Bob Crewe, the songwriter whose most well-known songs became massive hits for groups like the Four Seasons, died last Thursday, according to reports in Rolling Stone. He was 83 years old.
Crewe’s career began in the 1950’s as a member of the doo-wop group The Rays, who scored a minor hit with the song “Silhouettes.” In 1961, Crewe released two solo albums that pegged him as a heart-throb in the vein of Paul Anka and Ricky Nelson, but once he met songwriter Bob Gaudio, he began to focus more on writing songs for other performers, and his efforts paid off almost immediately with “Sherry.” Recorded and released in 1962 by The Four Seasons, the song debuted at #1 on the singles charts and kicked off a string of hits that would make the Four Seasons one of the most popular groups of the decade.
Crewe and Gaudio wrote more songs for Frankie Valli and company, including “Let’s Hang On!” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” and he scored a hit as a producer with Mitch Ryder’s take on “Devil With a Blue Dress On.” Crewe’s career continued through the 1970’s, when he hit the top of the charts again after writing “Lady Marmalade” for LaBelle.
In his later years, Crewe was justifiably honored for his accomplishments. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 1995, and he later won Tony and Grammy Awards as the credited lyricist for the Four Seasons-inspired jukebox musical Jersey Boys.