Frankie Valli has known that singing is his life’s work ever since he was a small lad in Newark, New Jersey.
To say the 89-year-old legend has risen beyond his rough, working-class roots is an understatement; just one look at him now is enough to put a grin on anyone’s face.
The mid-1950s bubble-gum period in the United States, characterised by drive-ins and soda shops, became inextricably linked to Frankie Valli’s distinctive three-octave range and unrivalled falsetto voice. The fact that his music is still beloved decades after its first release is a testimonial to the depth and intensity of his work.
Frankie’s mother brought him to see a young Frank Sinatra perform at Manhattan’s Paramount Theatre, and that experience sparked his lifelong interest in music and singing. This changed him forever, and he is now following his ambition of being a famous singer.
Initially, he didn’t realise how much he would come to admire “Ol’ Blue Eyes” Sinatra.
Because of what I done for his mum, he treated me like a friend. Our tight friendship lasted for approximately a decade. “I always gave him a bear hug and a kiss on the cheek whenever I saw him,” Valli recalled.
It wasn’t easy for Frankie to make it to the top, since he got his start singing on street corners with the boys. Before finding success in music, he drove a truck, was a caddy on a golf club, and followed in his father’s footsteps as a barber in downtown Newark.
I was born into poverty, and my family has never been wealthy. “I had to have a safety net,” Frankie adds.
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were an international phenomenon in the early 1960s. The members of The Four Seasons became famous when their songs “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “Walk Like a Man” were chart toppers.
Commons image by Philips Records on Wikipedia
Fans loved Frankie because of his distinctive falsetto voice. “Sherry” became the fastest record to reach No. 1 since Elvis Presley’s first breakthrough.
During his tenure with The Four Seasons, Frankie also put out many solo recordings. He had a successful career both with The Four Seasons and on his own, where he scored another nine top 40 songs.
Frankie was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with his fellow Four Seasons bandmates Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, and Bob Gaudio.
Valli began acting in the mid-1960s as a logical progression from his profession as a singer. One of his most famous parts was in the movie version of the popular Broadway musical Jersey Boys, which chronicled the careers of the rock band The Four Seasons.
In addition to his singing success with The Four Seasons and later as a solo artist, Valli has appeared in a number of television series and films. His many guest-starring roles on series as disparate as Miami Vice, The Sopranos, and Hawaii Five-0 attest to his adaptability as an actor.
Ex-spouse Randy Valli and singer Frankie Valli
Valli has become an iconic figure in modern rock music. The legendary musician is still making songs and going on tours after all these years. The 89-year-old artist, who lives in California at the moment, hasn’t shown any desire to retire anytime soon.
It used to be very hard doing the same songs over and over again, but now I try to perform each song as if it were the first time I was singing it, because that’s what the audience wants to hear, not my new work or even my solo albums. This quote is from Frankie’s 1993 interview with Rolling Stone.
Daily shower singing routine
In his 80s, Valli’s voice remains as strong as ever because to his dedication to a healthy lifestyle. He keeps to a very regimented eating plan and shuns all forms of substance abuse. When he is tired, he goes to bed promptly and seldom stays up beyond his bedtime unless absolutely necessary.
Plus, I try to fit in a little singing each day. It’s one of my favourite ways to unwind. In my opinion, it’s up there among the very finest. In 2021 he remarked, “You can do two things: detoxify your body and open your vocal potential and exercise your voice.
Valli’s first wife, Mary, was already the mother of his 2-year-old daughter when he married her in his early 20s. This was before Frankie became famous and the first of his three marriages.
At age 20, I got married and started a family in the projects where we were living. I was a resident in the slums up to the time of my achievement,” he said.
While raising their two children, Francine and Antonia, Frankie and Mary eventually split up in 1971. In 1974, he wed MaryAnn Hannagan for a second time, and their union lasted for eight years.
After thereafter, in 1984, he wed Randy Clohessy, and the couple eventually produced three kids. However, the couple divorced bitterly and split up in 2004.
Tragedies have struck the Valli family just as they have struck other families. In reality, he has gone through what is perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a parent.
His stepdaughter Celia died in 1980 after falling over a fire escape. The death of his youngest daughter Francine, allegedly from a heroin overdose, came only six months later, dealing him another heartbreaking blow.
These are some of the worst things a parent can go through, and it’s a tribute to Frankie’s strength that he’s kept going with his music career despite them.
Despite all the bad luck Frankie has had in life, he is blessed with multiple children who are thriving adults and a constant source of pride and happiness. As every grandmother will attest, the joy of seeing the success of one’s grandchildren is unparalleled, and Frankie is no different.
It’s inspiring to watch how they’ve managed to remain close despite the difficulties they’ve encountered as a family, and how much their love and support have meant to him.
“Every one of my children is a born creator. Even my children! Brando, my son, is into electronic dance music, and Olivia, my granddaughter, is now on tour with Pretty Woman. She’s the main character. Frankie gushed to The Montrealer about how exciting it all was a year ago.
Frankie Valli turns 89 on May 3, and the fact that he is still with us is nothing short of miraculous. He still has the ability to enthral people all over the globe.
In honour of his birthday, I thought it would be fitting to spread the news about all the wonderful things he did for the world of music by posting an article about him on my Facebook wall.
This way, we can make sure his name is remembered for years to come and that he keeps inspiring future musicians.
Greetings on your birthday, Frankie Valli!