March 2, 2009

Jersey Babys Brings the 4 Seasons’ Hits to Kids

March 2nd, 2009

Jersey Babys CD

The Observer-Reporter has a terrific feature on Jersey Babys and the CD’s Executive Producer Danielle Gaudio-Lalehzar!

No musician wants his handiwork to put audiences asleep, but in the case of “Jersey Babys,” it could be the ultimate compliment.

Released by Rhino Records last April in the wake of the hit musical “Jersey Boys,” which tells the story of the Four Seasons, the disc reconfigures the group’s music into lullabies and jaunty, playtime music. The biggest hits are represented, including “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Silence is Golden” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

It was available on the merchandise table when “Jersey Boys” set up shop at the Benedum Center in January, and is the brainchild of Danielle Gaudio-Lalehzar, the 42-year-old daughter of Four Seasons’ songwriter Bob Gaudio.

“It’s a better time to reach the moms who are having babies,” said Lalehzar, who is herself a stay-at-home mom with two young children. “Because we’re also going to be the people who are going to Broadway shows, and are maybe not as familiar with the Four Seasons’ music.”

A small industry has cropped up in recent years when it comes to giving pop music kid-friendly makeovers. Melodies made famous by Elvis Presley, the Beach Boys, Bob Marley, and even Metallica and Nirvana have been remade for the Barney-and-animal-crackers crowd, and Lalehzar first came up with the idea for a Four Seasons-for-kids disc when she heard “Beatles For Babies” at a friend’s house.

“My husband and I used to listen to it in the car all the time,” Lalehzar said from her home on Long Island two weeks ago. “I kept saying to my Dad, I want to have one of these with your music.”

It wasn’t a whole lot more than a “one-of-these-days” proposition until “Jersey Boys” bowed on Broadway in 2005 and became a critically acclaimed hit.

“It’s all about timing, and I’m happy that it happened later,” Lalehzar explained. “When I finally heard the final version, it brought me to tears, because it was so much better than I expected.”

Gaudio and Robby Robinson, the longtime arranger for Four Seasons frontman Frankie Valli, produced the CD. The cover art, which plays off the boys-in-the-spotlight images of the “Jersey Boys” posters and programs, was created by Shannon Gaudio, Lalehzar’s brother.

How many copies has it sold so far? “I don’t know exactly, but not as many as I would like,” she said. “Because a lot of people really don’t know about it, and that’s my task, to try to get the word out there.”

Seeing the most turbulent portion of her father’s life played out on-stage has been bittersweet for Lalehzar. She was born in October 1966, just as the Four Seasons’ success in the early-to-mid-1960s was starting to ebb, and she recalls that her father “wasn’t around very much” when she was growing up.

“Basically, for anybody in the music business, the family at home suffers. It brought back a little bit of sadness, because for all the success, there was a lot of suffering for many people. But (“Jersey Boys”) is wonderful.”

Lalehzar has seen “Jersey Boys” about 15 times now, and feels driven to expose her father’s music to listeners who weren’t around when it first turned up on the radio and in record stores.

“It’s innocent, great music. And I feel that any children who are exposed to that music, and even teenagers, if they’re exposed to it, how can they not like it?”


  1. I love the arrangements on this CD myself. My friends 4 year old grandson asks her to play this all the time so he can dance along.

    Comment by GLADYS MARLIN — March 3, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  2. So true. How can ANYONE not like this CD?! It’s fun, relaxing and uplifting. Every library (tell your library to get it!), school, home, daycare, car, day spa, dance insructor, grandparent, Four Seasons fan, JB fan and…child should have a copy!

    Thanks for reminding us, Danielle, that with any great achievement, there’s a price to pay. It is because these guys didn’t stop after success inflicted its inevitable pain, that we’ve all been able to see the events evolve to the magic right now (no doubt with ITS hardships). Your father has lived a great lesson for you – keep moving forward. I know Jersey Babys will move forward as you carefully hold onto your family priorities.

    Comment by Audrey — March 3, 2009 @ 10:29 am

  3. Jersey Babys is not just great music for children and babies! I love listening to the CD, especially after a stressful day at work. The beautiful medleys are soothing, lyrical,and of course, reminiscent of The Four Seasons and Jersey Boys. Thanks, Danielle, for bringing your great idea to fruition.

    Comment by Pamela — March 3, 2009 @ 7:08 pm


    Comment by JIM PETRECCA — March 3, 2009 @ 11:29 pm

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