May 6, 2011

Friday Flashback: The Four Seasons’ 1971 Top of the Pops Appearance!

May 6th, 2011

The 1971 Four Seasons: Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Joe Long, and Bob Grimm singing “Let’s Hang On” on the UK TV program, “Top of the Pops.”


  1. I remember seeing that on our black/white screen TV back in early 1971 when they toured the UK. I got to see them for the first time in concert at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on that tour.
    During their time in the UK they recorded the “Whatever you say/Sleeping Man” single on Warner Bros Kinney, which unfortunately did not get much radio airplay in the UK and sank without trace !

    I thought they made 2 seperate appearances on the “Top of the Pops” TV show during that tour ?
    Their first TV appearance featured them singing a medley of their big hits. I also believe that appearance was the first time a TOTP audience were seated for an artists performance, instead of standing/dancing ?

    Comment by Brian — May 7, 2011 @ 9:54 am

  2. Brian, I was in the UK at the time of this tour and caught them at Club Fiesta in Stockton-on-Tees.

    They were in the UK mostly because Frankie had a current top ten hit with “You’re Ready Now”.(Several years after it was a failed release in the US, go figure)

    I believe this is also the last video of Bob Gaudio as a performing member of the group.

    Comment by Ray — May 9, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  3. Thanks for that Ray.
    I know from the reviews at the time that the group went down a storm on the Northern Club circuit both in 1971 and on their 1972 tour (Without Gaudio & Grimm – replaced by Al Ruzicka, Demitri Callas & Clay Jordan – I saw the revised group line up at the London Palladium in 1972.)

    Back to 1971; Prior to their UK visit there had been no news in the UK of Tommy Devito leaving. In fact the tour programme (which I still have) still showed TD in the groups PR shots. How was his departure from the group handled in the USA at that time ?

    Comment by Brian — May 9, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

  4. Ray, even though Rolling Stone did not see fit to put any FV4S tracks in their Top 500 Records of all time, the Northern Soul Top 500 of all time includes “You’re Ready Now” at #96 and “The Night” at #181. Also, a remake of FV4S’s “I’m Gonna Change” by The Velours is at #480.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — May 9, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  5. Ted, Brian. This was such a strange period for them. The UK/Northern Soul were instumental in keeping the group “visible” at least.

    I remember Phillips re-released “The Proud One” after the success of “You’re Ready Now” and it went nowhere. Neither the record company nor maybe even Valli realized the importance the Northern Soul dance scene. Perhaps a more upbeat dance number could have been used to keep the flame alive. (As evidenced by “The Night” years later)

    In America, in 1971, I don’t think they were on anyone’s radar. Not sure if anyone reported Tommy’s leaving or if anyone cared in the music world. Not seeing Tommy in this lineup was a bit of a shock to me at the time, though it was nice to see Gaudio for the last time.

    I also caught the June Paladium gig in 1972. What I remember mostly is that they hired a local horn section for that show and they just couldn’t keep up with the snappy arrangements.

    Comment by Ray — May 10, 2011 @ 11:32 am

  6. F
    Do you know who was on the 1971 tour apart from the Seasons and the Fantastics?

    Comment by Sandie Blickem — November 20, 2014 @ 5:44 pm

  7. I’m amazed that this was 45 years ago! Great memories and no, I’m not Tommy! (I still have that red 355 Gibson!)

    Comment by Bob Grimm — May 22, 2016 @ 4:31 pm

  8. In 1971, we were latching on to anything that sounded like or seemed to be influenced by the Four Seasons. Others have noticed it too, but listen, especially to the line “It always seems to be a Monday” in “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” by The Fortunes and try to tell me that the vocal style wasn’t influenced by Frankie Valli. More so even than “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel. It took forever for Billy to admit that he had lifted the last line of “Rag Doll” for the lyrical inspiration of “I Love You Just The Way You Are”.

    Comment by Ted — May 27, 2016 @ 4:08 am

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