Please Mr. Postman: Letters from our readers 3

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Thompson’s writing is just fine

I was disconcerted to recently read not one but two letters critical of Goldmine’s best writer, Dave Thompson (Goldmine 718).

Surely, most Goldmine readers must appreciate the descriptive flair he brings to any story, his exhaustive research habits, and his obvious love for the music. His sometimes outrageous provocative statements are meant to unsettle some of the verdicts of history, at least for the sake of argument. And like any good writer, he displays a wide vocabulary, occasionally sending us to the dictionary. Thompson sets high standards; I have long found delight in seeing his byline, and hope to continue to do so.

— Gerald Ottone
Milwaukee, Wis.

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Where was 4 Seasons’ Calello?

I enjoyed the spread on The Four Seasons (Jan. 18, 2008, Issue #717) from the two different perspectives and members. Their sound is certainly one of the most defining and enduring of the ’60s. However, I was disappointed that there was no mention of Charlie Calello. In addition to being one of the most talented arrangers and conductors of the generation, his influence on the Seasons’ studio sound was, in my opinion, one of the keys to their success. 

If my memory serves me correctly, I think he was also a replacement singer after the departure of Nick Massi. I have heard of Calello being referred to as the “5th Season,” and I was wondering if his omission was by chance, or on purpose.

— Dr. Phil Schwartz
Keystone Record Collectors
Lancaster, Pa.

{EDITOR’S NOTE: Here’s Ken Sharp’s reply: “While I readily acknowledge the importance of Charlie Calello’s work as arranger on the band’s records, there was certainly no oversight intended on my part. But truth be told, he was not an official member of the band. When the band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, that honor went to founding members Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito. I would welcome the opportunity to sit down with Charlie at some point and discuss his work with the Four Seasons, and perhaps you can look for that in a future issue of Goldmine.}

Reader loves Goldmine online

Many, many thanks for making the Frankie Valli and Tommy DeVito interviews available on the Goldmine Web site. Bravo!!!

— Randy Erdman
Matthews, N.C.
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Reader wants more Oldies stories

Your cover story, “Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons,” (Jan. 18, 2008, Issue #717) makes it sound like there are Five Seasons total. Wouldn’t it have been better to call it, “The Four Seasons, featuring the Voice of Frankie Valli?” I can’t ever recall seeing a single or an LP that said “Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons,” on the label or LP cover, although I believe that later on his name may have been “featured” under the group’s name on some singles.

This issue of Goldmine was a joy to read. In addition to the Four Seasons, it was good to read about Betty Johnson. You should feature more artists like these from the Top 40 years. Pop vocalists, easy listening artists, etc., were all a part of the glorious mish-mash called the Top 40, which played the most popular t

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