November 30, 2007

Bob Gaudio Reflects on The Four Seasons’ Beginnings

November 30th, 2007

Jersey Boys is headed to Seattle next week (playing December 5 – January 12, 2008)! Seattle Times Theater Critic Misha Berson has a terrific interview with Bob Gaudio, who talks about his beginnings and the surprising range of musical influences that went into The Four Seasons’ unique sound. Here’s a preview of the interview:

The most obvious influence is doo-wop, or vocal rhythm and blues. It was first popularized in East Coast urban enclaves in the 1950s by black teens who couldn’t afford to buy instruments. Instead, they created “street-corner symphonies” with intricate vocal layering.

“Yes, we did some doo-wop,” recalled Gaudio, now 65, and still in the music biz. “But we also were affected by jazz-oriented vocal groups — the Four Freshmen, the Hi-Lo’s.”

Those jazzy groups were clean-cut, white singing combos who deftly rearranged pop standards and show tunes for multiple male voices. Meanwhile, the break-out doo-woppers (e.g., the Platters, the Orioles, the Five Satins) scored their hits with bluesy ballads (“Sixteen Candles”) and novelty numbers (“Sh Boom”).

1 Comment »

  1. I have to say thank you to Bob Guadio and Frankie Valli for moving ahead with this project. Never have I enjoyed something so much as this amazing show! We drove up from Portland, OR to Seattle for the day to see the show and couldn’t shut up about it. An excellent cast, an amazing story told about a true piece of American history. Thanks to Bob G & Frankie V many fine memories have been made for many of us baby-boomers. To be able to meet these two amazing men would be a great moment in my life.

    Comment by Tom — January 14, 2008 @ 11:02 pm

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