Through the hit Broadway musical “Jersey Boys” and the movie that was adapted from it, the story of the Four Seasons has really become part of the state’s cultural lore. And the turning point in the story, really, was “Sherry,” their first hit single, which introduced Frankie Valli’s falsetto to the world.
Songwriter Bob Gaudio, a Four Seasons member, told Terry Gross of NPR last year that he had no specific woman in mind when he wrote the song, and that he kept the lyrics simple for a practical reason. He said he wrote it “just before going to rehearsal at Frankie’s. I sat at the piano; it just jumped out and (I) actually put the lyrics as simple as they were because I didn’t have a tape recorder. And it was the only way I thought I could remember the melody. So if I had the lyrics, I’d sing it on the way down and retain it, and I did.”
“Sherry” stayed at the No. 1 position of Billboard magazine’s pop chart for five weeks in September and October of 1962, before being replaced by Bobby “Boris” Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers’ “Monster Mash,” The Crystals’ “He’s a Rebel” and then the Four Seasons’ second hit, “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.