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Nick Massi: Age 73
December 24, 2000
Cancer

Note: if you have a photo of Nick that you would like to contribute to this page, or if you know of a link to a photo on the web already, please get in touch (link above).




 

 
Nicholas Macioci
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Four Seasons Singer Nick Massi Dies

Nick Massi, a founding member of early '60s hitmakers the Four Seasons, died of cancer Dec. 24 in Newark, N.J., according to local paper The Star-Ledger. He was 73.

Massi, born Nicholas Macioci in 1927, sang bass vocals for the popular quartet led by falsetto singer Frankie Valli.

During his four years with the band, between 1961 and 1965, it recorded numerous hits, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man," and "Rag Doll."

Valli's high-pitched crooning is the most recognizable element of the group, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 — but Valli has said that Massi, responsible for much of the musical arrangements, was a mentor to him.

"He could do four-part modern harmonies that would amaze musicians who had studied for years. And he did it all in his head without writing it down," Valli told The Star-Ledger.

When he tired of touring, Massi quit the band, but he continued his career in music. He worked as an arranger, vocal coach, and engineer in numerous New Jersey studios, with bands such as the Baby Toys, the Carmels, and the Victorians.

It was Massi's pop savvy that allowed the Four Seasons to be one of the few American bands, along with the Beach Boys, to weather the British invasion, as they continued to release successful singles after the arrival of The Beatles.

Bob Crewe, writer and producer for the Four Seasons, told the Newark paper, "He was one of the most informed musicians I've ever worked with, with an innate sense of how things worked together."

NY TIMES

Nick Massi, Low Man in the Four Seasons, Dies at 73

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEWARK, Jan. 7 — Nick Massi, a member of the Four Seasons who handled bass vocals and vocal arrangements throughout the band's glory days, died on Dec. 24 in West Orange, N.J. He was 73.

Mr. Massi, whose original name was Nicholas Macioci, was born in Newark. He performed with several bands before joining Frankie Valli in a group called the Four Lovers. By 1961 the group had evolved into the Four Seasons.

He remained with the group until 1965, when he grew tired of touring, Mr. Valli said. Mr. Massi and the group performed hits like "Sherry," "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Walk Like a Man" and "Rag Doll," which friends said was his favorite.

During his tenure, the group made the Billboard Top 40 chart 17 times and toured throughout the United States and overseas, melding doo- wop vocals with a contemporary beat. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Mr. Valli, whose falsetto was the band's trademark, said that Mr. Massi was his musical mentor.

"He could do four-part modern harmonies that would amaze musicians who had studied for years," he said.

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The Jersey Boys: A Brief Story Behind The Nickname

For those not familiar with Frankie Valli and Four Seasons, this is a history of them and where they all came from. Frankie was born in Newark, NJ on May 3,1937. He got to go see Jeane Valley (No relation) in concert at a young age and from that moment , knew what he really wanted to do and that’s sing. Once his father asked him what he wanted to do (for a living) and young Frankie responded "I want to sing". His father fired back" WHAT KIND OF JOB IS THAT,COMING HOME AT 3 OR 4`O`CLOCK IN THE MORNING".  Frankie had a job as a building maintenance man and took a leave of absence just in case the Four Seasons didn’t take off. Well, as they say "The rest is history". If not for a neighborhood buddy of Bob Gaudio`s (none other than Joe Pechi) there might never had been a Four Seasons. Joe Pechi is who introduced Bob to Frankie back in 1956. For that I have to give thanks and eternal gratitude to Joe Pechi for his assist on helping these two get together. Not too far away, Bob Gaudio was born in Bronx, NY on Nov. 17,1942, or those of you that are new Frankie Valli & 4 Seasons fans or are unaware, Bob Gaudio wrote most of the songs for the group. With the hits like; "Dawn", "Tell It To The Rain", "Girl Come Running" and he wrote a special song just for Frankie for his solo debute, the smash hit "Can’t Take My Eyes Off You", in 1967 and it became a #1 hit for Frankie Valli.  Another of the original 4 Seasons, Tommy DeVito was born in Belleville, NJ on June 19,1936. He played guitar and was one of the back up/harmony singers also. He left the 4 Seasons in 1970. Nick Massi (born in Newark, NJ ,on Sept.19,1935) joined the 4 Seasons in 1960,just before they got their first big hit , "Sherry". Nick played bass guitar and also sang just a very complementing and marvelous bass, to counter with Frankie`s high falsetto, what a dynamic duo they were.  Nick left the 4 Seasons in 1965. ~http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:community-2.webtv.net/GREG32JOHNSTON/TheJerseyBoys/page3.html+nick+massi+seasons&hl=en

      
 

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