Don Ciccone, a singer-songwriter who was a member of the Four Seasons, the Shondells, and the Critters, died Saturday at 70 years old. Born in New Jersey, Ciccone was a founding member of the Critters, who had minor hits in the 1960s and helped the American front hold its own during the British Invasion years. Their “Mr. Dieingly Sad,” written by Ciccone, and “Younger Girl” both made their way to the Billboard charts. After serving in the Vietnam war, he was tapped by Frankie Valli to join the Four Seasons, where he played guitar and bass. He also contributed lead vocals to songs including “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and “Rhapsody.”
“Mr. Dieingly Sad” is one of my favorite nuggets from the post British Invasion era, full of lush harmonies, soft melodic vocals and I was proud to review The Critters last album. Thanks for the memories Don, you will be missed.