March 25, 2007

Big Girls Don’t Cry and Twelve Others

March 25th, 2007

Thanks to Craig, my older brother, one of my first memories as a little kid was hanging out with him as we continuously played his 4 Seasons 45s on our not so fancy record player. “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man” were always playing at our house, and I recall my Mom saying, “Those boys can really sing!” as she danced around to these hits as she was ironing.

Although we had practically every single the Four Seasons recorded back from 1962 through 1967, I didn’t discover many of their incredible albums until much later. The 4 Seasons’ second album, “Big Girls Don’t Cry and Twelve Others” features the title cut, which was Number One on the Hot 100 for five weeks in the late fall of 1962, “Walk Like a Man,” which stayed at the top of the charts for three weeks in March, 1963, and “Alone,” which peaked at #28 in 1964.

At the beginning of Jersey Boys, Tommy DeVito says, “…a few guys under a streetlamp singing somebody else’s latest hit” as he and his group sing “Silhouettes,” a 1957 #3 hit by the Rays. On this album, you’ll hear the 4 Seasons’ rendition of this song, as well as the 1956 Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers’ hit “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” the Skyliners 1959 pop hit, “Since I Don’t Have You,” and quite a few other 1950s hits. Out of all of the cover versions, however, the one that I can’t get enough of is “Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo.” I admit, I’ve never heard anyone else sing this before–but I can’t imagine anyone doing what the Seasons did to make it their own.

Along with the two chart-toppers and the cover songs, another treat from this album is a tune called “My Sugar.” This cut has the combination of Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio’s music and lyrics, Frankie’s signature falsetto, Nick’s bass vocals as he sings “who’s afraid of the big bad world,” and Tommy’s amazing solo guitar. Wonder if the guys ever sang this one live in concert back in the early days?

Hope you enjoy this week’s samples from “Big Girls Don’t Cry and Twelve Others”!

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Big Girls Don’t Cry and Twelve Others


  1. I don’t recall the 4 Seasons singing “My Sugar” but I didn’t go to as many concerts in ’63 and ’64 as I did in later years. With the exception of two shows when my older brother took me, all other shows I attended in those days was by mass transportation. What may be surprising to most people, however, was that there was one song on this album that they did in every show I ever saw from 1963 through 1970. Let’s have a little fun and have people make a guess and they will win a lollipop or some 4 Seasons’ “article” I can dig up, but no ringers allowed and that especially includes Rovello.

    Regarding “My Sugar” if I recall correctly, Vee Jay records always trying anything they could to make a new sale out of old material combined “My Sugar” with “Peanuts” and released it as a 45 as the “Wonder Who.” “Mr. Rovello is allowed to confirm this one. In another bit of trivia contest, which songs on this album were also released by Vee Jay in trying to captialize on the continued 4 Seasons success on Philips. Most of us remember the later Vee Jay releases that were hits “Stay” and later “Alone” but there were other Vee Jay releases that weren’t hits.

    The most interesting cut on this album to me is the selection of “One Song” from the Disney classic “Snow White.” Perhaps Frank or other long time fans know the reason as to the selection of “One Song” as a song for a remake. Strange selection to me.

    Comment by David Cace — March 25, 2007 @ 3:51 pm

  2. Susie, as much as I listened to “Sherry and Eleven Others”, I don’t think I ever heard the “Big Girls” album. But I remember “Hi Lili” as the B-side of the Richard Chamberlain remake of the Everly Brothers “All I Have to Do is Dream”, but it did get considerable airplay back in 1963. Actually, it originated in the movie “Lili” with Leslie Caron, but I didn’t know that until just a few minutes ago. Thanks for the trip back in time.

    Comment by Howard Tucker — March 25, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  3. I bought the “Big Girls Don’t Cry…” CD last year, and thought it was a fair listen. I would have to say “Silhouettes” was my favorite track, but other than that and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” I wasn’t pleased. I think the “Dawn (Go Away)…” album was much better.

    Comment by Jack Griffin — March 25, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

  4. In response to David Cace’s trivia queries, I saw The Four Seasons perform live for the first time at Madison Square Garden in 1976, so I can only offer a wild guess that the song they performed live from this album during their concerts from ’63 to ’70 is (and I’m assuming the song was a non-charting entry) “Peanuts.” Actually, it was a toss-up for me between “Peanuts” and “Since I Don’t Have You.” And in answer to your second question, I believe both these songs were released by Vee Jay Records as the A-sides of their respective singles. I also happen to know that “Sincerely” was released as a 45 rpm record at about the same time as “Save It For Me” on the Philips Record label (August 1964) and peaked at number 75 on the Hot 100.

    I would be very interested in learning the name of the song you are referring to in your initial question, as well as any releases I may have left out (or to confirm the information I shared) concerning your latter question.



    Comment by Len Gersten — March 29, 2007 @ 12:12 am

  5. Len

    “Since I Don’t Have You’ was the album cut the 4 Seasons did in every concert I ever attended from 1963 through 1970 and that includes with Nick and Joe (and Charlie Callello – I actually saw Mr. Callello once as a performing member), and was usually the first or second song performed in the show. I suppose it was a good warming up song.

    I believe you got all the album cuts released as a single from this album, in addition to the hit song “Alone” (I think “Tonight, Tonight” was a “B” side but let me check that). There were also some album cuts from the “Ain’t That A Shame” album released as a single, in addition to the hit song “Stay” but I supppose we’ll get to that when the Jersey Boys Blog covers that album.

    Len, send me your contact information through the Jersey Boys Blog Administrator and I will find some bit of memorabilia from the “old days” to send you.

    Comment by David Cace — March 29, 2007 @ 10:13 am

  6. Hi-Lilli, Hi-Lo was a pop standard that hit the charts for the Dick Hyman Trio way back in 1956. That same year, Roger Williams hit the charts with it as his 4th hit. Most likely, it was one of those “someone else’s latest hit” that the boys would have performed as The Four Lovers.

    For some reason, I remember “Peanuts” being the B-side of one of their Vee-Jay singles, as it is included on the Rhino set which only has their hits singles.

    Jim Hicks

    Comment by JIm Hicks — April 1, 2007 @ 8:21 am

  7. Dear David,

    It’s very nice of you to offer me a “bit of memorabilia” for getting the correct answer (even though it was really my second guess), but the truth is, I find your comments and the opportunity to converse with you via this blog invaluable prizes all by themselves. But again, thank you for the generous offer. As an avid Four Seasons and now Jersey Boys fan, I would hate to see you have to part with an item that would probably have some sentimental value to you. Please keep sharing your wonderful insights and perhaps one day I’ll be fortunate enough to make your acquaintance and learn more about your experience with and knowledge of Frankie and The Seasons. Hopefully will trade some other posts on this blog in the near future.

    Until then,

    Len Gersten

    Comment by Len Gersten — April 2, 2007 @ 12:16 am

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