May 11, 2012

Friday Flashback: ‘Don’t Think Twice’–By Bob Dylan and The Wonder Who!

May 11th, 2012

“Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962, and released on the 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.

The Four Seasons released a cover of the song as a single in 1965 (with the title “Don’t Think Twice”) under the pseudonym The Wonder Who? Their rendition peaked at the #12 position on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on December 25, 1965, as their monster hit, “Let’s Hang On” remained in the Top 5.

Do any of you guys recall The Four Seasons singing “Don’t Think Twice” in concert? I’ve only heard it live once, at a Cleveland concert back in 1988, one of my favorite Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons concerts, ever! It obviously wasn’t in the night’s set list, but a guy yelled out, “Hey, Frankie, How ’bout singin’ ‘Don’t Think Twice’?” and Frankie obliged! It was a short and sweet rendition and the sold out crowd loved it!


  1. Frankie cites the “chee chee girl” Rose Murphy as an influence on his early singing. It is really apparent in his take on “Don’t Think Twice.”

    Fun stuff – give her a listen, and check out the similarities: ;-)

    Comment by stubbleyou — May 12, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

  2. Thanks for posting this, Stubbs! That was a real treat to listen to Rose Murphy, then listen again to Frankie’s “Don’t Think Twice”!

    Comment by Susie — May 12, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  3. The Seasons sang it in 1973 in concert at Lake Mahopac High School. After the first line, Joe asked “What were you expecting, Mantovani?” They also sang it on a tv special (name forgotten) and the camera showed a policeman dancing along with the crowd.

    Comment by Johnny Hornsby — May 12, 2012 @ 8:35 pm

  4. Saw them do Don’t Think Twice many times throughout the years. A memorable performance was at Madison Square Garden in 1972 that was taped for an ABC special “Wide World In Concert”. I only wish that show would be released on DVD.

    Comment by Mike — May 12, 2012 @ 11:56 pm

  5. The one and only time I’ve seen Frankie Valli and the Seasons perform “Don’t Think Twice” live was at the first concert I ever saw the group perform at in December 1975 at Madison Square Garden. The opening act, by the way, was the then currently hot KC and the Sunshine Band. Both groups were at the top of their game, but I was in total awe seeing Frankie and company play in person! Frankie’s vocals, as well as the mid-70′s version of the Seasons (three of whom currently perform as part of the Hitmen) providing the instrumentals and backing vocals, were absolutely incredible. His renditions of “Silence Is Golden” and “Don’t Think Twice” were particularly memorable because in the dozen or more times I have seen him perform since then, I have not heard him repeat these songs again live.

    Comment by Len Gersten — May 13, 2012 @ 12:14 am

  6. The Wonder Who’s version of “Lonesome Road” seemed to be one of the first songs by FV4S to really catch the ear of the older generation, being originally from the late 1920s, and maybe even before their first original Standard CTMEOY and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” did.

    I’ve only recently come to appreciate some of the other Bacharach, David, and Dylan remakes. One that has caught my ear more recently is “Queen Jane Approximately”. As many tracks as I am familiar with, there always seems to be a “new” one that catches my ear. And remember that Bob Dylan, who may not take himself quite as deadly seriously as his fans do, liked that album and “Don’t Think Twice”.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — May 13, 2012 @ 5:19 pm

  7. Rose Murphy from the light side, and Little Jimmy Scott from the serious side, were central figures in Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons history…but more on that at another time…see my comment under “My Mother’s Eyes” post for Mother’s Day.

    I never had the pleasure of seeing Rose Murphy perform but from what I have read about her she always stole the show. She played piano and banged her foot on the floor to simulate the sound of a drum. And she had this unique voice that would captivate a crowd…and as the story goes during one performance the audience wouldn’t let her leave the stage even when she had exhausted all of her material…so she started singing popular songs of the day but being unrehearsed she occasionally didn’t know all the lyrics so she would substitute sounds for the words…most famously “chee chee”…and then she did songs like Busy Line where she actually used vocal sound effects in the song itself. She was asked why “chee chee” and she simply responded that was the first sound that came into her head.

    Frankie Valli’s tribute to Rose Murphy can be heard on the “Sherry and 11 Others” album where he sings “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” with “Chee Chee’s” and “Brrups Brrups” even with a liitle Nick Massi bass thrown in. Perhaps someone can post that on YouTube along with the Rose Murphy version of the song…I would but I never graduated “Tech” school.

    Comment by David Cace — May 13, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

  8. “Don’t Think Twice” became a permanent part of the 4 Seasons stage act beginning in 1966 and stayed in the show as some people have noted until around 1975. It was always done with a little humor and became a fan favorite. As noted above, Joe Long would always provide the humor before, during, and after the song…often referring to Frankie as Shirley (Temple), or Betty (Boop), or Snow White, and referring to Bob, Tommy, and himself as “Sleepy,” “Grumpy,” and “Dopey.” The song was not intended to be recorded that way and Joe would often tell the story on stage of how Frankie was fooling around with his Rose Murphy voice during the recording of the “Big Hits” album and Bob Crewe said to release the song that way. Not being a musician I can’t explain exactly what the problem was other than the music track and background vocals were recorded in a key that was apparently too high for Frankie’s regular voice…thus the Rose Murphy imitation. I am sure Frank Rovello or Charles Alexander can explain it better.

    I have a similar story to Susie’s from an early December 1965 show with Charlie Calello as the temporary performing 4th Season. “Don’t Think Twice” was released in November of 1965 and was beginning to climb up the charts at the time but as I recall DJs locally here in NY were still saying it was recorded by the Wonder Who without any reference to the 4 Seasons. After 3 or 4 encores, in a moment unbecoming that of a future CPA, I yelled out “Don’t Think Twice” and Frankie looked at Tommy who shrugged as if to say “why not” and Frankie said OK they would do it live for the first time but asked for forgiveness in advance if they messed it up. They did fine and the crowd loved it and as I said it stayed in the act for the next 10 years.

    Comment by David Cace — May 14, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

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