Frankie Valli to headline July 4 celebration in DC

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WASHINGTON (AP) — That trademark falsetto behind “Sherry,” ”Big Girls Don’t Cry” and other hits from 50 years ago will help celebrate July 4 on the National Mall this year as Frankie Valli headlines the “Capitol Fourth” show in Washington.

Organizers on Monday were to announce their early plans for the show and fireworks, which draw hundreds of thousands of people to the National Mall each year. The event will be broadcast nationwide on PBS.

Valli’s voice propelled the success of The Four Seasons from their first national exposure in 1962 when they performed “Sherry” on TV’s “American Bandstand.” Some of their other hits include “Walk Like a Man,” ”December 1963 (Oh What a Night)” and his solo hit “Grease.” The group has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Now that familiar voice just turned 80 years old this month, and Valli is still touring.

Looking back on decades in music, Valli told The Associated Press he’s grateful to all who bought records and supported his group through the years. But make no mistake: he has no plans to retire anytime soon.

This will be a big summer for Valli and the Four Seasons. A film adaptation of the musical about their lives, “Jersey Boys,” is set for release June 20, directed by Clint Eastwood.

“I’m proud of the fact that we started out from where we did. We had as many hits as we did,” Valli said. “We became a Broadway play and then a movie.”

“Jersey Boys” has been a long-running hit on Broadway, now entering its ninth year with six companies performing the show each night from Las Vegas to London. The show has been a success, Valli said, because it’s not just about music. It’s a unique story “about four guys who grew up in a neighborhood, who struggled with getting through life, who had problems,” Valli said.

He hasn’t seen the film adaptation but said he hopes it makes for a great movie.

“It’s very difficult to look at the portrayal of your life by someone else or all the decisions being made by someone else,” he said.

Beyond his music, Valli has also dabbled in acting. He had a recurring role on the HBO series “The Sopranos” and has a cameo in the upcoming Rob Reiner film, “And So It Goes,” starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.

Valli said he’s honored to be performing in the nation’s capital for Independence Day because “it’s an important day for any American.”

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Follow Brett Zongker at https://twitter.com/DCArtBeat .

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