We heard that Bob Crewe was seriously ill recently and we wanted to wish him well in his recovery. We received word from DC Larue (aka Mathew Reid and other identities) via researcher Mike Miller. DC told Mike…. “ When he went back to California after the shoot he went into the hospital for a simple gall bladder operation a week later...and that's when the night mare began. He went into sceptic shock and almost "left us!" There were a few days there that we didn't know if he was going to pull through.”Well Bob Crewe got in touch via his manager at Crewe Studio and sent us some recent photos and to confirm he is feeling much better now. This photo by David Stoltz
We also found this quote from Bob in the book by Joe Smith…”Off The Record”
Crewe wrote marvelous pop songs and made (some) less-than-marvelous records. But he had the touch and the feel for what could be a hit for others, and became a top record producer for over a decade.
“I learned a lot from Jerry Wexler. Jerry always said, "If you want to know how much promotion is being done on your record, just consider how much you'.re doing and then cut that by 90 percent. That's how much promotion you're getting." .
He'd say , "You have to get on the phone, you have to be in contact with people, keep the dialogue running." He taught me so many things, like how the business was based on relationships between people. There sure was a lot of stuff going on at the time about payola, but I never got into it.
I gave parties instead, and everyone had a grand time.
The first success I had with the Four Seasons-and it was a
tiny bit of success-was a record called "
Bermuda" which came out on George Goldner's label. It was a minor hit out of Philadelphia. But Frankie Valli was getting a little restless because nothing was really happening beyond Philly.
One night I went down to
But Frankie did a thing that night that blew me away. He put a bandana over his head, took two maracas and stuck them under his coat, and began singing "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" like Nellie Lecher with that high voice.
I had a lot of other things happening at the time, but I said to Bob, "Go write a song for Frankie with that chi-chi voice and jump it an octave.
I don't care if you call it "Bananas," just jump
it an octave, and we'll make a record of it, whatever it is." He came up
with several ideas. One was a song called "Jackie," inspired by
Jackie Kennedy, who was the darling of the world at the time. But the song
didn't work out. It was then that Bob wrote "Sherry." At the time,
I'm living in a duplex on
(Photo by Aloma)
We had five songs on that date, and "Sherry" was one of them. Now for years I'd been working with this guy, Paul Marshall, who would make deals for me by selling my masters all over the place, so I was able to stay aAoat and keep going. Paul and I went down to the NARM Convention inMiami and played the record for Henry Stone, who was a great friend of mine, and Joyce Monroe, who was at WFUN.
Henry heard the record and said, "Don't say a word. You got a Number 1 record here, and we're gonna get this thing going." During the next two or three days, the buzz around the pool and the lobby was that I was carrying hot gold.
Then the bidding started, and we wound up making a deal with Ewart Abner at Vee Jay. On paper, it was one of the largest deals that had ever been made on a record, sixteen cents a record. Later down the line, I realized that we probably should have made a deal with CBS for five cents a record becaqse maybe we would have gotten a better count. There were times when Ewart could be found in Vegas, blowing a quarter of a million bucks a night at the crap table. But I loved the guy.
None of that matters now. We had a great run with the Four Seasons.
And although the line of hits with the group-"BigGirls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," and the rest-were all by Crewe and Gaudio, my favorite record during that entire time was Cole Porter's "I've Got You under My Skin. "”