Frankie Valli returns to the Auditorium Theatre on November 3, marking the American icon’s first appearance at the Auditorium since 1977!
Valli, who turned 84 this year, has had an illustrious career — take a look at some of the highlights!
1934: Frankie Valli (born Francis Castelluccio) is born on May 3 in Newark, NJ. He grows up in a public housing project called Stephen Crane Village.
1942: Valli’s mother takes him to see Frank Sinatra at the Paramount Theater in Asbury Park, NJ. This moment proves to be pivotal in Valli’s life: He later says, “When I saw Sinatra coming out on stage, and the way he was lit up, it was like he had an aura around him. I decided then and there that’s what I was going to do — be a successful singer.”
1950s: Tommy DeVito, one of Valli’s buddies from Newark, invites Valli to perform with his group the Variety Trio. Valli sings Billie Holiday’s “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” and gains a reputation around the neighborhood for having “the voice of an angel.”
1953: Valli releases his first single, “My Mother’s Eyes,” with the help of music publisher Paul Kapp. At this time, he drops his given last name and exchanges it for “Valley,” which later becomes “Valli” in order to stay true to his Italian roots.
1956: Valli joins a group called the Four Lovers and experiences minor success with them — they appear on The Ed Sullivan Show and release an album — but he keeps his day job as a barber.
1959: Joe Pesci (yes, that Joe Pesci, of Goodfellas and My Cousin Vinny fame) introduces Valli and his bandmates to Bob Gaudio, a piano player and songwriter. Gaudio joins the group and, after a performance at a lounge of the same name, the group takes on the moniker The Four Seasons.
1962: Gaudio writes “Sherry,” a song that makes full use of Valli’s remarkable range (baritone to falsetto). The FourSeasons perform the song on American Bandstand and become a hit sensation nearly overnight. “Sherry” climbs to No. 1 on the charts. Two more successful hits, “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man,” quickly follow.
1964: The Four Seasons release one smash hit after another, including “Rag Doll” and “Stay.”
1967: Valli finds solo success with the hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” but continues to perform with The Four Seasons.
1969: The Four Seasons perform at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago for the first time.
1975: The Four Seasons’ smash record Who Loves You is released. The album features instant classics “Who Loves You” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).”
1977: The Four Seasons return to the Auditorium Theatre.
1978: Valli records the titular theme song for the hit movie Grease, written by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees. Gibb provides backing vocals and Peter Frampton plays guitar on the track. The song hits No. 1 on the Billboard charts.
Between 1962 and 1978, the Four Seasons sell more than 100 million records.
1990: Valli and the original members of The Four Seasons are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, along with The Who, The Kinks, the Four Tops, and other legends.
1992: The Four Seasons release Hope + Glory.
1998: Lauryn Hill covers Valli’s hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” on her Grammy Award-winning album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
2004: Valli makes his first appearance on HBO’s acclaimed TV show The Sopranos as Rusty Millio, a mob boss who controls territory in Brooklyn and Queens. He makes reoccurring appearances on the show throughout its fifth and sixth seasons.
2005: Jersey Boys, a jukebox musical based on Valli’s life and music, debuts on Broadway. “When the band played hits like ‘Sherry’ … it sounded like a riot was unfolding in the mezzanine,” writes Jeremy McCarter in New York magazine. “Even among the high rollers in the orchestra seats, excitement abounded.”
2011: Jersey Boys starts touring the United States, with continued performances on Broadway, in Las Vegas, and in London.
2014: Clint Eastwood directs and produces the movie version of Jersey Boys.
2018: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons return to the historic Auditorium after more than 40 years on November 3, 2018!
2019: Broadway In Chicago presents Jersey Boys at the Auditorium Theatre.