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Big Girls Don't Cry

by

The Four Seasons



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This song was written by Four Seasons member and chief songwriter Bob Gaudio and their producer, Bob Crewe. It was inspired by a line in a B-movie featuring John Payne. Crewe was half-asleep when he heard this line from a blonde bombshell character who was just slapped by Payne. When she was asked what she thought about being slapped, she replied, "Big girls don't cry." Crewe jotted down the line, fell asleep, and wrote the song the next day.
This was designed to sound similar to The Four Seasons first hit, "Sherry," which topped the charts for 5 weeks a month before "Big Girls Don't Cry" hit the top spot. Motown soon applied the same approach to its acts: if someone had a hit - especially an unexpected one - follow it up with something very similar. Like "Sherry," this spent 5 weeks at #1 in the US.
Nick Massi sang the bass vocals on this track, repeating the phrase "silly boy." Massi's vocals were a big part of the group's early success, but he left the Four Seasons in 1965 as they moved away from the bass sound.
This song plays in the opening scene of the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing (which is set in 1963), and also appears in the films The Main Event (1979) and Mermaids (1990).
The female rapper MC Lyte interpolated this on a song of the same name she released in 1988.
The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons Artistfacts
More The Four Seasons songs
More songs inspired by movies
More songs used in movies

Comments (15):

On December 9th 1962, the Four Seasons performed "Big Girls Don't Cry" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
Two months earlier on October 14th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart and stayed on the chart for 16 weeks...
And on this day in 1962 the song was starting its 5th and last week as the #1 record on the Top 100 (that means almost 1/3 of its time on the Top 100 was at #1)...
Also on this day their third charted record, "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town", entered the Top 100, it only remained on the chart for three weeks but did manage to peaked at #23 (such is the fate of seasonal Christmas songs).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
In response to the b-side status of "Silence As Golden", "Big Man In Town" (released in 1964 on Philips 40238) was coupled with "Little Angel", not "Silence Is Golden". Easy fact to check. Plenty of re-issue labels - Collectibles, etc - repackaged 45s as they saw fit so it may have shown up later in that format. And Craig is an idiot.
- pres, Atlanta, GA
This song is in The Wanderers (1979) when one of the characters goes up to a girl to perform the infamous "Elbow-tit" move.
- Viktor, Vänersborg, Sweden
"Sorry, Charlie", but the Four Seasons did have "Silence Is Golden" as a single! It is the B-side of the single of "Big Man In Town". From reliable sources -- who heard it on the radio -- both sides of the record were played. When we recently saw Frankie Valli & His Jersey Boys in concert, guess what? They performed "Silence Is Golden". Frankie V mentioned it was a two-sided hit!! -- Dre
- AnDre, The Bronx, NY
Frankie Valli's falsetto is crazy, but I love this song!!!!!!!!
- Meredith, Wauwatosa, WI
Gee, Craig! At last someone understands that the four seasons are nothing more than singers of fourth-hand..
- Marcos, Mexico City, United States
Craig, you may not like this song; but some people have found a great relief when hearing it.
About the oldies station, I think that was a comment of extreme rudness.
- AmÃ?rica Celia, Mexico City, Mexico
First, Craig, you're an idiot. Second, Wes, the Four Seasons did record Silence is Golden on an album, but didn't release it as a single, so it never got big airplay. The Tremeloes version was a big hit. Frankie Valli said later one of his biggest regrets was that the Seasons didn't put it out as a single. Third, Craig, you're still an idiot. Fourth, Craig, did I mention that you're an idiot?
- Charlie, Cape Girardeau, MO
The world never truly recognized that Frankie and the boys were a rock band--not a pop singing boy band. That's the Seasons playing their own instruments, their own drums, guitar, bass, just like the Stones or the Kinks. Unfortunately, their TV appearances at the time always seemed to feature them standing around like a vocal quartet, lip synching without their instruments. The TV execs of the 60s were idiots--what can you say?
- dirk, Nashville, TN
Listening to this song just reminds me so much of Dirty Dancing because it is played in that opening scene. And Craig, you gotta calm down a bit and I also agree with Mary - why don't you try singing and ACTUALLY recording a CD? It's not as easy as you think unless you would like to completely change the key and sing a full octave lower!?!?!
- lynz, Ontario, Canada
the four seasons also wrote a song called "silence is golden" it was either them or the tremelos and it is a fairly touching song.
- wes, melbourne
Chill, craig, chill! If you think they're so bad, how about you try singing?
- Mary C., Chicago, IL
This is one of the worst songs ever by one of the worst groups ever. Valli's falsetto is the worst thing that ever happened to rock music, if this song can even be qualified as rock music. If I ran an oldies station, the first thing I would do would extend a far-reaching ban on every song by these over-played musical monsters.
- craig, madison, WI
I LOVE this song. HA! One of my friends thought that it was about heavy, chubby girls!!
- Sadie, Pendleton, OR
One of the best songs of the 60s. The Four Seasons had to of been dominating the music scene before The Beatles and The Beach Boys came along. Musically and successfully.
- Joe, West Creek, NJ
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