This time of the year I can't wind things down for Christmas without thinking about the lost friends and music detectives who have helped create 'the body of knowledge' that exists about the Four Seasons which we have accumulated over the last forty years. So rather than comment on the latest effort by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Tis The Seasons I'd rather reflect on the fans contributions to our musical knowledge and remember them.
Stuart Miller presided over the UK fan club in the early 1970s and this led to all that followed for the fan club during the 1970s. His legendary interview with Bob Gaudio remains one of the most insightful interviews he has ever given. Right in the middle of the Motown contract it shows the thirst for a new direction that would strike 'gold' by 1975. And the pressing of a bootleg album of rare sides by Stuart kept the fan club going through the darker days at Motown
Frank Rovello single handedly ploughed the furrow for US fans and collectors when the WWW arrived and founded the Genuine Imitation Life Gazette website and packed it full of articles, interviews and information that stretches back to the 70s.He was a great friend and collaborator we shall never forget.
Stefan Wriedt, my German sound engineer friend taught me how to use sound engineering software to restore vinyl gems. Through his work as a restoration engineer he brought us The Fantastic First Years CD of all the pre-Four Seasons tracks from his personal collection and the first CD release of the Motown tracks since they were previously only available on vinyl, with The Night/Inside You CD back in the 1990's. He also helped me establish the CD Discography Index at our website an invaluable reference for finding the best Four Seasons Masters on CD.
And finally Rex Woodard who did more than anyone to research the history of the Four Seasons and may well provide us with their first bio book in the next few years. We now know he contributed 10% to the success of 'Jersey Boys' . That's 'official'. I'll write separately regarding Rex and his contributions.
All these friends and former 'curators' are sadly missed by all as we close 2016. But their legacy lives on as we continue to seek more music and backstories to our favourite group. They'll never be forgotten.