Gay music legend Bob Crewe dead at 83

Gay music legend Bob Crewe dead at 83
Bob Crewe
Bob Crewe

Bob Crewe, the veteran producer, singer and songwriter who penned a string of hits for the Four Seasons died Thursday at the age of 83.

Crewe’s brother, Dan, confirmed the songwriter’s death, reports Rolling Stone:

Crewe made an indelible impact on pop music, co-writing the ubiquitous “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in 1967 for Frankie Valli and Labelle’s 1974 hit “Lady Marmalade” alongside tracks for Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson.

Crewe began his career in the 1950s as a singer and producer, writing for doo-wop/pop group the Rays. The group scored their biggest hit with 1957’s “Silhouettes,” which would later be covered by Herman’s Hermits and Bob Dylan, the latter recording the track for his legendary Basement Tapes sessions.

Crewe would spend most of the Fifties writing hits for other singers before recording two albums himself in 1961 and becoming a “teen heartthrob” alongside Ricky Nelson and Paul Anka.

After meeting songwriter Bob Gaudio, the duo would go on to write and produce some of the biggest hits of the decade, starting with “Sherry.” Recorded in 1962 by the Four Seasons, the song became a Number One hit.

Crewe produced the 1963 hit “Candy Girl” and wrote and produced the 1965 Four Seasons track “Let’s Hang On!,” both of which remain pop standards.

Crewe lived most of his life in Los Angeles, but moved to Maine four years ago to be close to his brother, according to the Portland Press-Herald.

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The Bob Crewe Foundation, which the brothers founded in 2009, donated $3 million this year to the Maine College of Art in Portland to establish the Bob Crewe Program for Art and Music.

In addition to giving back to the arts and music industry, the Bob Crewe Foundation supported AIDS research and promoted LGBT. Crewe was gay and proud of the fact that he achieved success during an era when gay and lesbian individuals were often discriminated against, his brother said.

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