Frankie Valli and Four Seasons returns to Hard Rock February
The legendary Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is back for an encore at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on February 16 at 8.p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, December 3 at noon.
Frankie Valli, who came to fame in 1962 as the lead singer of the Four Seasons, is hotter than ever in the 21st century. Thanks to the volcanic success of the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys, which chronicles the life and times of Frankie and his legendary group, such classic songs as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” are all the rage all over again. As the play enters its third sold-out year on Broadway, and two touring companies of Jersey Boys travel around the U.S., the real Frankie Valli is packing concert halls coast to coast.
While the majority of the 71 chart hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (including 40 in the Top 40, 19 in the Top 10 and eight #1s) came during the 1960s, the music didn’t just disappear. He has toured almost continuously since 1962, and his songs have been omnipresent in such movies as The Deer Hunter, Dirty Dancing, Mrs. Doubtfire, Conspiracy Theory and The Wanderers. More recently, Valli’s music permeated the hit HBO series The Sopranos. Valli even guest-starred as mobster Rusty Millio in seasons five and six.
There’s something about Valli’s music that makes young people of every generation want to get up and dance. Amid the disco era, the Seasons hit it big with “Who Loves You,” which reached #3 in 1975, and “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” a #1 record in 1976. Two decades later, in 1994, a dance club remix of “December 1963” climbed to #14 in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100. As many as 200 artists have done cover versions of Frankie’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” from Nancy Wilson’s jazz treatment to Lauryn Hill’s hip-hop makeover.
Born Francis Castelluccio on May 3, 1934, he grew up in a public housing project in Newark, New Jersey. In 1953, he caught the eye of music publisher Paul Kapp, who helped Frankie make his first record, “My Mother’s Eyes.” Realizing that Castelluccio was “a little long for a marquee,” he rechristened himself Frankie Valley (later Italianized to Valli), borrowing the name from friend and fellow performer Texas Jean Valley.
In 1956, Valli joined the Four Lovers who had a minor hit with “You’re the Apple of My Eye” by Otis Blackwell, who also penned “Don’t Be Cruel” for Elvis Presley. The Four Lovers also cut an album called Joyride and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. It wasn’t until 1959 that Valli started catching some big breaks. First, a friend named Joe Pesci (the same Joe Pesci who would go on to become an Oscar-winning actor) introduced the band to Bob Gaudio. The course of history was changed along with their name to the Four Seasons.
In 1962, Gaudio penned “Sherry.” On American Bandstand, they suddenly became the hottest band in the land, and after nine years as a recording artist, Frankie Valli became an “overnight” sensation with a #1 record. Two more #1 hits followed, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man.” In 1964, the group released one smash after another: “Dawn (Go Away),” “Ronnie,” “Rag Doll,” “Save It For Me,” “Big Man in Town” and, in early 1965, “Bye Bye Baby (Baby, Goodbye).”
From late 1965 to 1967, “Let’s Hang On,” “Working My Way Back to You” and “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ’Bout Me)” dominated the charts alongside a remake of the old Cole Porter standard “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” In late 1967, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” went to #2 in Billboard and has since become one of the top ten most-played songs in the history of BMI, one of the two major companies that collect royalties for songwriters.
After a dry spell, in 1975, Valli roared back with “My Eyes Adored You,” which reached #1, “Swearin’ to God” and a cover of “Our Day Will Come.” “Who Loves You” and “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” followed and later became two of the biggest hits in the Seasons’ history. The new hot streak culminated in 1978, when Frankie’s solo performance of “Grease,” featured not once but twice in the movie soundtrack, reached the inevitable #1 ranking in Billboard.
From 1962 to 1978, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons sold more than 100 million records. In 1990, Frankie and the other original Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But who could imagine that the first 45 years would be only the beginning? No other pop star has ever received the kind of new lease on life that Jersey Boys has given Frankie Valli.
Tickets cost $79, $64 and $49* All seats are reserved and available at the Hard Rock Live Box Office, open Tuesday – Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. and on Sunday & Monday – only open on event days at noon. Tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets online at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone: 1-800-745-3000. Doors open one-hour prior to show start time. *Additional fees may apply.
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Actually, there is only one tour of Jersey Boys. The rest are resident companies in London, New York, Las Vegas, and Sydney.