1968 The 4 Seasons – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Singer Frankie Valli and guitar player Tommy DeVito formed the Variatones. They performed under a series of names from 1954 to 1959, even recording a few singles for RCA Victor as the Four Lovers. Things began to look up when Bob Gaudio joined the group.
They changed their name to the Four Seasons (the name of a local bowling alley) and signed with producer Bob Crewe. Their first single didn’t do much, after which Bob Gaudio wrote Sherry. The band had three consecutive chart-topping singles in 1962 and 1963, and followed that with a long line of hit records.
In 1965, the group changed the spelling of their name to The 4 Seasons. They kept with that name for several years.
Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, which became a #1 hit for the Shirelles in 1961. In 1967, the 4 Seasons were struggling with different sounds in an effort to find a hit record, but their singles were doing progressively worse on the charts. They released a cover of the Shirelles record in an effort to return to their former glory. For the first time, their record label listed them as The 4 Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli. The single did better than their most recent singles, but peaked at only #24 in 1968.
Bob Gaudio heard a live performance of Genuine Imitation Life by Jake Holmes and the pair teamed up to create the 4 Seasons’ next album, The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette. They released several singles from the upcoming concept album in 1968 prior to the album’s release in 1969, and the result was dismal. While the songs might have been interesting to listen to, radio audiences and the record-buying public just weren’t interested.
Undaunted, the pair went on to create a concept album for Frank Sinatra. Watertown became Frank’s least successful album. I did like the single I Would Be In Love (Anyway) from the album, but it only reached #88 on the Hot 100. Perhaps it was some consolation that the single made it to #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
It would be a long six years of recording and touring before either the 4 Seasons or Frankie Valli reached the top forty again. It looked like their recording career was over, but something wonderful happened on the way to the Oldies circuit: Frankie had a number one hit in 1974 with My Eyes Adored You, and the group hit the top of the Hot 100 in 1975 with December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).
They reunited and resumed recording. The group’s last visit to the Hot 100 came in 1994 when a remix version of December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) reached #14 on the chart.
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