At 88, New Jersey’s own Frankie Valli is still cranking out the hits
Frankie Valli had a pretty serious health scare back in October and November of 2021. He suffered pneumonia and was forced to cancel most of his tour and there was some concern that Frankie would never tour again. Let’s face it; a man in his late 80s has a tougher chance of beating a health issue like that, unless of course you’re Jersey tough Frankie Valli.
On May 2 Frankie Valli will be celebrating his 88th birthday! Frankie will be celebrating in front of audiences in Philadelphia and at Radio City Music Hall in New York the first week of May 2022.
The New Jersey entertainment icon has been performing in front of sold out audiences for over 60 years. As a performer who had his initial success in the ’60s, Frankie maintained his popularity throughout the ‘70s and into the ’80’s with his number one hit “Grease” from the movie and Broadway hit musical. Then came his character on “The Sopranos” along with the success of “Jersey Boys” on Broadway. It seems Frankie is impervious to entertainment failure.
The phrase “Frankie’s back!” is a falsehood, he never left, and he’s always been on top of his game, always touring and always entertaining the very crowded audiences that adore him worldwide. The New Jersey Hall of Famer and the 1990 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee turns 88 and he’s still touring.
Frankie is Jersey tough, growing up on the streets of Newark in the Stephan Crane Housing project taught him to be street smart but it also provided him with a talented cast of friends and band mates who all shared the same passion for music. As a matter of fact, one of those friends was actor Joe Pesci, who some say was an honorary member of the Four Seasons.
Frankie and the boys would eventually become the Four Seasons and would sell over 100 million records. They had an amazing popularity and were successful even though they were in the middle of the Beatles takeover of US radio air play.
Frankie and the Four Seasons kept a pretty even keel during some questionable times that included a huge surge of success and some inner band ego problems and management issues. Most bands lose it after being confronted with that but they survived and if anything became a stronger, more focused group that put music and entertaining first.
I’ve had the very special privilege of working with Frankie and hosting several of his shows. I noticed that everything runs succinctly, like a fine-tuned watch. The pre-show run through is tight, the music is awesome and Frankie hits every mark on the stage with a comfortable ease.
I got a chance to talk with him briefly and we talked about his ability to keep going, he said that light exercise and diet help him stay fit and the love of the music and his fans keeps him going strong. I don’t think you can get any stronger.
Frankie Valli at 88 and still cranking out the hits. Happy birthday Frankie and thank you.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.