Frankie Valli: Italian of the Week

Aug 09, 2015 1127

Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, better known as Frankie Valli, was born on May 3, 1934, in Newark, New Jersey. He was the youngest of three children born to barber and model train designer Anthony Castelluccio and homemaker Mary Rinaldi. When he was seven his mother took him into New York City to see up-and-coming artist Frank Sinatra. The show changed Frankie's life: "I saw Sinatra coming out on stage and the way he was lit up, it was like he had an aura around him. I decided then and there that's what I was going to do—be a successful singer."

four-seasonsWhen he was just 19, Frankie signed his first record contract. He quickly became known as having the "voice of an angel." In the late 1950s, Frankie and his band – the Four Lovers – saw moderate success. The group had a few minor hits and even appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. In 1959, Frankie's friend and future actor Joe Pesci introduced the band to songwriter Bob Gaudio. This addition changed the course of the band's success. With Bob writing the songs, the band changed its name to the Four Seasons, released "Sherry," and became an overnight sensation.

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