Interesting Questions, Facts and Information
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Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Four Seasons, The
Jersey Boys. Jersey Boys opened on Broadway in November of 2005. It depicts to story of the group's rise to fame and uses many of the songs that the group sang and recorded. It has won numerous theatrical awards and has played in numerous venues with various productions around the U.S. as well as in the U.K., Canada and Australia. The show was still running on Broadway in New York City as of June 2009.
He had a hearing ailment. During the early 1970s Valli was diagnosed with otosclerosis, which is an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear which interferes with the transmission of sound*. This prevented Valli from being able to perform his trademark songs with any measure of consistency. He continued to perform with help on certain tunes from other members of the band. Eventually the condition was corrected by surgery and most of Valli's hearing was restored.
December 1963 (Oh What A Night). The song was written by Bob Gaudio and Judy Parker (whom he would later marry), and shot to the top of the Billboard charts in 1976. It also went to number one in the U.K. Valli shared lead vocals with then group members Don Ciccone and Gerry Polci. It remained at number one for three weeks. A remixed version was released onto the charts in 1994 and made it to number 14 on the charts and spent 27 weeks on the charts. Combining this with the original release, the song spent a total of 54 weeks on the charts, which established a new record for the most ever for a Billboard Hot 100 single.
|This Bob Gaudio composition put the group back on the charts in 1975. What was the song that got The Four Seasons back in business so to speak?||60s U.S. Bands: The Four Seasons
Who Loves You?. "Who Loves You" was penned by Gaudio and released by the group in 1975. The chart placing marked the end of a seven year hiatus, and reestablished the group as a top seller. They had never lost their popularity as a live performing act, but could not break through on the charts until this song got them back there. It had a disco flair to it, which capitalized on the genre which was becoming very popular during the mid 1970s. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and remained on the charts for 20 weeks, which was longer than any prior Four Seasons record during their heyday in the 1960s.
Motown. Kind of surprising, but Motown signed the group to their label, but the result was almost catastrophic. Between 1971 and 1974 the group recorded a number of tunes for Motown, but the cuts went nowhere. They recorded a number of songs in late 1973 and early 1974 for a planned album, but Motown refused to release it. The group left Motown in 1974
|The group continued to chart hits all throughout the 1960s. In fact, a cover of a Shirelles hit from early in the decade was their final Top 30 hit of the decade. Which one was it?||60s U.S. Bands: The Four Seasons
Will You Love Me Tomorrow. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" peaked at number 24 on the U.S. Billboard charts in 1968 and became the 22nd Top 30 hit for the group in the six year span between 1962 and 1968. Included were four number one hits and eight other Top 10 placings.
It was recorded using a different name. The group was having a world of success in late 1964 and early 1965 with songs such as "Bye Bye Baby", "Save It For Me", and "Ronnie" among others. They had decided to record an album consisting of Bob Dylan covers, but Valli did not like how he sounded, and decided to do "Don't Think Twice" in his trademark falsetto voice as a joke. Some joke. The record company wanted to release the song, but for contractual reasons, could not release it under the Four Seasons or Frankie Valli name, so it was released under the pseudonym "The Wonder Who". If you were a fan of the Four Seasons at the time there was nothing to wonder about. The falsetto voice was unmistakable. The song eventually became a number 12 Billboard Hot 100 hit in late 1965. At the time, Valli had a song on the charts under his own name called "You're Gonna Hurt Yourself", and The Four Seasons had "Working My Way Back To You" on the charts as well, so they had 3 different songs under three different names on the charts all at once, a pretty good feat to say the least.
Rag Doll. "Rag Doll" took the group to the top of the charts for fourth time. The song was written by Bob Gaudio with an assist from Bob Crewe. The interesting thing about this song, which arguably was their finest, is the way the song came about.
"According to songwriter Bob Gaudio, the recording was inspired by the activities of a young girl as he was stopped in traffic in Manhattan. As he waited for the traffic signal to change, a dirty-faced girl proceeded to clean the windshield of his automobile for some spare change. When Gaudio reached into his wallet, he was surprised to find that all he had was currency, and none of the bills were smaller than $20. He gave the girl in tattered clothes a $20 bill. Her look of utter astonishment stayed in Gaudio's mind as he approached the recording studio. "Rag Doll", with a few tweaks by Bob Crewe, was the result."**
|The group followed "Sherry" with two more songs, "Big Girls Don't Cry", and "Walk Like A Man" which both became number one hits. What was the significance of this?||60s U.S. Bands: The Four Seasons
It had never been done before. The Four Seasons became the first vocal group in the history of the Billboard charts to have three consecutive non-holiday number one hits. They rivaled The Beach Boys as the number one selling group in the United States during the period of 1962 to early 1964. Of course all this was prior to The British Invasion and the appearance of that famous group from England.
|Bob Gaudio joined the group in 1960 and became a mainstay during the group's most successful years. He was previously in another group that had a successful tune on the charts. What group did he come from?||60s U.S. Bands: The Four Seasons
The Royal Teens. Gaudio was a member of The Royal Teens in 1958 when their single "Who Wears Short Shorts?" shot to number three on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 charts. As a side note, another member of The Royal Teens was a 14 year old Al Kooper, who later would go on to form Blood Sweat and Tears.
Bowling alley. Early in 1961 the group auditioned for a job in a lounge which was connected with a bowling alley in Union Township, New Jersey and failed to get the job. Bob Gaudio has been quoted as saying "We figured we'd come out of the audition with something, so we took the name of the bowling alley".
The Four Lovers. The group was actually formed in 1954 by Frankie Valli and Tommy DeVito and performed under a myriad of names before releasing their first charting single called "You're The Apple of My Eye" which peaked on the Billboard charts at number 62 in 1956. The group performed using 18 different stage names between 1956 and 1960, some of which included Frankie Valley and The Travelers, Frankie Valle and the Romans, The Topics and The Village Voices. They finally settled on The Four Seasons in 1960.
|In 1965, something that had never happened to the Four Seasons before took place with two consecutive Four Seasons singles on Philips ("Toy Soldier" and "Girl Come Running"), sending shock waves through the group. What was it?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Both singles failed to reach the Billboard Top 20 in the U.S.. During the Four Seasons' first thirteen singles (not counting the Vee-Jay repackages -- one on Gone, six on Vee-Jay and six on Philips) they had only had three singles fail to reach the top twenty. All were covers of older songs ("Bermuda", "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and "Ain't That A Shame"). Thus, no recording of new material had failed to be a smash hit for the group. Also, all three were issued prior to their move to Philips, and the group had never had two consecutive singles fail to chart in the top twenty. However, all three of these precedents were broken on these back-to-back 1965 singles, written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe. Each missed the top twenty: "Toy Soldier" only reached number 64, and the vastly superior "Girl Come Running" peaked at number 30. As a result, Bon Gaudio did not write any of the next five Four Seasons singles, all of which once again reached the Billboard top twenty.
|Although both the Four Seasons and the Beatles had switched record companies, the former label for both artists released a double album in late 1964 containing songs from both. What was the album called?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
The Beatles vs. the Four Seasons: The International Battle of the Century!. "The Beatles vs. the Four Seasons: The International Battle of the Century!" was a last-ditch attempt by Vee-Jay to repackage their limited Beatles and Four Seasons material in an attempt to sell it yet again to people who had already bought it once. The set simply consisted of a copy of "Introducing the Beatles" and a copy of "Golden Hits of the Four Seasons". Vee-Jay could actually have pointed out the groups' parallels, such as the long apprenticeships, the drummer problems, the years of rejections ... and then, all at once, "overnight" success. But Vee-Jay was just looking for quick cash, not significance.
|The English group the Tremeloes heard the B-side to a hit Four Seasons single (written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe) and recorded a sound-alike cover of it, giving themselves a U.K. number one single in 1967 that also earned a gold record for sales in the U.S. What song was it?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Silence Is Golden. "Silence Is Golden" was the B-side of "Rag Doll" and apparently never considered for an A-side by Gaudio or Crewe. Meanwhile, the Tremeloes' major "claim to fame" had been that they were the group that Mike Smith of Decca foolishly signed over the Beatles in early 1962. But the ignored song and the maligned group found a match in each other. "Silence Is Golden" was the Tremeloes' follow-up to their hit version of Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My Baby" and became their biggest hit, spending three weeks at number one in the U.K. and earning a gold single in the U.S. for sales of over 500,000 copies.
Rag Doll. Bob Gaudio discussed the inspiration for "Rag Doll", written by Bob Gaudio (music and co-lyrics) and Bob Crewe (co-lyrics) in 1964, in an interview with Mix Magazine in 2000. Said Gaudio, "I was driving into [Manhattan] for a session and I got stopped at Eleventh Avenue, which back then seemed like the longest traffic light in the world; like three minutes long. If you got stopped there, you'd have these homeless people come up and try to wash your windshield for spare change. I saw this hand come up to my windshield and connected to it was a woman whose clothes were all tattered and who had this dirty face, like something out of 'Oliver!' I didn't have any change on me. All I had was a ten-dollar bill, so I gave it to her. I drove off and saw her in the rearview mirror just staring at it. That image stayed with me. Within the next day, I had the chorus and the first verse."
The backing track included only Buddy Saltzman on drums and percussion, Nick Massi on bass, Tommy DeVito on guitar and Gaudio on organ -- and, after adding vocal tracks and some more percussion that day, the group and Crewe were certain it was a hit. The single was released ten days after that recording session. It became the Four Seasons' fourth (and last) Billboard number one hit in the 1960s, pushing both the Beatles and the Beach Boys out of the top slot.
Dawn. "Dawn (Go Away)", with music by Bob Gaudio and lyrics by Sandy Linzer, is about a lower-class boy trying to convince his upper-class girlfriend to dump him in favor of a wealthy boy. It was finished in August 1963 but withheld from Vee-Jay in a royalty dispute. Inexplicably, it was rejected by the Four Seasons' preferred destination, Atlantic Records, a label similar to Vee-Jay in its rhythm & blues orientation. "Dawn (Go Away)" ended up on Philips Records, an affiliate of Mercury and Polydor Records that primarily released European singles (e.g., The Singing Nun, Paul Mauriat) and classical music. It was a smash hit but only rose to number three on the Billboard Top 100 due to Beatlemania, as the Beatles had five singles ("I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Please Please Me", "Twist and Shout" and "Can't Buy Me Love") on four different labels (Capitol, Swan, Vee-Jay and Tollie) in the top five at the same time.
|To which girl did the Four Seasons sing: "Flirtin' with the boys on the corner, you're such a bad girl. Tellin' me you're out with your mother, that's a lie, but I still love my --------"?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Marlena. "... Marlena". The song was released as the B-side of "Candy Girl" in 1963 and reached the Billboard Top 40 on its own, peaking at number 36. It turned out to be the Four Seasons last single of new material for Vee-Jay, as all subsequent Vee-Jay singles (even the 1964 hit "Stay") were just repackaged album cuts.
|What was the first Four Seasons song to reach the Top Twenty on the Billboard Hot 100 that was not written or co-written by Bob Gaudio?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Candy Girl. Of the Four Seasons' first six singles, three (all written or co-written by Gaudio) climbed to number one: "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man". The other three, written by others ("Bermuda", "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and "Ain't That a Shame") all failed to reach the Top Twenty. The streak finally ended with their next single, "Candy Girl", written by Larry Santos (who achieved his own hit record 13 years later, in 1976 ("We Can't Hide It Anymore")). The song reached number three in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1963.
The Seasons' next two Billboard top-twenty hits not written by Gaudio were "Stay" (by Maurice Williams; number sixteen) and "Let's Hang On!" (by Bob Crewe, Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell; number three), but "Candy Girl" was the first.
|Which label signed the Four Seasons as its first white artist in 1962 ... and hit the jackpot when the group's first three singles for the label went straight to number one?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Vee-Jay. Vee-Jay was a famous black-owned label based in Gary, Indiana, which had had periodic hits (e.g., "Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler) prior to signing the Four Seasons after "Bermuda" (which sounded black due to the calypso influence). Their first release for Vee-Jay, "Sherry", quickly went to number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard rhythm & blues charts, and it was quickly followed to number one by "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like a Man". Vee-Jay executives were so excited that they made a licensing deal with the British label EMI to acquire two more white artists: singer Frank Ifeld and ... the Beatles, who were touring England with Ifeld at the time. Vee-Jay got a five-year deal on both. However, Vee-Jay went broke in 1963 due in part to its rapid growth, and the Four Seasons ended up leaving Vee-Jay over nonpayment of royalties in late 1963. Vee-Jay also lost the Beatles after just three singles ("Love Me Do", "Please Please Me" and "From Me To You") and one album ("Introducing the Beatles", which yielded "Twist and Shout" as a fourth hit single).
Bermuda. "Bermuda" was a song written in 1951 by Cynthia Strother that became the first single for the Bell Sisters (who were actually Cynthia and her sister Kay Strother). The Four Seasons gave the song a calypso arrangement. The B-side, Bob Crewe's "Spanish Lace", featured flamenco-style guitar and had previously been issued by the group under Gaudio's pseudonym Turner Disentri, with no success. However, this single succeeded in getting the Four Seasons a contract with a more important label.
None of the Four Seasons played drums. Like the Beatles, the Four Seasons were formed without a drummer (the original Beatles were John, Paul and George on guitars and Stu Sutcliffe on bass). The Four Lovers hadn't had a drummer since 1958, and this lack carried over into the Four Seasons. Session drummer David "Panama" Francis, who was one of the most successful sidemen in New York City, played on the group's early hits. He was followed by session star Buddy Saltzman. All of the Four Seasons singles in the 1960s used a session drummer, as the band did not add a permanent drummer until 1970. While it is true that, on some Four Seasons recordings, the only member of the group to play was Bob Gaudio, many others (such as "Sherry" and "Rag Doll") featured just the Seasons and the session drummer as the backing band.
Bob Crewe. Bob Crewe was a movie-star-handsome singer-songwriter who also worked as a photo model. In 1957, his song "Silhouettes" became a major hit, and he became an in-demand producer almost overnight as a result. After using Frankie Valli as a backing singer in 1958, he signed the Four Lovers to a three-year deal to serve as backing singers and musicians on his sessions, and he continued to produce them when they became the Four Seasons (and to act as Bob Gaudio's lyricist). He produced all the Four Seasons records until 1969 and almost all Frankie Valli "solo" records until 1977.
|According to the play "Jersey Boys", a mutual friend introduced Bob Gaudio to Tommy DeVito, leading to Gaudio joining the Four Lovers. Who was it?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Joe Pesci. In Joe Pesci's Oscar-winning performance in the 1990 movie "Goodfellas", his character (based on the real-life gangster Tommy DeSimone) was named Tommy DeVito. Pesci and DeVito are still friends over 50 years later, and Pesci was one of the producers of "Jersey Boys".
|Before joining the Four Lovers in 1958, Four Seasons keyboardist-guitarist-singer Bob Gaudio had dropped out of high school after co-writing a major hit for his first band. What was the hit?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
(Who Wears) Short Shorts. The Royal Teens formed when when Gaudio was only 13. The group played as backing musicians for touring artists for two years -- until they added a few words ("Who wears short shorts? / We wear short shorts") to an instrumental that Gaudio and the drummer had written. "Short Shorts" promptly became a major novelty hit in 1958. Unfortunately, although the Royal Teens then added future Blood, Sweat and Tears founder Al Kooper (so Gaudio could concentrate on lead guitar), the group did not produce any more hits and soon split up.
|The Four Lovers featured Four Seasons lead singer Frankie Valli and guitarist-singer Tom DeVito when they had a regional hit in 1956 with Otis Blackwell's "You're the Apple of My Eye" for RCA. The group had originally intended to record another Blackwell song. Which one?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Don't Be Cruel. RCA Records sent the Four Lovers into the studio to record "Don't Be Cruel", with Blackwell producing, as their debut single. Before the session, though, Blackwell had RCA A&R executive Steve Sholes pitch the song to Elvis Presley, who agreed to record it if he was given co-writer credit. Blackwell then gave the Four Lovers his "You're the Apple of My Eye" instead, which reached number 62 on the U.S. Billboard Top 100 and earned the group an appearance on TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show". However, when no more hits followed this one, RCA quit on them, and they faded back to obscurity.
When the Four Seasons released their debut album in 1962, they re-recorded "Apple of My Eye" for it.
|The Four Seasons performed together as the Four Lovers from 1954 until 1961, when they renamed themselves after the Four Seasons Bowling Alley in Union Township, NJ. What else did the Four Lovers changes when they became the Four Seasons?||The Four Seasons: Jersey Days
Two of the members formed a partnership, excluding the other two. According to Time Magazine, after the Four Lovers failed to get the Four Seasons Bowling Alley gig for which they auditioned, keyboardist/songwriter Bob Gaudio and lead singer Frankie Valli made a handshake agreement back at Valli's apartment in Newark to form the Four Seasons Partnership, with each as a 50% partner. Gaudio recalled that he said, "Neither one of us knows where we're going to wind up, but maybe we should hedge our bets. You get 50% of me, and I get 50% of you."
Although Gaudio retired from touring in the early 1970s, he and Valli are still 50-50 partners in the Four Seasons Partnership almost 50 years later (as of 2009). They own the name "The Four Seasons", the touring act, and virtually all of the group's recordings.
|In 2007, an old Four Seasons song was remixed by the French DJ Pilooski and became a European hit. In 2009, the remix was used as the theme for Adidas' 60th anniversary ad campaign, featuring a "house party" with such celebrities as David Beckham, Katie Perry, Kevin Garnett, Missy Elliott, Young Jeezy and many others in attendance. Meanwhile, the remix was covered in 2007 by the Norwegian hip-hop group Madcon, who had a Top Ten hit across Europe with it. Which song was it?||The Four Seasons: Later Days
Beggin'. The Adidas Originals "House Party" ad comes in two versions -- the "long" (2:30) and the "short" (60 seconds), but it has been airing primarily in Europe. In the U.S., its fame is "viral".
Pilooski's real name is CÚdric Marszewski. He is part of the Paris-based Dirty Sound System crew and also did remixes of "The Night" and "Who Loves You", which are available on a European album, "Beggin': The Ultimate Collection".
Meanwhile, HBO is using the Madcon cover of "Beggin'" as the theme for its summer movies in 2009.
|The 1976 Four Seasons single "Silver Star" (a number three hit in the U.K., and Top 40 in the U.S.) was the first Four Seasons single that did not feature any lead vocals by Frankie Valli, and Valli quit the Four Seasons shortly thereafter. Why?||The Four Seasons: Later Days
Hearing loss. Valli was suffering from otosclerosis, an abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear, and was rapidly losing his hearing, even with the use of hearing aids. He referred to his performing during this time as "singing from memory", since he could not hear most of the backing music, and so he left the Four Seasons. However, surgery restored most of his hearing in 1980, and he returned to the group.
|"December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)", a 1975 song about a first sexual experience, became the Four Seasons' biggest hit ever. However, the original lyrics for the song described a different event. What event?||The Four Seasons: Later Days
Repeal of "Prohibition" (December 5, 1933). The lyrics for "December 5, 1933 (Oh, What a Night)" described the celebration of the end of Prohibition in the U.S. On that day, Utah ratified the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt issued an executive proclamation of repeal of the Volstead Act, making the sale of alcoholic beverages legal again. However, lyricist Judy Parker (who was then Bob Gaudio's girlfriend and later his wife) thought that the song's concept didn't work and re-wrote the lyrics to describe a first sexual experience, also changing the date by 30 years.
By the way, the classic Marilyn Monroe first issue of Playboy really did come out in December 1953, and the "Manhattan Project" to build the atomic bomb in New Mexico really did begin operations on December 2, 1943.
|After the renewed success of Frankie Valli solo, the Four Seasons Partnership was able to get a new contract with Curb Records (distributed by Warner Brothers) for the Four Seasons in 1975. Bob Gaudio promptly co-wrote and produced a Top Ten single that became the title track of the group's "comeback" album. Which song was it?||The Four Seasons: Later Days
Who Loves You. The "new" Four Seasons band on the "Who Loves You" album consisted of Valli (lead vocals), Gerri Polci (lead vocals, drums), Don Ciccone (lead vocals, bass), Lee Shapiro (keyboards) and John Paiva (guitar). Adding backing vocals to the title song were former Seasons Gaudio and Joe Long, in an effort to recapture the group's 1960s sound and success. The song reached number three in the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and also went top ten in the U.K.