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).
Lloyds Pharmacy group released a survey this week that said more than 40 percent of respondents reported that music eased their physical pain.
Raw Story reports that the survey, which was conducted in the U.K., found that two-thirds of respondents from 16 to 24 years of age said that music helped. Genres were evenly split in their usefulness: Respondents said that pop music (21 percent of people responding), classical (17 percent) and rock and indie (16 percent) helped.
The five most helpful songs, in order: Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Robbie William’s “Angel,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross,” Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” and The Commodores’ “Easy.”
I became aware of Estelle through the hit American Boy (above) simply because my daughter had the radio tuned to stations that played it. Her part is great, but the pop/hip hop response format — Estelle and Kayne West in this case — always seems forced.
Another of the YouTube clips is Wonderful Life (below), which I like just as much. It’s a completely different, which demonstrates her talent.
This is what Wikipedia says about Estelle:
Estelle Fanta Swaray (born 18 January 1980) commonly known as Estelle, and formerly as Est’elle, is an English R&Bsinger-songwriter, rapper and record producer. Estelle was born in London. After meeting John Legend, Estelle signed a record deal with V2 and Atlantic Records.
In 2004 Estelle released her debut album The 18th Day, which peaked with in the top 40 of the official UK charts. The album released three singles “1980″, “Free”, and “Go Gone” which all charted with in the top 40 also of the UK charts. In 2008 Estelle released her second studio album Shine which was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single “Wait A Minute” failed to chart anywhere. The second single “American Boy” peaked at number one in the UK and also became Estelle’s first song to chart in the US at a position of nine. The album released a further three singles. In 2012 Estelle released her third album All of Me. The lead single “Break My Heart” featured American rap artist Rick Ross, the single charted at number 30 on the US R&B Chart. The second single “Thankyou” peaked at 120 on the US Billboard and 22 on the US R&B chart and the third single “Back to Love” was released. (Continue Reading…)
Here is the start of Estelle’s AllMusic profile:
Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legendto Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London’s renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and Blak Twang. She made her solo debut in 2003 with the Excuse Me 12″ on the Paradise Isle label, but her breakthrough track came in 2004 when “1980″ was released by the V2 label and reached number 14 on the U.K. pop chart. (Continue Reading…)
Here is Estelle’s website.
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…)
During an NPR interview, Eleni Mandell discussed the influence Tom Waits has had on her song writing. She apparently went somewhere else for voice lessons.
This song, written in 1967 by Ashford and Simpson, has been recorded several times. The infectious version above was remixed by rapper Ya Boy and used in the 2011 movie The Lincoln Lawyer. Here is a version by The Fifth Dimension.