Don Ciccone, Guitarist and Vocalist for The Critters

“Younger Girl” from 1966–Watch on YouTube

Don Ciccone was a founding member of The Critters, one of a surge of American counterattacks to the British Invasion. The group offered up soft, “nice boy” vocals backed by the standard lineup of two guitars, bass, keyboards and drums.

The Critters were relatively short-lived (1964-1967), succumbing to the college and military careers of its members. But in that time they had several hits, including a cover of John Sebastian’s “Younger Girl” and their own oddly-titled single “Mr. Dieingly Sad,” which Ciccone wrote. (When Ciccone formed a new version of The Critters decades later, the title was slightly changed to “Mr. Dyingly Sad.”)

After The Critters, Ciccone was vocalist, guitarist and bassist for Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. He was the original vocal for their hit “Who Loves You” until record exec Mike Curb insisted Valli front the song. Ciccone (February 28, 1946-October 8, 2016) was later bassist for Tommy James and the Shondells. According to his website, Ciccone participated in the production of 40 hits, representing over 100 million in record sales.

“Mr. Dieingly Sad” on Spotify