April 26, 2009

Arranger Charles Calello on The Frank Truth Podcast!

April 26th, 2009

On this week’s “The Frank Truth,” a podcast dedicated to “all things Sinatra,” Brian Noe has a fantastic interview with arranger, conductor, and record producer Charles Calello! Mr. Calello served as arranger and conductor for Frank Sinatra’s Watertown album that was co-written by Bob Gaudio.

Calello talks about his musical influences, his amazing experiences with Bob Crewe and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, working with Frank Sinatra on the Watertown concept album, and much more. It’s a really interesting segment!


  1. Susie-
    Awesome interview. Charlie always comes through with good stories about the creation of FV and Seasons songs. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.


    PS And around the 16:00 minute mark, he got my attention talking about how he sets his new iPod on random to listen to all the songs he’s been associated with over the years. Where else have I heard that? Check out the original song I posted about a month ago:

    Comment by George O'Brien — April 27, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

  2. Great interview (just under 30 minutes). I hope others will make a point to catch this podcast.

    With the varied posts on the JB Blog, I keep learning another layer of the music industry as well as interesting tidbits along the path of success for these guys.

    The interview notes that Mr Calello has had more ‘Top 10′ hits than any other arranger with 15 Grammy nominations. That kind of high level longevity speaks for itself. Continued success to him!

    Comment by Audrey — April 28, 2009 @ 12:11 am

  3. i found mr. calello to be very cordial, and a natural story teller

    i hope he’ll make himself available for additional interviews in the future – and i’ll be very interested in learning more about the book he has in the works – he mentioned it very briefly when we were on the phone

    thanks for linking to the interview


    Comment by Noebie — April 28, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  4. I noticed that they played “The Clapping Song” on Dancing With The Stars last week but I wasn’t close enough to the TV to tell if it was the Shirley Ellis version arranged and produced by Charlie Calello. I heard “The Name Game” on a “real” oldies station recently and was hearing Charlie’s great horn arrangements.

    If you want to see a concise listing of all of Charlie’s Hot 100 songs, try this link.


    Some other notable Non Hot 100 Charles Calello arranged and/or produced songs include Bubbling Under song “Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache” by the Bandwagon, and the first two recordings of “Can’t Get Enough Of You Baby” by The Four Seasons and The Toys from 1965. The Toys single didn’t chart, and the Four Seasons album (“Working My Way Back To You”) that had it charted a week before The Toys album. So the Four Seasons had the first CHARTED track of CGEOYB.

    Comment by Ted — April 28, 2009 @ 2:45 pm

  5. I remember a song that I really liked that Charlie did for Robert John “If You Don’t Want My Love”. I didn’t know until years later that Charlie did the arrangement, yet I was drawn to it.

    “Lightning Strikes” is another great arrangement. It really stood out and unlike anything else that was out there at the time.

    In a strange way I hear a similarity between “The Name Game” and Amy Winehouse’s “Re-hab” mostly the arrangement but also the vocal.

    He said something in the interview that rang true with me. The cords he used on the Four Seasons records sounded different, they fit the songs and not the simple repititious standard cords you would here on other records by other bands of that time.

    I know Bob Crewe claims he was the 5th Season, but for my money it was always Charlie (in the studio, at least)

    Comment by Ray Ricci — April 28, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

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