Dawn (Go Away)

Album: Dawn (Go Away) And 11 Other Great Songs (1964)
Charted: 3


  • This was written by Bob Gaudio and Sandy Linzer. Gaudio was a member of the group and also one of their primary songwriters, often teaming up with the producer Bob Crewe. Linzer is a lyricist known for writing hits with Denny Randell, including the Four Seasons classic "Working My Way Back to You."

    "Dawn" is a very self-deprecating song, with lead singer Frankie Valli constantly telling the girl that he's not good enough for her: "Think what the future would be with a poor boy like me."

    This marked a change in attitude for the group, going from the swagger of "Walk Like A Man" to the pity of songs like this and "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)." Said Valli: "We sang songs about men and their situations with women, and about how things don't always go the way you want them to."
  • Was there really a Dawn? When we posed this question to Bob Gaudio, he explained that there is a new dawn each day, but the song was not about a specific girl.
  • The group's first record on the Philips label, this song would have been a runaway US #1 if it wasn't for those pesky Beatles. "Dawn" entered the Top 40 on February 8, 1964 and climbed to #3 the week of February 22, behind "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You." It stayed at #3 for three weeks until March 14, when it was bumped to #4 by "Please Please Me." By March 28, it was at #5 as "Twist and Shout" entered the Top 5. On April 4, "Dawn" was out of the Top 10 and The Beatles held all five top positions. In February 1964, 60% of the singles sold in the US were by the Beatles. The second-biggest seller was The Four Seasons.
  • Excluding the singles released under the guise of The Wonder Who? (see "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" for more details), this is the only Four Seasons record - single or LP - on Philips Records that did not have "featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli" on its label.
  • The Four Seasons got a lot of help from some of the top New York session musicians who played on their songs. "Dawn" was part of the first session for Ralph Casale, a guitarist from Newark, New Jersey who became part of this elite group of studio pros. Charlie Calello was the arranger for this session, and he gave Ralph the call. Casale told us, "That date made me realize how different the current recording scene was compared to playing live. I had no idea what the other three guitarists were playing. This recording process was foreign to me. I was used to playing one guitar for years and these guitarists had many different guitars. The different guitars made it possible to create the sounds needed for the type of music they were playing. I noticed the engineer struggling trying to equalize the sound coming out of my guitar. Good thing everyone else knew what they were doing because I certainly didn't. I realized then that I had a lot to learn about the recording process." (See our full interview with Ralph Casale.)

Comments: 15

  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny'BEATLTISED'
    On February 16, 1964, "Dawn" by the Four Seasons peaked at #3 for 3 weeks on Billboard's Top 100 chart, and for the three weeks it was at #3, the Beatles' "She Loves You" was at #2 and at #1 was "I Want To Hold Your Hand"...
    And then for the next two weeks "Dawn" was at #4, the top three positions were held by the Fab Four...
    Finally it dropped down to #5, and the top four positions were:
    #1. "She Loves You"
    #2. "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
    #3. "Twist and Shout"
    #4. "Please Please Me"
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaI think that Dawn was drumed by the same man who did Rag Doll, the late Buddy Saltzman.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLOVE LOVE THE DRUMS ON THIS SONG
  • Jeff from Slc, UtahI hadn't listened to the words to Dawn since it came out. But I did the other day and it struck me that I wish there was an epilog to the song. Did she stay? Were they happy? Would love to think that loose end was somehow tied up as this really is a love song and to me begs for that answer.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 16th, 1964, "Dawn (Go Away)" by the Four Seasons peaked at #3 (for 3 weeks) on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; it had entered the chart on January 26th at position #75 and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    The three weeks it was at #3; the #1 record was "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and #2 was "She Loves You" by 'you know who'!!!
    After its three weeks at #3 it dropped down to #4 for two weeks, and the top three records were by?
    Then it fell to #5, and any guesses who were in the top four spots?
  • Steve from Glenview, IlSession musician Buddy Saltzman is the driving force behind this song with his magnificent drumming. Buddy's drumming on Dawn (Go Away) is a masterpiece that is still studied today by rock drummers.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny"Dawn" entered the charts on 02-01-64 and peaked at #3, then came "Stay", it entered on 02-15-64 and reached #16, followed by "Ronnie", entering on 04-11-64 and peaking at #6...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyA great, great song; wonderful intro and the fantastic drum work at the ending!!!
  • Dennis Ricci from Boston, Ma"Dawn (Go Away)" by the 4 Seasons might be the best example of a classic Pop-Rock three-minute soap opera. Musically, it begins softly and gently with "Pretty as a midsummer's morn," builds to a musical peak simultaneous with an emotional peak in the lyrics, and ends with driving dramatic intensity. Some of liked both the Fab Four and the Jersey Boys.
  • John from North Arlington, NjI lived in Newark, NJ and was 15, when this song was released. It was right at the beginning of Beatlemania. This song peaked out at #2 on March 10, on the big radio station in this area at the time, 77WABC, AM, in New York. If you go on to the 77WABC website, there is a link to all of the weekly surveys from the day they went on the air in 1960, through their last show in the early 80's. If you look through all of the hundreds of weekly surveys on the site, you will find one astrick, next to one song; Dawn (Go Away). The song was the only song that ever tied with another song in WABC history! The way WABC announced the tie was fantastic! (at least to a bunch of young teenagers, who were distraut that their favorite American groups were being snuffed out by these four guys, who we honestly couldn't figure out what they needed to do faster, find a good barber, or find a decent taylor!)
    We used to rush home from school every Tuesday and crank up our little transistor radios and tune in to the new top 10. We were experts at guessing which song would place where on the new survey. The week of March 10, I was listening with two high school friends, Conrad and Artie. WABC had played the new survey up to #3 and we still haden't heard the top three songs from the week before and we know they still had to be in the top 10. The week before on March 3, the #3 song was "Dawn", the #2 song was "I Want To Hold Your Hand", by the beatles and the #1 song was "She Loves You". Back to March 10- The station came back from commercial and played the jingle to announce the #3 song and started playing "Please, please me". We couldn't believe it! Now we knew there was no way
    "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" could have dropped out of the top 10 and we could not believe what seemed like was about to happen. They played "Please, Please Me, went to commercial, came back and played the jingle for the #2 song which turned out to be "I Want To Hold Your Hand". We were totally numb! We actually talked about wanting Washington to declare war on England. (Little did we know they were already working one up for us on the other side of the world!). They played "I Want To Hold Your Hand", and went to commercial. When they came back on the air, they play the jingle for the number one song and part of what happens is you hear one side of a conversation Dan Ingram has with someone in the studio who wasn't miked. I kind of remember what he said. After they played the jingle, there was dead air. Mr. Ingram says "What happened?, What's going on?". We're NOT playing the #1 song? What are we doing? (Someone answers him) But we just played the #2 song. (Then apparently, he is told there is a tie, another #2 song). At first, he is pretty calm, but if you knew Dan Ingram, he loses it. He says " There IS?", I didn't know that was possible?" We do?" Kimo Sabes, this is amazing! We have a tie! We have another #2 song on WABC, which we will be playing shortly here on the Dan Ingram mess! This is amaging! Has this ever happened before?
    They replay the jingle for the #2 song which, of course, turns out to be "Dawn" and we were as happy as we could be. After Dawn, they replayed the jingle for the #1 song, which was, of course "She Loves You". ON March 17, Dawn dropped back down to #3. Subsequently, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" went to #1 and "She Loves You" started to slide down the survey. After another week or two, "Dawn" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" started sliding down the charts and into Rock n' Roll history. We grew to love the Beatles, eventually, but for people in my age group, they grew on us very, very slowly! I still love the Four Seasons!
  • Bob from Southfield, MiI think you're wrong about the B side Charlie. The B side of "Dawn" was "No Suring Today". Ronnie was released about two months after "Dawn" with the B side "Born to Wander".
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Caa very famous songwriter told me in the early 70's this was one of the prettiest songs he'd ever heard..(he admired it)i'm suprised with all his greatness, he remembered and doted on the song.
    it was one of my faves as a teen as well...
  • Jack from Queens, NyI liked how this song was used to end the 4th season Sopranos episode "Christopher." In the preceding scene, Tony, Christopher, and Silvio are complaining about how Silvio's fixation with Christopher Columbus led to them being misled by a clever casino owner so that Tony can use his connection to Frankie Valli to get Vallu to perform at the casino to repay a favor that the owner did for him (it's a bit confusing uinless you watch the episode). Anyway, Silvio doesn't want to bother Frankie, but Tony insists that he has to do it since it was Silvio's fault they got into this mess. So they have this really funny dialogue about Gary Cooper and Columbus and how Silvio feels the Indians are stepping on their territory by trying to disparage Columbus reputation and how they can't name teams the Braves or the Tomahawks anymore, and Tony just replies "Well, you take it up with Frankie Valli when you talk to him."

    Then the screen goes black and "Dawn" plays as the credits roll. Brilliant!!
  • Charlie from Cape Girardeau, MoThe "B" side was "Ronnie", and both of these songs had kick-butt drum work. A turning point for the Four Seasons in terms of the complexity of the arrangements.
  • David from New York, NyThe 45 single version that was used for AM radio airplay in 1964 contained a two-line lead in ("Pretty as a midsummer morn, they call her Dawn"). This is not found on any of the album versions.
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