March 18, 2008

London Columnist Hooked on 4 Seasons Radio Interviews

March 18th, 2008

After reading the pre-publicity Jerseybeat – The Four Seasons Story (Radio 2, Wed), Gillian Reynolds of the Telegraph expected the series to be only an extended plug for the stage show. However, after three of its four episodes, she is hooked, addicted, enthralled.

The Four Seasons, to remind you, are a white singing group from the streets of working-class New Jersey. They started out in the Sixties, have survived most of the changes in popular music since, had members depart and be replaced, saw their lead singer and founder, Frankie Valli, branch off into a parallel solo career, and are now the subject of that musical.

What got them started kept them going. They knew each other, loved to sing and have made money out of it. Deals were struck with handshakes. Not for them the deadly rivalries and final splits of other groups. They also know what it’s like to fall out of fashion, work tiny venues for tight pay packets.

The magic element in the narrative is how they seem to have bounced back from every disaster. Last week there was the story, carefully told, of how one original member of the group, Tommy de Vito, got into serious gambling trouble. “Abusive with money,” was how Valli put it, “for himself and for the group.” Paul Sexton, writer, producer and presenter of the series, delicately phrased it as “being in debt to people you don’t want to be in debt to”. If you’re a Sopranos fan, you’ll get the message.

You can listen to the BBC Radio series featuring The Four Seasons on GILG.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment