The numbers in this single sentence in Wikipedia’s entry about Francesco Stephen Castelluccio – Frankie Valli — are a good illustration of how really important he is:
Here is the beginning of Valli’s profile at his website:
Oh, what a story. Frankie Valli, who came to fame in 1962 as the lead singer of the Four Seasons, is hotter than ever in the 21st century. Thanks to the volcanic success of the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys, which chronicles the life and times of Frankie and his legendary group, such classic songs as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” are all the rage all over again. As the play enters its third sold-out year on Broadway, and two touring companies of Jersey Boys travel around the U.S., the real Frankie Valli is packing concert halls coast to coast, from the Rose Theater, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, to L.A.’s Kodak Theater, home of the Academy Awards. (Continue Reading…)
Last month, Billboard’s Wayne Robins posted an interesting interview with Valli. This interesting response sums up Valli’s musical philosophy:
I always believed a singer should be able to sing any kind of song. If I wanted to sing a Cole Porter song, I should be able to do that. Or “Sherry,” I should be able to do that. Or a Dylan song. I didn’t go to any professional school to learn how to sing. I bought people’s records, listened to them, tried to do what the singer did by imitating them, as close as I could possibly get. We cover every kind of music. That’s important for anybody. We can do anything from working with a four- or five-piece band to working with a symphony orchestra. (Continue Reading…)
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons got a second life via the Broadway show “Jersey Boys.” Two of the group’s biggest hits were “Rag Doll” (above) and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (below).
CNN has an interesting piece about music and the inauguration, which is set for Monday. The show should be pretty good:
This year’s festivities include a Kids’ Inaugural Concert on Saturday and two official balls on Monday night. Performers for those events include Katy Perry, Brad Paisley, Alicia Keys, Marc Anthony, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson — a mix of pop, country, R & B, Latin, rock and old-school hitmakers. (Continue Reading…)
Country singer, songwriter and guitarist Joe South passed away yesterday in Buford, GA, a community near Atlanta. South, whose original named was Joe Souter, had hits with Games People Play and Walk a Mile in My Shoes.
He played on Aretha Franklin’s Chain of Fools and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album. South was induced into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1979.
Meet the Gospel HOF’s newest member. That makes two divas who the site featured today.
The paper said that other inductees were Dallas Holm, the late Rex Humbard, the Hoppers and Love Song. Michael W. Smith and Daily & Vincent spoke at the induction, which was held at Trinity Music City in Hendersonville, TN. Dottie Peoples and the band Isaacs performed, the site said.
This is from This Day in Music.com entry for July 10, 1987:
Producer and record company executive John Hammond died. He brought Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen to Columbia Records. Hammond also worked as a producer with Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Count Basie.
From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen.
There is more, courtesy of Wikipedia. The site says that Hammond also was involved with Charlie Christian, Teddy Wilson, Big Joe Turner, Pete Seeger, Babtunde Olatunji, George Benson, Freddy Green, Arthur Russell and Asha Puthli.
Of course, as a record producer he would have worked with many performers. The breathe of Hammond’s influence and his longevity are amazing, however.
Teddy Wilson plays Avalon in Austria in 1976.