Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bob Gaudio (born November 17, 1942) is an American singer and songwriter from the Bronx, New York. He shot to musical fame at the age of 15 as a member of the Royal Teens when he wrote the hit "Short Shorts." For years afterward he seemed destined to be a one-hit wonder until he met Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, and Nick Massi, all from Newark, New Jersey, forming the group that became the Four Seasons. Gaudio played keyboards and wrote the Seasons' first hit, "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," "Bye Bye Baby" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (the first big success under Valli's name as a "solo artist"). 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").
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 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 in the U.S. and Ace in the U.K. Gaudio and Holmes also wrote and produced Frank Sinatra's 1970 album "Watertown."
Later 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 Rock 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. He produced the movie soundtrack albums for Diamond's "The Jazz Singer" and "The 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 was instrumental in mounting "Jersey Boys," a musical play based on the lives of The Four Seasons, which is running at the La Jolla (California) Playhouse through January 2, 2005 and is headed for Broadway. Gaudio is a member of the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
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