Newark NJ, April 27, 2023 – Oh, what a day!
Newark native and New Jersey Hall of Fame inductee Frankie Valli was officially honored in his hometown today with a street dedication.
Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., Essex County Executive; Anibal Ramos Jr., North Ward Councilman; Luis A. Quintana, Councilman at Large; New Jersey Hall of Fame President Steven Edwards, along with Newark City Council members and officials, gathered at the corner of Stephen Crane Plaza and Franklin Avenue for the dedication. The Master of Ceremonies for the event was Philip B Alagia, Essex County Chief of Staff.
Born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio in Newark in 1934, Frankie Valli was raised around the corner from where the dedication took place on North Pine Lane in the Stephen Crane Housing Complex.
“My family and I moved to Stephen Crane Village, Newark’s first low-income housing project, when I was six. Each unit was self-contained, like a garden apartment, and had two bedrooms and a bathroom, with real hardwood floors, steam heat, and hot and cold running water. I remember at the time thinking we were rich and couldn’t believe we got to live there. To come back to the place where I grew up and see it renamed after me is one of the biggest honors of my life and I thank all those who made it possible, especially the City of Newark and Mayor Ras Baraka. I always say, ‘You can take the guy out of the neighborhood, but you can’t take the neighborhood out of the guy,’ and I always take Newark with me no matter where I’ve traveled to,” said Frankie Valli.
“We love you, Frankie; Newark loves you; the world loves you! Thank you for what you have done for all of us,” said Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., Essex County Executive.
“Today, we recognize one of Newark’s favorite sons, the living legend, Frankie Valli. Frankie’s story represents an important part of Newark’s history. For the residents of Stephen Crane Village – thank you for letting us honor one of your sons in a special way; and Frankie Valli is making his ‘way back to you, babe,'” said Anibal Ramos Jr., North Ward Councilman.
“As an Italian American growing up in Newark, I don’t think there is anyone more special, more that we appreciated, and idolized than Frankie Valli. Frankie, you were the soundtrack that we all lived our lives by,” said Philip B Alagia, Essex County Chief of Staff.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting and special day for New Jersey’s original Jersey Boy,” said Chairman of the Hall of Fame Jon F. Hanson. “Frankie Valli was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his remarkable career, and now it’s only fitting his hometown will recognize him as well.”
“Frankie Valli exemplifies New Jersey grit and greatness,” said President of the Hall of Fame Steve Edwards. “We congratulate him on this well-deserved honor for his contributions to his hometown, his state, his country and the world.”
Frankie Valli has one of the most recognizable and distinctive singing voices in music and has sold 175 million records. As the lead singer of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons, Frankie had a long string of hits beginning with “Sherry” in 1962 and concluding with the blockbuster hit “December 1963 (Oh What a Night).” The group has released a remarkable 40 Top 40 hits, 19 in the Top 10, and eight No. 1’s. In 2005, the hit musical Jersey Boys opened on Broadway, featuring many of the hit songs as it tells the story of each of the members of the Four Seasons.
Frankie has also toured continuously since 1962, and around 200 artists have done cover versions of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” including Lauryn Hill’s hit hip-song song. And most recently, Italian rock band Måneskin entered the Top 40 with their cover of “Beggin.” Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons are currently on tour this year, performing 23 shows across America, including stops in Newark on April 28 and Red Bank on June 1.
Frankie is in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was honored in 2008 with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Italian American Foundation. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2010.
ABOUT THE NJHOF: Because everyone needs a hero, the New Jersey Hall of Fame (NJHOF) honors citizens who have made invaluable contributions to society, the State of New Jersey, and the world beyond. Since 2008, the NJHOF has hosted 14 ceremonies for more than 200 notable individuals and groups in recognition of their induction into the Hall of Fame. The NJHOF endeavors to present school children with significant and impactful role models to show that they can, and should, strive for excellence. The NJHOF is thankful for the support of its many sponsors, without which none of our endeavors would be possible. For more information, go to www.njhalloffame.org.
For New Jersey Hall of Fame:
Alexander Neely, email@example.com, (609) 789-3443
For Frankie Valli:
Victoria Varela, Varela Media, firstname.lastname@example.org