Jersey Boys: The Music of Act I (Part 2)

As mentioned in a previous blog, Land of Punt is taking an in-depth look at each song used in Jersey Boys. For this second entry, L.O.P. looks at songs from the last half of Act I.

jersey_boys

To remind readers, Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical based on the turbulent rise to fame of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The group is one of the most famous rock and roll bands to emerge during the early 1960’s. They flourished between the decline of Elvis Presley and the arrival of The Beatles to America.

Jersey Boys uses previously released songs for its musical score. The music in Jersey Boys is comprised of popular songs from the late 1950’s and several songs from the Four Seasons’ catalog.

Cry for Me
An Angel Cried
I Still Care
Trance
Sherry
Big Girls Don’t Cry
Walk Like a Man
December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)
My Boyfriend’s Back
My Eyes Adored You
Dawn (Go Away)
Walk Like a Man (reprise)

An Angel Cried

I Still Care

Sherry Baby

“Sherry Baby” was the Four Seasons’ first nationally released single and their first number one. Released in August of 1962, “Sherry Baby” spent five consecutive weeks at the top of the charts.

According to composer Bob Gauido, the song took him fifteen minutes to write and was originally titled “Jackie Baby” in honor of then First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

Big Girls Don’t Cry

“Big Girls Don’t Cry is the Four Seasons’ second single and their second number one hit. Like “Sherry Baby,” “Big Girls” spent five weeks at the top spot. It was written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe.

According to Gauido, he heard the line, “big girls don’t cry,” while dozing off to the film Tennessee’s Partner. The 1955 movie starred John Payne, Rhonda Fleming and Ronald Regan. However, that movie doesn’t contain the line in question.

The line is included in another John Payne, Rhonda Fleming movie, Slightly Scarlet, a film noir from 1956. According to Crewe, he was the one dozing off and he was the one who heard Fleming utter the line.

Walk Like A Man

While the Four Seasons were recording “Walk Like A Man,” which would eventually spend three weeks at number one, a fire started in the room directly above their studio.

However, Crewe was so insistent that the band record a perfect take that he refused to let them evacuate. Crewe even went so far as to barricade the door. Finally, as water and smoke were seeping into the studio, firemen broke the door down and escorted the band outside.

December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)

“What A Night,” was written by Gaudio and his wife Judy Parker and released in 1975. It can be found on the Four Seasons’ album Who Loves You.

In 1976, the song reached number one in the U.K., the U.S. and in Canada. Including its 1994 remix, “What A Night” has longest tenure on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart of all-time.

The song was originally about the repeal of Prohibition.

My Boyfriend’s Back

Originally, The Angels recorded the song as a demo for The Shirelles but their version not only ended up as a single but it spent three weeks at number one.

The song was written by the team of Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer and was released by The Angels in 1963.

My Eyes Adored You

“My Eyes Adored You” was a number one song for Frankie Valli in 1975. It was his first number one hit as a solo artists and the success of this single helped renew interest in the Four Seasons.

Written by Bob Crewe and Kenny Nolan, it was first recorded by the Four Seasons but their label didn’t want to release it as a single. Valli bought the single for $4,000 and eventually found a company that would distribute the song. However, the company added a stipulation that only Valli’s name appear on the label.

Dawn (Go Away)

“Dawn” was recorded in 1963 but due to a litigation with their record label, the song wasn’t released until February of 1964. The single climbed rapidly but only reached number three due to a burgeoning new band called the Beatles.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You” kept “Dawn” kept “Dawn” at number three for three weeks. Then “Twist and Shout,” “Please Please Me,” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” knocked it out of the top five.

The song was written by Bob Gaudio-Sandy Linzer.

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