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June 03, 2024

WXPN debuts show by Low Cut Connie frontman, with Frankie Valli as first guest

The Four Seasons crooner was on 'The Connie Club' to discuss his falsetto Bob Dylan cover and early forays into country music.

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WXPN Cotton Club Provided images/Stu Boyd II-The Commercial Appeal/USA TODAY NETWORK/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Low Cut Connie frontman Adam Weiner (left) is hosting the new WXPN show 'The Connie Club' for 10 weeks. Frankie Valli (right) was his first guest.

A Philadelphia rocker is hosting a new show on WXPN, and he brought along a legendary New Jersey singer for the first episode.

"The Connie Club," a new series from Low Cut Connie frontman Adam Weiner, made its debut on the public radio station over the weekend. For the premiere episode, Weiner spoke to Frankie Valli, the Newark-born crooner and long-time leader of the Four Seasons. The pair discussed some lesser-known periods from Valli's seven-decade career, including his honky-tonk era.

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"I did do some country-western also when I was younger," Valli said. "The kind of music I was into, country music, was a lot of Hank Williams. I like those storytelling songs.

"There were some country clubs in town, and I remember, maybe for a year or two, working in a total country-western outfit."

Weiner also played the Four Seasons' extremely high-pitched cover of Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," which dropped in 1965. The single rose to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, but was never credited to the band. The Four Seasons adopted the pseudonym the Wonder Who? for this and later charting singles "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and "Lonesome Road" at the request of their label.

"The reason it came out as the Wonder Who? and not the Four Seasons is we had two records out at the same time," Valli explained. "The record company thought it would hurt the other two."

Valli also revealed that the song was born out of a bit that his bosses surprisingly loved.

"It wasn't originally supposed to be recorded the way it was recorded," he said. "We were in a studio just checking out the microphone and I was clowning around and doing this falsetto voice, right? I was just clowning around and all of a sudden they hit the button and said, 'Wait a minute, hold it. Let's do it like that.'"

"The Connie Club" will air on Saturdays at 5 p.m. for the next nine weeks, with three live tapings at Ardmore Music Hall on June 13, July 11 and Aug. 8. Upcoming guests include Jake Shears, the co-lead vocalist of the Scissor Sisters, and Nancy Wilson, the guitarist and vocalist for Heart.

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