1977 Odyssey – Native New Yorker

1977 Odyssey – Native New Yorker

Three sisters, Carmen, Lillian, and Louise Lopez, began singing together in 1968. Carmen left the group and singer/bass player Tony Reynolds joined the other sisters in a group that became billed as Odyssey.

The Four Seasons hit the top of the Hot 100 in 1962 with Sherry and had countless hits over the next 14 years. Frankie Valli, their lead singer, began releasing solo singles as early as 1965 while continuing to sing with the group.

While the group had a few hit records thanks to the disco craze in the seventies, by 1977, the hits had run out. Frankie released his own solo album that year, but the three singles Private Stock Records released from the album failed to find the top forty.

Songwriters Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell had already written several hits for the Four Seasons, including Let’s Hang On! and Working My Way Back to You. They also wrote one of the songs on Frankie’s 1977 album that was not issued on a single, Native New Yorker.

When the song did not become a single, Odyssey covered the song with their own version. Their single reached #21 on the Hot 100 in 1977.

The group did not find their way back on to the US top forty again. Lillian’s son Steven Collazo joined the group on keyboards and vocal and became their music director. After a few more albums, the group reached the top of the UK chart in 1980 with the single Use It Up and Wear It Out.

The group had three more top ten singles in the UK, after which they left RCA Records. The new lineup of the group included Steve, Lillian, and Al Jackson. In 2000, Lillian and Al got married and retired from show business. Steve recruited additional musicians into the group and continues to lead a touring band.

Frankie left the Four Seasons at the end of their 1977 tour. In 1978, he was lucky enough to record the theme song for the film Grease and he reached the top of the charts one last time. The Four Seasons have continued to tour (with and without Frankie) but their only appearance on the charts after 1977 came in 1994 when a remix of their 1975 hit December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) reached #14 on the Hot 100.


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