America’s national Independence Day celebration will kick off the festivities for our country’s 238th birthday with an all-star salute led by our country’s favorite host, two-time Emmy Award-winning television personality Tom Bergeron (“Dancing With the Stars”).
Broadcast live on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the event will feature performances by Frankie Valli, Patti LaBelle, Jordin Sparks, Michael McDonald, Sara Evans, Kendall Schmidt and Kelli O’Hara; with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly.
In celebration of the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, composer John Williams will debut a special arrangement for orchestra and chorus of the “Star Spangled Banner” with the National Symphony Orchestra, The Joint Armed Forces Chorus, the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets.
More about Frankie Valli: With his signature falsetto voice and countless hits, Valli is an American icon who transcends generations. Thanks to the success of the Tony-winning musical, Jersey Boys, which chronicles the life and times of Valli and his legendary group, such classic songs as “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You,” “Sherry” and “My Eyes Adored You,” are the rage all over again. The musical has taken Broadway by storm, and currently six companies perform Jersey Boys nightly from Las Vegas to London and the show is entering its ninth year and is the 13th longest-running show in Broadway history. In the meantime, the real Frankie Valli is packing venues around the world.
Valli has been successfully touring and making music for more than 50 years, both as a solo artist and as the lead singer of the Four Seasons. Valli’s first taste of national exposure came in 1962 when he and the Four Seasons performed their single “Sherry” on “American Bandstand.” The performance took the nation by storm, propelling the group to their first #1 record and making them a household name. The hit train continued to roll for the Four Seasons in 1963 and 1964 as they went on to produce several more #1 hits.
After much success with the Four Seasons in the first half of the ’60s, Valli released his first solo effort in 1967, Frankie Valli: Solo. The album contained the mega-hit “Grease.” He would go on to produce nine Top 40 hits and two #1 singles.
Valli has even dipped into the acting pool, appearing on the iconic HBO series “The Sopranos” as mobster Rusty Millio and more recently in the Rob Reiner film, And So It Goes, set for release in July. The highly anticipated film adaptation of Jersey Boys, directed by Clint Eastwood, is scheduled for release on June 20.
Valli and the Four Seasons have influenced many other great recording artists. The group has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and to date has sold more than 100 million records. Valli continues to perform before sell-out crowds and from all the recent success, including his first studio album in 15 years, Romancing the ’60s, Valli is as big a star as he was in 1962 and isn’t looking to hang up the microphone anytime soon.
A CAPITOL FOURTH airs on PBS Friday, July 4, 2014, 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET (check local listings), with an encore at 9:30 p.m.