By Lauren M. Johnson, CNN | Tommy DeVito, a founding member of The Four Seasons, the band portrayed in the hit musical “Jersey Boys,” has died of Covid-19 complications at 92.
DeVito died in Las Vegas on Monday, according to his friend Alfredo Nittoli, who first posted the news on Facebook.
Two other founding members, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, also released a statement on social media.
“We send our love to his family during this most difficult time. He will be missed by all who loved him,” part of the message read.
Together with Joe Long, the men started the foursome in in 1960, becoming known for their harmonies and falsettos. DeVito and Valli had already been performing together since 1954 when the band started.
During their time together the band had four No. 1 hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “Rag Doll.”
The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and they were immortalized in 2005 with the creation of the hit musical “Jersey Boys.” It tells the story of the band and won four Tony awards, including best musical, in 2006.
DeVito was born June 19, 1928, in Belleville, New Jersey, and was the youngest of nine children. He taught himself how to play the guitar and started performing as early as the age of eight.
His last album was a series of Italian folk songs that he recorded and released in 2006.
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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…
Too many of these deaths are from SUICIDE. If you are contemplating taking your own life because “things just aren’t going right,” promise me to wait until after midnight. Play Cinderella. Look at how her life changed by waiting a few days. Don’t die which is so irreversible. Someone who loves you very much will be in pain for the rest of their lives. Think of them, too.
The deaths that are listed from Wikipedia are those of musicians or those persons who have ties to the music business from all over the world. These are our brothers and sisters. Say a prayer for their souls. They will be missed greatly.
28: Cano Estremera, 62, Puerto Rican salsa music singer; Billy Joe Shaver, 81, American country musician (“You Ask Me To”), stroke.
27: Naresh Kanodia, 77, Indian actor, singer, and politician, Gujarat MLA (2002–2007), COVID-19.
26: Stan Kesler, 92, American musician, songwriter (“I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone”, “I Forgot to Remember to Forget”) and producer, bone cancer.
25: Dolores Abril, 85, Spanish singer and actress (El emigrante); Vasyl Babukh, 77, Ukrainian journalist, poet and songwriter; Jan Boerman, 97, Dutch electronic music composer; Rosanna Carteri, 89, Italian operatic soprano; Mahesh Kumar Kanodia, 83, Indian singer and politician, MP (1991–2009).
24: Cal Vin, 35, Zimbabwean singer and rapper, traffic collision.
23: Jerry Jeff Walker, 78, American singer-songwriter (“Mr. Bojangles”), throat cancer.
22: Margie Bowes, 79, American country music singer (Grand Ole Opry); K. Deep, 79, Indian singer and comedian.
21: Zero Babu, 80, Indian playback singer (Kudumbini) and actor (Maadatharuvi, Kabuliwala); Viola Smith, 107, American drummer, complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
From Joel Klein:
Sad news for the drum world. Our beloved favorite lady drummer, Viola Smith, passed away last night. (10-21-2020) She died in her sleep peacefully. She was 107. Such a shame, but she had a long “colorful” life. RIP, Viola, you will be missed! https://youtu.be/o5c_XZaArH4
19: Overton Berry, 84, American jazz pianist, heart disease; Vaclovas Daunoras, 83, Lithuanian opera singer; Spencer Davis, 81, Welsh singer and guitarist (The Spencer Davis Group), pneumonia.; Gianni Dei, 79, Italian actor (Pronto… c’è una certa Giuliana per te, The Killers Are Our Guests, Patrick Still Lives) and singer; Tony Lewis, 62, English bassist, singer and songwriter (The Outfield).