Newark Street Dedicated to Frankie Valli

Frankie Valli displays the plaque dedicating a street in his name in Newark (Photo: Gellman Images)

Frankie Valli worked his way to Newark, New Jersey for the dedication of a street in his honor.

Valli, 88, joined Newark and Essex County officials, along with the New Jersey Hall of Fame for the ceremony, which was held just around the corner from where he grew up. The ceremony took place on the Eve of Vallie’s show at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as part of a 23-city tour.

“My family and I moved to Stephen Crane Village, Newark’s first low-income housing project, when I was six. Each unit was self-contained, like a garden apartment, and had two bedrooms and a bathroom, with real hardwood floors, steam heat, and hot and cold running water. I remember at the time thinking we were rich and couldn’t believe we got to live there. To come back to the place where I grew up and see it renamed after me is one of the biggest honors of my life and I thank all those who made it possible, especially the City of Newark and Mayor Ras Baraka. I always say, ‘You can take the guy out of the neighborhood, but you can’t take the neighborhood out of the guy,’ and I always take Newark with me no matter where I’ve traveled to,” said  Valli.

“We love you, Frankie; Newark loves you; the world loves you! Thank you for what you have done for all of us,” said Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr., Essex County Executive.

“Today, we recognize one of Newark’s favorite sons, the living legend, Frankie Valli. Frankie’s story represents an important part of Newark’s history. For the residents of Stephen Crane Village – thank you for letting us honor one of your sons in a special way; and Frankie Valli is making his ‘way back to you, babe,'” said Anibal Ramos Jr., North Ward Councilman.

“As an Italian American growing up in Newark, I don’t think there is anyone more special, more that we appreciated, and idolized than Frankie Valli. Frankie, you were the soundtrack that we all lived our lives by,” said Philip B Alagia, Essex County Chief of Staff.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting and special day for New Jersey’s original Jersey Boy,” said Chairman of the Hall of Fame Jon F. Hanson. “Frankie Valli was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his remarkable career, and now it’s only fitting his hometown will recognize him as well.”

“Frankie Valli exemplifies New Jersey grit and greatness,” said President of the Hall of Fame Steve Edwards. “We congratulate him on this well-deserved honor for his contributions to his hometown, his state, his country and the world.”

Known as one of the most distinctive voices in music with hits Sherry” in 1962 and concluding with the blockbuster hit “December 1963 (Oh What a Night), Valli is in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was honored in 2008 with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Italian American Foundation. He was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2010.

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