Frankie Valli Biography

Francis Stephen Castelluccio, 3 May 1934 (1937 is also regularly cited), Newark, New Jersey, USA. Originally a solo singer recording under the names Frank Valley and Frank Valley And The Travelers, he joined the Variatones in 1954. They made their first records as the Four Lovers but achieved lasting success when they became the 4 Seasons in 1962. Although he was lead singer with the group, Valli also had a solo recording career, starting with ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)’ and ‘(You’re Gonna) Hurt Yourself’ in 1965. Valli scored a million-seller in 1967 with ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’. From the attendant solo album came further US hits, ‘I Make A Fool Of Myself’, and ‘To Give (The Reason I Live)’ while ‘You’re Ready Now’ was a reissued success in Britain in 1971.

Valli and producer Bob Gaudio now set up a dual career, with Valli recording for Private Stock and a new 4 Seasons group for Warner Brothers Records. Valli had his first solo number 1 in 1975 with ‘My Eyes Adored You’, followed by ‘Swearin’ To God’ and a revival of Ruby And The Romantics’ ‘Our Day Will Come’. In 1978 he sold two million copies of the Barry Gibb -composed theme song from Grease. The follow-ups, ‘Fancy Dancer’ and ‘Where Did We Go Wrong’ (a duet with Chris Forde) sold poorly and in 1980 Valli had a series of ear operations to cure his increasing deafness. He subsequently rejoined the 4 Seasons and enjoyed further success when ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’ was included in the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing.

In 1990, the 4 Seasons were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, and for the rest of the decade Valli continued to lead the group on the lucrative oldies circuit. In the new millennium, Valli made a credible series of appearances as a straight actor in the television drama series The Sopranos. On the back of the success of the 4 Seasons stage show Jersey Boys, which opened in November 2005, he released his first new studio album in over 25 years, Romancing The ’60s (2007).

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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