Tommy DeVito, born Gaetano DeVito (June 19, 1928 – September 21, 2020) was an American musician and singer, best known as a founding member, vocalist, and lead guitarist of rock band the Four Seasons.
Tommy DeVito was born on June 19, 1928 in New Jersey, United States, the youngest of nine children in an big, traditional Italian-American family. At 8 years old, he taught himself to play his brother’s guitar by listening to country music on the radio, by 12 he was playing for tips in neighborhood bars and by 16, he had his own R&B band and was making $25 a night.
Tommy DeVito formed “the Variety Trio” with his brother Nick DeVito and Hank Majewski. This core group performed under various names and changing lineups, expanded to a quartet and changed its name to “the Variatones” including the addition in 1954 of singer Francis Castelluccio ( Frankie Valli). When they were signed to a recording contract with RCA Victor, in 1956, the quartet had renamed themselves “the Four Lovers”. Tommy and Frankie remained the only consistent members of the Four Lovers, as the group released seven singles and one album under the Four Lovers name before they adopted the name “The Four Seasons” (actually, they were billed numerically as the 4 Seasons), named after a bowling alley in Union, New Jersey, that had a lounge where they had auditioned.
The Four Seasons were one of only two American bands (the other being the Beach Boys) to enjoy substantial chart success before, during, and after the British Invasion.
The band’s original line-up was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and joined the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999. They are one of the best-selling musical groups of all time, having sold an estimated 100 million records worldwide
Tommy DeVito died in Las Vegas on September 21, 2020, at the age of 92 after contracting COVID-19.
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