Bob Crewe did it all—an actor, fine arts painter, singer, dancer, producer—but he was perhaps best known for producing and co-writing hit songs, including a long list of Top 10 singles for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “My Eyes Adored You.” Those were also the days of sweet innuendo, so only the gays would know that the sweet and seductive “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” is from a male-to-male point of view. Crewe also co-wrote the cheeky “Lady Marmalade” with Kenny Nolan for Patti LaBelle. And, in an amusing twist for a gay man, his The Bob Crewe Generation wrote “Music to Watch Girls By” and the soundtrack for the 1968 Jane Fonda cult film Barbarella, directed by Roger Vadim. Under his own label DynoVoice, Crewe managed and produced Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, which secured 11 Top 100 hits, including “Devil with a Blue Dress On.” Crewe was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1985.
In addition to writing dozens of top 40 hits, Crewe was a member of Disco Tex & The Sex-O-Lettes, who landed two Crewe-penned hits in the mid-70s. I’ve always contended that their 1974 top ten smash Get Dancin’ is one of the gayest records in the history of pop radio. “My chiffon is wet, darling! My wig is wet!”