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About Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Francesco Stephen Castelluccio , better known by his stage name Frankie Valli, is an American singer, best known as the frontman of the Four Seasons beginning in 1960. He is known for his unusually powerful lead falsetto voice.

Valli scored 29 top 40 hits with the Four Seasons, one top 40 hit under the Four Seasons alias the Wonder Who?, and nine top 40 hits as a solo artist. As a member of the Four Seasons, Valli's number-one hits include "Sherry" , "Big Girls Don't Cry" , "Walk Like a Man" , "Rag Doll" and "December, 1963 " . Valli's recording of the song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" reached number two in 1967. As a solo artist, Valli scored number-one hits with the songs "My Eyes Adored You" and "Grease" .

Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Bob Gaudio—the original members of the Four Seasons—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. Valli is also a 2010 inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, with the Four Seasons inducted separately in 2017 and Valli speaking on Massi's behalf.

Valli was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio on May 3, 1934 to an Italian family in the First Ward of Newark, New Jersey; he was the eldest of three sons. His father, Anthony Castelluccio, was a barber and display designer for Lionel model trains; his mother, Mary Rinaldi, was a homemaker and beer company employee. He was inspired to take up a singing career at age seven after his mother took him to see Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater in New York City. One of his early favorite singers was "Texas" Jean Valli, from whom he took his stage name. He worked as a barber until he could support himself with music.

Valli's birth year has been called into question. He never addressed the issue himself until a 2007 posting at the Official Frankie Valli Site, sponsored by his record label Universal Records. Much of his previous official publicity used 1937 as his birth year. Other sources gave his year of birth as 1934, such as the Bear Family Records release The Four Lovers and a 1965 mug shot, available through The Smoking Gun.

Valli began his singing career in the early 1950s with the Variety Trio , and was mentored in much of his early career by Nick Macioci, who would later join Valli in The Four Seasons, and by "Texas" Jean Valli, a female hillbilly singer, from whom he adopted the "Valli" surname. Geoff Herbert explains, "Frankie said in 2010 that Jean took him to meet music publishers Paul and Dave Kapp, telling them he was her brother. As a result, his first single was listed under 'Frankie Valley', and the name stuck—though he eventually changed it to the same spelling" that Texas Jean used. His desire to sing in public was initially granted when the group offered him a guest spot when they performed. In late 1952, the Variety Trio disbanded and Valli and Tommy DeVito became part of the house band at The Strand in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Valli played bass and sang.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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