September 12, 2014

Preview of Charles Alexander’s Insightful Tribute to Bob Crewe in The Huffington Post #BobCreweDay

September 12th, 2014

Charles Alexander has written a wonderful tribute to the late Bob Crewe in The Huffington Post. Below is a preview:

“I’m hearing it in sky blue. You’re giving me brown.” So says a real-life character named Bob Crewe in the play and movie Jersey Boys. He’s producing a recording of the song “Trance” by Billy Dixon and the Topics, and he’s complaining that the group is just not singing it right. At the end of the scene the singers stomp out in disgust, but over the next decade (the 1960s) they took Crewe’s advice more often than not. You see, one of the “Topics” was a little guy named Frankie Valli and under Crewe’s tutelage the group achieved megastardom as the Four Seasons.

Crewe, one of the most successful songwriters and producers in pop-music history, died on Thursday at 82 after a long illness. It’s a personal loss for me, because I got to know Crewe a bit when I helped produce and write liner notes for a box set of Four Seasons’ hits in 2007.

Raised in Belleville, NJ, right outside Newark, Bob Crewe was just as much a scrappy Jersey boy as the four original Seasons — Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito and Nick Massi — even if, by the time the Seasons came his way, he was already enough of a big-deal record producer to have moved to plush digs on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. With his gift for catchy lyrics, Crewe teamed up with composer Gaudio to form one of the best songwriting duos ever — at least on par with Goffin and King and not all that far behind Lennon and McCartney. The Four Seasons and the Beach Boys were the only two American groups from the early ’60s to survive and thrive even after the British invasion. Together Crewe and Gaudio wrote “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll,” “Silence is Golden,” “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” among many other hits.

Click HERE to read the entire article.


  1. Absolutely beautiful, Charles. I don’t think anyone could have said it better; a wonderful, well-deserved tribute. I recall talking to Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan together at the Los Angelese opening nite in early June, 2007, which you and I attended together. Somewhere in my archives is a picture of Bob and me; one I’ll cherish forever.

    Comment by Howard — September 12, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

  2. This is a sad time to find out Bob Crewe passed away.he will always remain in my thoughts. He was such a talented man. Thank you for giving me my most favorite song of all ” Can’t Take My Eyes off of You”
    You were a treasure to all of us Jersey Boys fans.

    Comment by Vivian DeMarco — September 13, 2014 @ 5:45 pm

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