March 13, 2008

Today in Four Seasons History

March 13th, 2008

On March 13, 1976, the Four Seasons had their fifth Number One hit with “December 1963″ (Oh, What a Night),” which was their first hit to top the charts since “Rag Doll” in 1964. “December 1963″ remained in the top position on the Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks and was also their only British Number One single.


  1. Here’s another one of those things you hear somewhere and can’t vouch for the veracity of, but is interesting nonetheless: This song had to be given it’s somewhat awkward title because the obvious and probably intended choice, “Oh What A Night,” had already been used on a completely different and earlier song, the one by the Dells. Twice, as a matter of probable fact – the Dells made the charts with that song two different times, with two different versions.

    Comment by stubbleyou — March 13, 2008 @ 2:03 am

  2. Stubbleyou, Interesting comment about the Dells’ recording of “Oh, What a Night.” Being curious, I had to check my favorite Joel Whitburn Top Pop Singles chart book. The Dells peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 in 1969 w/this song & the original was a #4 R&B hit on the Vee-Jay label in 1956.

    Comment by Susie — March 13, 2008 @ 8:21 am

  3. I remember it well. The Miracles moved to #1 with “Love Machine” the week before, also after a long absence from the top of the charts. I had expected “December, 1963″ to move from #5 to #1 that week.

    I wish Fergie’s associates had the same respect for song titles as the Four Seasons. Her hit “Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)” recently topped the charts. The (Personal) subtitle has mysteriously appeared and disappeared during its chart run. Not a bad song, at least by today’s standards, but I just wish perhaps that (Big Girls Don’t Cry) had been the subtitle.

    Interestingly, stubbleyou, there were of course also two chart versions of “December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night). The remix hit #14 in 1994.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — March 13, 2008 @ 9:20 am

  4. That IS an interesting coincidence, Ted, that each of those two songs hit the charts twice, in different recordings or mixes. In my mind’s ear I can still hear Casey Kasem talking about the one (and only, I think) record that hit number one twice, in different years, that was not a “redo” or remix – it was the exact same recording. I’ll bet somebody out there knows what it was…? (PS — loved the Miracles, too, though not quite as much as the 4S.)

    Comment by stubbleyou — March 13, 2008 @ 10:00 pm

  5. who is singing lead on oh what a night?

    Comment by FRAN — March 13, 2008 @ 10:42 pm

  6. Fran,
    Gerry Polci was the lead on “Oh, What A Night.” (Actually, there were three vocalists–Polci, Don Ciccone (singing “I felt the rush like a rolling ball of thunder….”) and of course Frankie Valli (singing “…as I recall it ended much too soon…”).

    Comment by Susie — March 13, 2008 @ 11:11 pm

  7. SY, My guess to your question is “The Twist” by Chubby Checker…#1 in 1960 & ’62…Am I right?

    Comment by Susie — March 13, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

  8. Casey Kasem worked at a little 500 watt daytime only R & B station in my hometown early in his career, and that R & B station did later play a lot of Four Seasons records, and not just the ones that hit the R & B charts. I think I have a cassette tape recorded off AT40 of Casey announcing at least one of the weeks that “December, 1963″ was #1. Unfortunately, my tapes are not well cataloged.

    I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I don’t think that you can copyright a song title. But I would think other artists would consider using subtitles when duplicating a very popular song title to avoid confusion and out of respect for other artists’ works, which the Four Seasons did using “Oh, What A Night” as a subtitle.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — March 13, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

  9. Post #8 was in response to stubbleyou, BTW.

    Interesting that you should bring up Don Ciccone, Susie. Not only was he a member of The Critters and the Four Seasons, but later he was with Tommy James and The Shondells. Some internet accounts claim Don Ciccone is a second cousin of Madonna (Ciccone).

    And what vocalist was a member of both the touring Four Seasons and the touring Beach Boys at various times? The one I’m thinking of is Adrian Baker, who had the medley “Seasons of Gold” with the group Gidea Park.

    Comment by Ted Hammond — March 13, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

  10. SY, My guess to your question is “The Twist” by Chubby Checker…#1 in 1960 & ‘62…Am I right?

    Ding ding ding ding! Yes, Susie, of course. But who’s SY? ;-) For your prize, click on my name and I’ll show you another oddball album I have on display on my shelf that also holds the 4S’s “Sherry and 11 Others.”

    Boy, you guys know a lot. The Critters! I think I actually preferred their version of “Younger Girl” to the Spoonful’s.

    Comment by stubbleyou — March 14, 2008 @ 12:08 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. | TrackBack URI

Please leave a comment