The living legacy of some artists, however, is just as much in the sound as much as the songs. Few have achieved such universal recognition as Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, who were an early highlight of Ravinia’s 2016 season in their festival debut. The original “Jersey Boys” and their signature stratospheric voices—best known for such radio mainstays as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and the disco-kissed “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”—will return to the festival on September 8.
The Beach Boys, on the other hand, combined tight vocal harmonies with uniquely sunny instrumentals to create the perpetual-summer sound that made the group one of the best-selling groups of all time, from the earliest songs about sand, surf, girls, and cars through the landmark Pet Sounds album and a further five decades of superlative songwriting. Led by original member Mike Love, the group will form half of Ravinia’s July 2 evening of surf and soul, completed by Motown legends The Temptations. In addition to similarly signature harmonies, the group stood out with “the most slickly choreographed stage acts” (New York Times) and an ability to stay fresh with shifting popular styles, from “My Girl” and “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” to “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” to “Treat Her Like a Lady.”