Former Four Seasons songwriter Bob Crewe dies at 83

Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:19pm EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Songwriter Bob Crewe, who co-wrote such hits as "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" and "Walk Like a Man" and played a key behind-the- scenes role in the rise to stardom of the Four Seasons pop group, has died at age 83, his brother said on Saturday.

Crewe died on Thursday at a nursing home in Scarborough, Maine, succumbing to complications from a fall he suffered about four years ago, said his brother and former business partner, Dan Crewe.

"He had a wonderful career and I'm sorry he has passed, but I'm glad he’s out of his discomfort," said Crewe. "He was not able to function, and for a guy who was so creative, it was not an easy life.”

Crewe, who grew up in Belleville, New Jersey, began writing music professionally in the 1950s after quitting the Parsons School of Design in New York where he had studied to become an architect.

He was already an established songwriter and had some success as a pop singer and model when he met the vocal group that would become the Four Seasons, and produced their first No. 1 hit in 1962, "Sherry."

The group, which featured frontman Frankie Valli and his falsetto singing style, quickly gained fame, as Crewe collaborated with the band's keyboardist and backing vocalist, Bob Gaudio, to write some of their most enduring hits.

Perhaps their biggest hit was "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," a 1967 song that has been covered numerous times by other artists and was used in such films as "Bridget Jones's Diary" and "The Deer Hunter."

Crewe specialized in writing lyrics, and he was known as a demanding producer in studio sessions, Dan Crewe said.   Continued...