Frankie Valli Still Going Strong At 79

Frankie Valli earlier in his career.

Frankie Valli was born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio on May 3, 1934 in Newark, New Jersey. The 79 year-old singer appeared on American Idol singing his classic hits Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You and Grease in the Season 12 American Idol finale.

Frankie Valli shown with Curtis Finch, Burnell Taylor and Lazaro Arbos on the stage during the Season 12 finale for American Idol.

Valli was enticed to sing after seeing Frank Sinatra in concert at the Paramount Theater in New York City. He appeared with various groups, but his main claim to fame came during his time singing with the Four Seasons. The group had monster hits like Sherry, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, which all went to No.1 on the Billboard charts in 1962 and 1963. Another 1963 hit Candy Girl peaked at No.3. Dawn (Go Away) would also climb to No.3.

His first hit as a soloist was Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, which reached the No.1 spot on the Billboard charts. My Eyes Adored You went to No.1 in 1974, then he had his last No.1 solo song with Grease.

An interesting note of trivia is that the Four Seasons were named after a New Jersey bowling alley.

When Valli recorded solo albums he sang in his regular voice, not the falsetto he used with the Four Seasons. Valli sounded good whether singing in falsetto or regular voice.

The Four Seasons and Valli weren’t affected by the British invasion, as they didn’t alter their sound to fit in with the Beatles craze.

The late 70’s would see Valli battle otosclerosis, which causes loss of hearing. He would have to sing from memory during this time and but would regain his hearing in 1980.

He would record his first solo album in 27 years in 2007 and is still active today 62 years after he first became an active singer.

A crowning achievement for Valli and Four Seasons was their induction, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

These are some 30 second clips of the Four Seasons and Frankie Valli hits:

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/frankie-valli-mn0000794449/songs

Four Seasons singing Working My Way Back To You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pI1BgbYIPk

Four Seasons singing a medley of Dawn, Rag Doll and Bye Bye Baby

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmFFsBCHLB0

Ryan Seacrest who is usually shorter than most of the singers on American Idol had to be happy, to stand next to the diminutive Frankie Valli who is five foot five, so Seacrest towered over him at five foot eight.

It is great to know that 79 year-old Valli is still active, with no signs of retiring anytime soon.

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Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

4 thoughts on “Frankie Valli Still Going Strong At 79”

  1. Dennis and I saw him perform a couple years ago. He must have been having a bad night because he wasn’t nearly as good as he was on Idol last night. I always loved his music. My favorite song is Opus 17.

  2. I read your other comment first, so didn’t know you had seen Frankie in person. That worries me that Frankie sang better on Idol than he did when you and Dennis saw him, which makes me wonder if he sings better for television audiences of millions. I have very little of his music, so will be on the lookout for some of his music. I think I have a Four Seasons cassette, but those are almost worthless today, since there are not that many cassette players around.

  3. Just attended his concert in Sonoma tonight. Frankie is now 80, thought he was around 75 going in, found out when I got home! He may be up there in years, but he put on the best show he could and I appreciated hearing him sing LIVE. The “new” Four Seasons were excellent guys too. The large band rocked as well. Frankie sang many songs without an intermission, for about an hour and a half. He only took maybe two short breaks off stage while the musicians played to keep us entertained. I have to hand it to him, still performing at age 80 is something not too many can pull off well, but he loves performing and the audience responded to him quite well tonight. There was much applause after every song. By the end of the concert, we were all clapping and on our feet. His back up singers do a great job “framing” him and add tons of fun energy and “fill” sound too. There were 17 musicians and singers total.

    1. Debbie, Thank you very much for taking time to write about seeing Frankie Valli in concert. It is amazing that he can do a concert at his age. I saw him sing on American Idol as a guest singer, about a year ago and was really impressed. I am sure that Frankie is on a very short list, of singers who are still singing at the age of 80.

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