September 16, 2011

Friday Flashback: The Four Seasons’ First Single

September 16th, 2011

The first single Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio, Nick Massi, and Frankie Valli released under the new name “The Four Seasons” was not “Sherry,” the song that topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for five weeks back in 1962. Their first single was actually “Bermuda,” a song that the group released back in 1961 on George Goldner’s Gone Records, but it failed to chart.

Check out the recording of “Bermuda” and the B-side,”Spanish Lace.” What do you guys think of the debut single release by The Four Seasons?


  1. I always thought the “B” Side Spanish Lace should have been been the “A” Side.
    It sounds more like a FV4S song than Bermuda did.

    Comment by Marty Hoffer — September 16, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

  2. I like “Spanish Lace” better because it has the unique sound of the future Four Seasons hits. I first heard “Spanish Lace” on WTRX Flint, MI in the Summer of 1963, when Joey Reynolds was still doing their programming consulting after he left for his big on air gig at WKBW Buffalo, NY. I didn’t know who Joey was then by name, as the WKBW (now WWKB) signal is directed toward the East Coast, with very little to the west, but I know this was the time he was bringing Four Seasons records to Michigan to play. Since this record was recorded and released in 1961, the first as by “The Four Seasons”, I regard 2011 as their 50th Anniversary.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — September 16, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

  3. I love “Spanish Lace”. I really don’t remember ever hearing “Bermuda”.

    Comment by Gladys — September 17, 2011 @ 7:29 am

  4. Spanish Lace would have put the Seasons on everyone’s radar a year plus earlier if it was promoted. Good song. Something you would hear on a street corner
    Bermuda, that cha cha cha stuff never did anything for me

    Comment by Bob Nelson — September 17, 2011 @ 11:16 am

  5. A radio station chart has surfaced for WNHC New Haven Connecticut for 2-24-62 where “Bermuda” appears at #40. Perhaps they were the first station to play The Four Seasons as such. Here is the link:

    I will continue to research to see if I can find any other charts where they may have played this record. Since The Four Seasons are from the New York City Radio Market, it is likely that the record promoters tried to get airplay in outlying areas like Connecticut, hoping it would break out in New York City.

    So far, I cannot find a chart with “Spanish Lace” on it.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — September 17, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

  6. Still no more charts found for this single. But WNHC also played “Electric Stories”. Since the charts are incomplete, it’s unclear how high it charted. At least #29.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — September 17, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

  7. Speaking of the early days in New York, I just heard this jingle for Cousin Brucie for the first time – I love it! Am I the only one who hasn’t heard it before?

    Comment by stubbleyou — September 17, 2011 @ 9:43 pm

  8. I remember a different “Spanish Lace” by the recently-departed Gene McDaniels from the same era. Odd that there would be two songs of the same title at the same time, no?

    Comment by stubbleyou — September 18, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  9. There were several other songs in that era that captured that Southwest/Spanish theme, stubbleyou. The biggest was “El Paso” by Marty Robbins, and of course “Come A Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Amercians, “Heroes And Villains” by The Beach Boys, and of course the other one by The Four Seasons, “New Mexican Rose”.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — September 18, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

  10. It’s remarkable to hear these songs and think that just a short time later they would introduce “Sherry”.

    While “Bermuda/Spanish Lace” were good songs you can’t
    begin to compare the style to that new sound which featured that piercing falsetto and harmony behind that “Hey Baby” beat which was “Sherry”.

    Amazing that they saved their best performance as a last-ditch effort before, perhaps, packing it in.

    Comment by Ray — September 19, 2011 @ 6:34 am

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