There are oldies and then there are Oldies. The first refers to anything that’s old and that mattered for at least half a cultural moment. But capital-O “Oldies,” the oldies genre, refers not to the vintage of an artist, but to one specific aesthetic sweet spot: songs that combine themes of youthful ardor and innocence with declawed elements of rock ‘n’ roll, Brill Building songcraft and the uptown finesse of skilled traditional arrangers. Oldies are forever young, as are we all. It’s a Golden Age sound.
Frankie Valli, the most famous falsetto in rock, has spent his long and formidable career dwelling on that sweet spot. The emotional potency of this music was leveraged in the Tony-winning musical Jersey Boys, which chronicles the life and times of Valli and his famous group the Four Seasons, and that show has been a turbo-boost for the still-vital Valli’s career.
It is one thing to have fame reignited in a wave of nostalgia, and quite another to be up for capitalizing on it. Thing is, Valli has never gone away. Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will perform at the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) on Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m. Tickets run quite a range: $79, $99, $129, $249. For tickets and additional information, visit www.bardavon.org. UPAC is located at 601 Broadway in Kingston.