Gaudio played keyboards and wrote the Seasons' first hit, titled "Sherry", in 1962. Together with producer Bob Crewe, Gaudio wrote a string of subsequent 60s hits for the Seasons, including "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Ronnie", "Save It For Me", and "Bye Bye Baby". He also helped create "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", which reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a gold record (being the first big success under Valli's name as a 'solo artist'). The four-piece band has influenced numerous other artists while being one of the most successful American pop and rock groups of the 60s.
Gaudio-Crewe compositions also became major hits for other artists, including The Tremeloes ("Silence is Golden") and The Walker Brothers ("The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"). As the Four Seasons played on, though, Gaudio sought to branch out musically, and the group also faced tension between its members. With lyricist Jake Holmes, Gaudio sought to join the trend toward more socially conscious pop music by writing and producing the album "The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette", released by the Four Seasons in January 1969. The album was a commercial failure and marked the end of the Four Seasons' first period of success, but the album's quirky newspaper-style cover influenced the covers of subsequent albums by Jefferson Airplane, Jethro Tull, and John Lennon. Appreciation of "The Genuine Imitation Life Gazette" has grown over the years, and it was released on CD (minus the newspaper cover) in the 1990s by Rhino Records in the U.S.
and Ace Records in the U.K. Gaudio and Holmes also wrote and produced Frank Sinatra's 1969 album "Watertown". In the 1970s Gaudio wrote "Who Loves You" and "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" with his future wife Judy Parker. The songs became big hits for a reconstituted, discofied version of the Four Seasons (Valli was the only original left). The original Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Gaudio had stopped touring with the Seasons in 1971 so that he could focus on writing and producing. In addition to his work for the Seasons and Sinatra, he wrote and/or produced for Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Barry Manilow and Roberta Flack. In particular, he produced six complete albums for Neil Diamond, as well as the movie soundtrack albums for Diamond's "The Jazz Singer" and "Little Shop of Horrors". In the 1990s Gaudio moved to Nashville and produced recordings for Canadian country artist George Fox, among others. He lured Neil Diamond to Nashville to record the album "Tennessee Moon".
In recent years Gaudio has focused on musical theater, writing the music for the 2001 London production of "Peggy Sue Got Married". Gaudio is additionally a member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame. As stated earlier, Gaudio was instrumental in creating 'Jersey Boys', a musical production based on the lives of the Four Seasons. The musical ran at the La Jolla Playhouse through January 2, 2005 and then opened on Broadway on Nov.
6, 2005 to mostly positive reviews. In 2006, the play won four Tony Awards, including 'Best Musical'. The full album recording of the 'Original Broadway Cast' picked up a Grammy Award while also achieving large-scale commercial success. Read more on Last.fm.
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