“Walk Like a Man” is a favorite song in the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys.” Submitted photo by Jeremy Daniel
Group honored at Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Meredith Rutledge-Borger, associate curator for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, says The Four Seasons were important to the history of Rock and Roll because they added polish and finesse to doo-wop. “The group took their sound uptown and eventually to the bright lights of Broadway without ever losing their Newark, New Jersey boys street-wise earthiness,” she says, adding that Frankie Valli’s three-octave vocal range and Bob Gaudio’s hook-laden songwriting elevated the Four Seasons among vocal groups.
The Rock Hall honored the Four Seasons with a special exhibit upon their induction in 1990, and again in 2008 in Las Vegas when “Jersey Boys” opened for its record-setting run there. Rutledge-Borger says while the Broadway show takes liberties for the sake of entertainment, it fairly accurately reflects the Four Seasons’ real life dramatic story.
She believes audiences continue to relate to that story and to that music because the members of The Four Seasons were “ordinary guys with extraordinary talent, guys that you might meet at your corner bar or working a job. They were ultimately relatable, with the same very human ups and downs that we all experience.”
Rutledge-Borger says it’s interesting to note that “Goodfellas” actor Joe Pesci was instrumental in bringing The Four Seasons together. “He introduced Bob Gaudio to Frankie Valli, and the rest is history!” she says.
The Four Seasons in the recording studio. Submitted photo.
WHAT: “Jersey Boys,” a musical play
WHEN: Tuesday, Oct. 18, through Sunday, Oct. 23.
WHERE: Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St., Dayton
TICKETS: $30-$97, available at the Ticket Center Stage Box Office, located in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center, by calling (937) 228-3630, (toll-free) 888-228-3630 or online at www.ticketcenterstage.com