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Ohio State alum plays backup for Four Seasons crooner Frankie Valli

Courtesy of Richard Beland

The Columbus arts scene attracts artists from different genres and backgrounds, but a legend is about to revive the memories of the arts scene with the sounds of New Jersey .

Singer Frankie Valli is scheduled to perform at the Palace Theatre at 8 p.m. Dec. 9.

Valli acquired fame while he was a member in the group, The Four Seasons. He is known for the hits “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Rag Doll” and “December 1963 (Oh, What A Night).” Valli’s solo-artist hits include “My Eyes Adored You” and “Grease.”

Todd Fournier, a 1989 Ohio State alum, is one of the back-up singers for Valli in the show. Fournier said that all of his success ties back to OSU.

“I stumbled upon singing when I got the lead in my high school musical,” Fournier said. “In college, I was an Evans Scholar and that enabled me to attend OSU. I took a singing class for non-music majors and my teachers said that I was good … and things kept snowballing.”

Fournier said that after graduation, he began getting jobs on cruise ships and other performing gigs. For him, it wasn’t about the degree. It was the experiences and his voice that got him to Valli.

“I was in a show and someone told me about his auditions,” Fournier said. “When I went to his auditions, I sang for him a few songs and he was so into it that I got a part in his show. I didn’t believe in my voice, but everything seemed to go back to it. I gave in.”

For Fournier, Valli is like a second father on the road with his traveling family. He described Valli as being a family-orientated man, always willing to take time to listen and give advice. From the life lessons Valli offers up from his person experiences, Fournier said he has changed for the better.

“I’m more comfortable on stage because of him,” Fournier said. “The concert has around 20 timeless melodies. When he performs, we all get his energy. He moves the audience, no matter if they are 18 or 80, and takes them back to the good old days.

Aaron Pospisil, a third-year in biology, said even though he fits that 18- to 80-year-old age range, Valli doesn’t ring a bell.

“I admit, I haven’t heard of him,” Pospisil said. “Musical-like events are OK, but they are just not something I actively seek out.”

However, those good, old days bring Cindy Williams-Sigmon, a fourth-year in public affairs, back to her life’s memorable moments.

“His music is a reflection of his generation,” Williams-Sigmon said. “You realize every song is referring to a moment in his life. He’s a great performer because he allows you to go with him through his memories.”

One comment

  1. Just saw TODD FOURNIER perform with Frankie Valli as one of The Four Seasons this past week, in the beautiful wonderful MUSIC HALL in Cincinnati, Ohio.
    Great concert — everyone having a great time. When it came time to introduce the back-up singers who were fabulous, great moves all night long, and working really hard…Todd introduced himself last … from Toledo, OH — the crowd went wild. Then he said “And from The Ohio State University” going into “OH IO OH IO OH IO” three times. Pumped up the crowd even more.

    Alas there are BUCKEYES everywhere and in every crowd! Go Bucks! It was sweet and Todd was amazing! Totally loved the entire concert.

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