Happy 85th birthday to Frankie Valli, born in Newark in 1934
On May 3rd, 1934, one of New Jersey’s best known singers was born. Frankie Valli was born Francesco Castelluccio in Newark.
His father had a pretty cool side career as a display designer for Lionel Trains. His full time gig was as a barber. As the lead singer of the Four Seasons (who took their name from a Jersey bowling alley), Valli led the group to enormous success.
According to Billboard, the Four Seasons are the 35th most successful group of the rock era, at least according to the Top 40 chart. Their biggest successes happened in the 60s (their first major label release, “Sherry”, was number one for five weeks in 1962), but they continued to chart hits into the 70s. All told, they had 29 Top 40 hits as a group. Valli had 9 solo Top 40 hits, including the #1s “My Eyes Adored You” and the theme from “Grease."
Valli’s soaring falsetto voice gave the Four Seasons their unique signature sound and the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The band was the basis for the hit Broadway musical Jersey Boys which was also made into a successful movie. Frankie Valli was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2010.
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