Frankie's first mentor in the music industry was singer "Texas" Jean Vallie from whom Francesco later adopted his stage name. Frankie launched his musical career in 1951 with the Variety Trio. The group consisted of Nickie DeVito, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Macioci at the time. Tommy and Nick had spent time in jail together for small-time robberies. Frankie admitted that growing up in Newark wasn't the best of circumstances. "If you didn't watch out you could wind up in the trunk of a car." The group's music endeavor was their creative method of staying out of jail and of car trunks.
Two years later, in 1953, Frankie released his first single "My Mother's Eyes". Soon the group was renamed The Four Lovers and in 1956 Frankie draw a bit of national attention, with hits such as “You’re the Apple of My Eye” by Otis Blackwell, who also penned “Don’t Be Cruel” for Elvis Presley. The Four Lovers appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. The Four Lovers were renamed The Four Seasons after numerous lineup changes. The name derived from a cocktail lounge the group attended after an audition in 1960. Throughout the following decades, Frankie kept gaining massive recognition both from his group and solo careers.
From 1962 to 1978, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons sold more than 100 million records. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1992, a new Four Seasons album was released titled Hope and Glory. In 2007, Frankie released Romancing the '60s, an album containing covers of his favorite songs from the 1960s.
Frankie became most widely known for the songs "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Rag Doll", and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" which has been covered by over 200 artists. The Four Seasons group had 40 hits on the Top 40 charts, 19 in the Top 10, and eight No. 1 singles. Their work has been used in movies such as The Deer Hunter, Dirty Dancing, Mrs. Doubtfire, Conspiracy Theory, and the Wanderers. Many of the characters in The Sopranos mentioned Frankie by name and his music was often heard in the credits. Frankie also appeared as a guest star in two seasons of the show as mobster Rusty Milio.
Artists such as Billy Joel, Barry Gibb, and Brian Wilson all speak fondly of Frankie's music and consider him an inspiration. "In the early '60s, the Four Seasons were my favorite group. I thought they were fantastic. The voice blend was fantastic. The competition helped me to get cracking. It inspired me because they made good music. I went to the piano thinking I could top their music.", wrote Brian Wilson.
In 2016 and 2017, "Frankie and The Four Seasons" participated in a U.S. tour. Frankie is the only original member left that still goes on tours. In a recent interview he said: "I don’t know anything else, I’ve been on the road so long." During the same interview, he talked about his first steps in the industry and how he managed to stand out. "I always thought you had to be open to everything. I was a big Hank Williams country fan, a big gospel fan. I like all of it. I used to do impressions of other singers, so I had some idea of what you could do with a human voice, and I wasn’t afraid to try it."
Frankie received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in May of 2012 for his dedication to humanitarianism. He's also a supporter of heritage-related causes such as the NIAF (National Italian American Foundation) from which he received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.Return to the previous page
|Date of Birth:||03-05-1934|
|Children:||Francesco Valli, Antonia Valli|
|Ex. Wife:||MaryAnn Hannigan, Mary Mandel|
|Net Worth:||$60 million|
|Birth Place:||Newark, NJ|
|T.V. Show(s):||Hawaii Five-0|
|Birth Date:||3 May, 1934|
|Citizenship:||United States of America|
|Net Worth 2020:||80 million|