Frankie Valli in conversation – Recorded June 16, 1980 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
Continuing our new series Talking Music with a sit-down conversation with Frankie Valli of the legendary Four Seasons, recorded in June of 1980. One of the things this series is about is the nuts and bolts of putting it together; doing it in the studio; talking about the process and the results and doing it against the backdrop of history. We’re cutting a wide swath of musical genres with this series – because Music isn’t just about one thing or one set of notes – it’s about the experience and the stories of the people themselves and how the magic happens – and it doesn’t happen by magic.
Fans and aficionados know Frankie Valli’s story very well – he’s a legend, he’s still with us and his music has always been a vital part of our society, beginning in the late 1950s and casting an indelible imprint on the 60’s.
Those of you who know can skip the next part – head straight over to the player and dive into an hour’s worth of insight.
For those of you who don’t know – or have only heard odd bits and pieces from your parents record collections or caught flashes here and there in movies or commercials and are curious to find out a bit more. Here’s some background (via Wikipedia):
The Four Seasons are an American rock and pop band that became internationally successful in the 1960s and 1970s. Since 1970, they have also been known at times as Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In 1960, the band known as The Four Lovers evolved into the Four Seasons, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer, Bob Gaudio (formerly of the Royal Teens) on keyboards and tenor vocals, Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals. On nearly all of their 1960s hits they were credited as the 4 Seasons.
The legal name of the organization is the Four Seasons Partnership, formed by Gaudio and Valli, and was taken after a failed audition in 1960. While singers, producers, and musicians have come and gone, Gaudio and Valli remain the band’s constant (with each owning fifty percent of the act and its assets, including virtually all of its recording catalog). Gaudio no longer plays live, leaving Valli as the only member of the band from its inception who is touring as of 2019.
The Four Seasons were one of only two American bands (the other being the Beach Boys) to enjoy substantial chart success before, during, and after the British Invasion. The band’s original line-up was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and joined the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. They are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide.
Okay – head over to the player and dive into a conversation with the man himself. Enjoy and take notes.