Bob Crewe


‘New York was pregnant in the fifties,’ says Bob Crewe, ‘gestating with possibilities.’ Crewe and music partner Frank Slay became independent writer producers when the category hadn’t yet been invented. In 1957 they wrote and produced ‘Silhouettes’ for The Rays, which skyrocketed to No 1. Suddenly, producers in demand, they launched Freddie Cannon’s ‘Tallahassee Lassie’ and Billy & Lillie’s ‘Lah Dee Da’. Crewe’s 1960s unprecedented producing success with The Four Seasons birthed a new sound, striking a major chord in American pop. ‘Sherry’, Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Candy Girl’, ‘Ronnie’ – all smashes. When lead Frankie Valli demanded a solo turn, Crewe and Bob Gaudio wrote (and Crewe produced) ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’, which eventually became the century’s fifth most-played song. Crewe ran hot with artists from Vicki Carr, Oliver and Lesley Gore to Mitch Ryder, co-writing with Charles Fox the soundtrack for Jane Fonda’s film Barbarella. Then his own Bob Crewe Generation exploded with Music to Watch Girls By. In 1972 Bob was in LA, where he revived Frankie Valli with ‘My Eyes Adored You’ by Crewe and Kenny Nolan. They also co-wrote Patti LaBelle’s ‘Lady Marmalade’ (No 1, 1975), which was a hit again on the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge (No 1, 2001).