In the fall of 1962, New Jersey’s Four Seasons achieved their pop Top 40 debut with a pair of gold singles, which spent five weeks each at No. 1, “Sherry” followed by “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” These songs also topped the R&B chart. The chart topping position was reached again early the following year with “Walk Like a Man” for Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, who died in 2000 at the age of 73, and Tommy DeVito, who passed away on September 21 at the age of 92 from COVID-19.
Not only did Tommy sing with the group, but he also played guitar. In his 2008 Goldmine interview, Frankie Valli stated, “Tommy played on some of the early records. He was talented in his own way. He was self-taught. There were things that Tommy could do, in my opinion, that came out of a natural ability that very few people could do.”
In addition to the quartet’s 26 Top 40 charting singles, “Marlena,” the flip side of “Candy Girl,” also charted separately in the Top 40. Many of The Four Seasons’ hits were written or co-written by the group’s Bob Gaudio, including this popular flip side.
The Four Seasons
Flip side: Marlena
A side: Candy Girl
Top Pop 100 debut: July 6, 1963 – Candy Girl / July 13, 1963 - Marlena
Peak position: No. 3 – Candy Girl / No. 36 - Marlena
Vee-Jay VJ 539
Big hits continued for the singing group throughout the decade, including “Dawn (Go Away),” “Ronnie,” “Rag Doll,” “Save it For Me,” “Big Man in Town,” “Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye),” “Let’s Hang On!,” “Working My Way Back to You,” “Opus 17 (Don’t You Worry ‘bout Me),” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Tell it to The Rain,” “Beggin’,” and “C’mon Marianne.”
The Four Seasons are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and are the subject of the Tony Award winning musical and film Jersey Boys.
L to R: Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Frankie Valli, 2005, photo by Paul Hawthorne, Getty Images