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.
Now Frankie salutes the decade that made him a star with his first new studio album in 15 years. In Romancing The '60s, to be released October 2, he puts his own stamp on some of his favorite '60s songs, the ones he always wanted to record but somehow got away. Produced by Bob Gaudio, an original member of the Four Seasons and Frankie's long-time partner, the set includes unforgettable new versions of such gems as "Spanish Harlem," "Call Me" and "Take Good Care of My Baby." And the album features a delightful guest appearance by the four young stars of Jersey Boys, providing background vocals for—what else?—"On Broadway." Launched with perfect timing amid Jersey Boy-mania, Romancing The '60s is the most eagerly anticipated album of Frankie Valli’s 54-year recording career.
But please don't say that Frankie is back. The truth is, he never went away. Sure, the majority of the 71 chart hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (including 40 in the Top 40, 19 in the Top 10 and eight No. 1's) came during the 1960s, but the music didn't just disappear. He has toured almost continuously since 1962, and his songs have been omnipresent in such movies as The Deer Hunter, Dirty Dancing, Mrs. Doubtfire, Conspiracy Theory and The Wanderers. As many as 200 artists have done cover versions of Frankie’s "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," from Nancy Wilson's jazz treatment to Lauryn Hill's hip-hop makeover.
For as far into the future as anyone can see, Jersey Boys will introduce the music of Frankie Valli to new generations. Romancing The '60s is a most welcome and long-awaited addition to that legacy. The man himself shows no signs of slowing down. As his character says at the end of Jersey Boys: "Like that bunny on TV with the battery, I just keep going and going and going." For as long as he wants to sing, people will want to listen.