News Column

It all started with 'Short Shorts'

May 17, 2013


May 17--Bob Gaudio's entire life has been all about music. At the age of 15, Gaudio rose to fame as a member of the Royal Teens, when he co-wrote the hit "Short Shorts" in 1956. Two years later, he met Frankie Valli, who had the group The Four Lovers, while Gaudio was touring with the Royal Teens.

By 1960, Gaudio had joined forces with Valli and soon The Four Lovers became The Four Seasons.

What Gaudio didn't know was where his new band would go.

"At that age, we just wanted to travel and make music," he says during a recent phone interview. "We hoped that we would have success but never imagined the scope of success that we did have."

Gaudio and Valli were responsible for writing the songs, and Gaudio says it's amazing to see how the songs have lasted. He says it's also interesting to see how other artists will reinterpret some of the music.

"I've been blown away by Lauryn Hill's version of 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You,'" he says. "She dared to do the song without the horn lick and when I wrote it, I couldn't get through the song without it. I just love that version and it's inspiring to see artists taking on our songs."

Gaudio and Valli also were key in getting "Jersey Boys" made into a musical. Gaudio says the idea came to him after he saw that "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and "Mamma Mia!" were on Broadway.

"Those two musicals convinced me that there was a place for pop music on Broadway," he says. "It had festered inside of me for a while and at that moment, I knew we could do this."

Now that "Jersey Boys" is a hit, Gaudio says he is currently working on getting a version of "Peggy Sue Got Married" to Broadway.

"I continue to write music and stay active in music," he says. "I've been doing this for a lifetime, I don't see myself slowing down soon."


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