “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”, was released in 1967, which earned a gold record and to this day has been immortalized in many films. As the 1960s came to a close, Valli released the album Half & Half, which featured both The Four Seasons and solo efforts and it didn’t perform as well as expected. This was also the time when he was diagnosed with otosclerosis, an abnormal bone growth in his middle ear.
After pitching “My Eyes Adored You” to several labels, Private Stock Records agreed to release the single in 1974, under Frankie Valli’s name only. It not only took Billboard’s fifth slot in their songs of 1975, but this song reintroduced the public to The Four Seasons. In 1978, Frankie Valli lent his silky falsetto to Grease, creating the perfect blend of nostalgic and cool, which naturally took the song to the top of the charts. Valli had a few other hits around that time as well; "Save Me, Save Me" in 1978 and "Fancy Dancer". At this point his otosclerosis was so severe, that it caused him to almost go deaf in both ears and forced him to perform his songs from memory. Fortunately, after surgery, Frankie Valli recovered a majority of his hearing by 1980. In 2005, the songs of The Four Seasons were revisited in the least likely place; Broadway. Jersey Boys told the story of The Four Seasons through a documentary style eye, using interviews from Frankie Valli and other members of the band. It has won numerous awards, including 3 Tonys and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical in 2007.
Frankie Valli Romancing the ‘60s and Tour
After the success that came and is still coming from the Jersey Boys musical and film, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons reunited and recorded Romancing the ‘60s in 2007. Like many of the band’s previous endeavors, Romancing the 60s is also considered a Frankie Valli solo recording, however there is one distinct difference: this album features covers of Valli’s favorite songs during the era, two of which were previous recordings. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are currently on tour to support this album and have a good time. The remaining tour stops for the year include: Atlantic City, Boston, Durham, Phoenix, and Charlotte.