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Jersey Boy Frankie Valli and Grease [PHOTOS/VIDEOS]

Grease_Front
“Grease is the word!” (Craig Allen photo).

Frankie’s Manager to Frankie: What do you want to do? Be in the movie, or sing the title song?

This weekend, we feature Frankie Valli and the “Four Seasons” HITS on a “Jersey Boys Weekend” on New Jersey 101.5!Frankie Valli was born Francis Castellucio in Newark, on May 3, 1937.

And, he didn’t wait long to walk into the recording studio!

He recorded his first solo song as “Frank Valley” on the Corona Record label in 1953.

Two years later, in 1955, Frankie formed his own band, the “Variatones.”

They changed their name to the “Four Lovers” in 1956.

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One of many Four Seasons “Best Of” CDs! (Craig Allen photo).

This group evolved into the “Four Seasons” by 1961. The name came from a North Jersey bowling alley!

The Four Seasons ruled the pop charts through the 1960s, with such classics as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” Walk Like A Man,” “Rag Doll” and so many more that you’ll hear all weekend!

Into the 1970′s, the Four Seasons scored a big comeback with “Who Loves You” in 1975, and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night)” in early 1976!

Frankie Valli scored big in his solo career, too!

“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” went to #2 on the charts in 1967.

Eight years later…

Closeup
“Closeup,” 1975…rescued from the trash bin when my station cleared out the scratchy old vinyl record library in the late 1980′s! (Craig Allen photo).

…the “Closeup” album (1975) put Frankie back in the public spotlight, spawning two Top-10 hits!

“My Eyes Adored You” went to the top of the charts, #1, in early 1975!

“Swearin’ To God” was a #6 hit, in the summer of 1975…

But, Frankie Valli’s biggest solo hit was yet to come, thanks to a movie that traded on late 1970′s nostalgia for the “good old days,” of the 1950′s!

Grease_Back
The Grease Soundtrack spawned several hit singles. (Craig Allen photo).

“Grease” was written and produced specifically for the movie, by “Bee Gee” Barry Gibb.

Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson assisted Gibb, just like they did two years earlier on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. You remember that one, too, don’t you!

Peter Frampton played lead guitar on “Grease.” Bet you didn’t know that!

The late 1970′s disco beat may seem out of place for a song that was supposed to represent the 1950′s…but radio listeners and record buyers didn’t seem to care too much!

The song spent 2 weeks at #1, and 22 weeks on the Hot 100 charts in 1978.

“Rolling Stone” says it sold over 7 million copies, making it one of the biggest songs to come from the “Grease” soundtrack album…

Funny…I can’t find my “Grease” 45rpm single (I’ve looked everywhere!)…I wonder who borrowed it from “DJ Craig,” and when… Below, my vintage vinyl album…

1978 vinyl
1978 vinyl (Craig Allen photo).

By the way, the song “Grease” was never a part of the Broadway musical “Grease.”

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Back cover art, vinyl soundtrack copy (Craig Allen photo).

In 2013, Frankie Valli told “Billboard Magazine” how the biggest song in his career came his way: Valli tells the publication how he gets a phone call from Barry Gibb, who tells him that he (Barry) has just written a song that he thinks is just right for Frankie to sing.

Further, its the title song for an upcoming movie.

Frankie proceeds to get a call from his then-manager, Allan Carr, who is already aligned with RSO Records owner Robert Stigwood, a partner in the movie which would become “Grease.”

His manager asks Frankie: What do you want to do? Be in the movie, or sing the title song?

By this time, Frankie has heard Barry Gibb’s song, and says he loves it. Famed arranger Don Costa has heard the song, and tells his pal Frankie Valli that he’s crazy if he passes on singing the title song.

So, Frankie asks his manager what song he’d be singing if he takes the on-camera role in the movie: “Beauty School Dropout.”

Another Frankie, Frankie Avalon took on the part, and sang “Beauty School Dropout.” Its on the soundtrack, but was not one of the hits. Avalon did make money from the song being on the soundtrack, but…it has never been equal to Frankie Valli’s long-running paycheck/royalties!

In Frankie Valli’s own words: “Grease was one of the biggest records I ever had in my career.”

“Grease is the word” And, always will be!

Enjoy the “Jersey Boys Weekend” on New Jersey 101.5 FM, and listen live, here at nj1015.com!

Just wondering…who borrowed my “Grease” DVD…?!

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