The Jersey Boys were a gang of four boys from Belleville, New Jersey: Tommy DeVito, his brother Nicky and their friend Hank Majewski. who performed together under under various names and changing lineups; The Variety Trio was the most used name of this band. Probably the more experimented member of this band was Tommy; by 16 he had his own R&B band and was making $20 or $25 a night.
A 16-year-old boy called Frankie Castelluccio,son of a barber, already well known in the neighborhood for his singing voice was a friend of them. Frankie himself worked as a barber because he couldn't support himself just with music. He began his singing career in the early 1950s with The Variety Trio as the fourth of a lineup made up by Nickie DeVito, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Macioci.
In late 1952, the Variety Trio disbanded and Castelluccio, along with Tommy DeVito, became part of the house band at The Strand in New Brunswick, New Jersey. For his part, Frankie Castelluccio played bass and sang.
Frankie Castelluccio cut his first single, "My Mother's Eyes", in 1953 as "Frankie Valley", a variation on a name he adopted from "Texas" Jean Valli, a female hillbilly singer. Frankie said in 2010 that Jean took him to meet music publishers Paul and Dave Kapp, telling them he was her brother. As a result, his first single was listed under 'Frankie Valley', and the name stuck—though he eventually changed it to the same spelling ... to Valli.
Around this time, Valli and Tommy DeVito left the house band at The Strand and formed The Variatones with Hank Majewski, Frank Cattone, and Billy Thompson. In 1956, as part of an audition backing a female singer, the group impressed New York record man Peter Paul, who had them auditioning at the RCA Victor a week later.
Renamed The Four Lovers, the group recorded several singles and one album's worth of tracks. They had a minor hit with "You're the Apple of My Eye" in 1956.
Nickie DeVito and Hank Majewski left in 1958 to be replaced by Nick Macioci (now Nick Massi) and Hugh Garrity. Massi was in and out of the group, and, occasionally Charles Calello joined on accordion. The group continued to perform until 1959, when Bob Gaudio became a member. After a few more changes, the group was renamed "The 4 Seasons" after a cocktail lounge the group was auditioning, and turnes down, in a big suburban bowling alley in 1960.
As the lead singer of The Four Seasons, Valli had a string of hits beginning with the number-one hit "Sherry" in 1962...
Starting with the original "The Variety Trio" until they finally reached to "Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons" they used some really impressive number of names, including those of their lead singer, Frankie Valli:
- Billy Dixon And The Topics
- The Topics
- Frankie Tyler
- Frankie Valley
- Frankie Vally
- Frankie Valle
- Frankie Valle And The Romans
- Frankie Valley And The Travelers
- The Rays
- Hal Miller And The Rays - An Angel Cried
- John Corey
- Johnny Halo
- Jonathan Marcus
- Larry Lee
- Miss Franke Nolan
- The Four Kings
- The Four Lovers
- Van Trevor
and even Alex Alda and The Four Seasons (Alex Alda for Nick Messi a.k.a. Nick Macioci)
The official name of the band is The Four Seasons Partnership, formed by Gaudio and Valli taken after the failed audition in 1960. Since then, while singers, producers, and musicians have come and gone, Gaudio and Valli remain the band's constant (with each owning fifty percent of the act and its assets, including virtually all of its recording catalog).
Jersey Boys is a Tony Award winning jukebox musical telling the story of the musical group The Four Seasons. In 2014 Clint Eastwood produced and directed a musical crime drama film of the same name based on it, released in the United States on June 20, 2014. The film received mixed reviews from critics: some loved it, some hated it. Somehow, Clint Eastwood is not the proper director for a "musical"; by the way, Eastwood follows the style of Martin Scorsese's 1990 movie "Goodfellas", exagerating the "criminal" activity of the boys.