#TBT: The Gay Jersey Boy
Bob Crewe is a hit maker. The songs he wrote and produced for the Four Seasons made them one of the top musical groups of all time. But his songs and his production work also helped brighten the careers of the Rays, Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Freddy Cannon, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Michael Jackson, Bobby Darin, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, and Patti LaBelle.
He was definitely a Jersey Boy, born in Newark in 1931 with a natural talent for music even though he had no formal training. Instead he attended Parsons School of Design in New York. Besides being one of the biggest hit makers of the 20th century, he is also a successful visual artist and sculptor who could have made a plush living on his art alone.
Charming, too smart for his own good, and possessing more energy than any other human on the planet, he harnessed his multiple talents and shaped the music of our lives.
Jersey Boys opens this weekend, and you will see a character representing Bob in the film. You'll enjoy the Four Season hits on the soundtrack, but in the meantime, we have assembled some clips of his most popular work composing and producing for other stars on the following pages.
The Rays, "Silhouettes," 1957
Billy Ford and Lillie Bryant, "Lucky Ladybug," 1959
Diane Renay, "Navy Blue," 1964
The Toys, "A Lover's Concerto," 1965
Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, "Devil With a Blue Dress On," 1966
The Bob Crewe Generation, "Music to Watch Girls By," 1967
The Bob Crewe Generation, "The Glitterhouse, (Theme From) Barbarella," 1968
Oliver, "Jean," 1969
Disco-Tex and the Sex-O-Lettes, "Get Dancin'," 1975
LaBelle, "Lady Marmalade," 1975
Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink, "Lady Marmalade," 2001
Bob Crewe on the cover of The Advocate, 1976