Google+ Followers

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Bobby Rydell born 26 April 1942

Bobby Rydell (born Robert Louis Ridarelli, April 26, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American professional singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s he was considered a teen idol. Well known tracks include "Wild One" and "Volare", and he appeared in the movie Bye Bye Birdie in 1963.

Robert Louis Ridarelli was born April 26th, 1942 and grew up in the same Italian neighbourhood of South Philadelphia as Frankie Avalon and Fabian. In his early years, Bobby would sit in front of the TV set trying to impersonate performers like Louis Prima, Milton Berle, and Johnny Ray. His father recognized Bobby's talent and encouraged him to pursue a show business career. While other children were listening to the latest hits, Rydell's father was taking him to listen to the last of the big bands working the various Philly clubs.

At age five, Bobby began taking drum lessons because he admired Gene Krupa, and by age seven, he had begun to work night clubs in Philadelphia. At nine, he was a regular on Paul Whiteman's television show that was broadcast from Philadelphia and performed on it for three years. It was during this time that Whiteman changed Bobby's last name to Rydell, because he had trouble pronouncing Ridarelli. 

By the time he was a teenager, Bobby was playing drums in a dance band called "Rocco and the Saints", that featured Frankie Avalon on the trumpet. The band played summer bookings in the seaside resorts around Atlantic City. Rydell also played the guitar and bass and was a natural comedian. He was later signed by Cameo Records and became an international star. In 1963, he portrayed Hugo Peabody in the movie version of Bye Bye Birdie with Ann Margret and Dick Van Dyke.


During the 1960s, Rydell had nineteen hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. These included his most popular hit, 1960's "Wild One" (his highest charting single, it reached #2). Other songs included, "Volare (song)", "Swingin' School," "Kissin' Time," "Sway", "I've Got Bonnie" and "Forget Him" (which peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart).

Rydell's 18 charted hits — six of which hit the Top 10 and 12 of which hit the Top 20 — was quite a feat in the age when Elvis Presley was still king and the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Motown sound hadn't hit the American musical scene yet. Rydell's hits came in the four years after the death of Buddy Holly, the Army induction of Presley, the jailing of Chuck Berry, the scandal that hit Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard's retirement into ministry.

Rydell is also considered one of the "Teen Idols" — such as Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Johnny Tillotson, Jimmy Clanton and Bobby Vee — who all ruled the pop charts during this time. Ironically, Rydell's last chart smash was a song called Forget Him, which hit in the waning months of 1963. During this time, Rydell also appeared on many television shows, including the Red Skelton Show and the Danny Thomas Show.

In the late 60s Rydell joined the rock and roll revival shows at Madison Square Garden. In the 70s, he was a popular entertainer at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Clubs. He also worked at the Hyatt Regency and Waldorf Hotel chains and appeared at Disney theme parks. In January 1968, it was announced in the UK music magazine NME that Rydell had signed a long term recording contract with Reprise Records company. His career was hampered by Cameo-Parkway catalogue owner ABKCO Records' refusal to reissue Rydell's music, so the entire catalog was unavailable until 2005 (although he re-recorded his hits in 1995 for K-Tel Records)

In the late 70s Rydell considered moving into a "pop" direction pioneered by Barry Manilow. He appeared in a summer stock of "Bye, Bye, Birdie," this time playing the part of the father.He also appeared in a pilot comedy-variety television show "One More Time" that was to be produced by the Osmonds.

Rydell continued to perform as a solo act and has toured as part of The Golden Boys stage production since 1985 (above photo  of Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell )

However, Rydell cancelled his 2012 Australia tour because his health had deteriorated significantly and he was in need of urgent major surgery. In July 2012, he underwent a double organ transplant to replace his liver and kidneys at Thomas Jefferson University in his hometown of Philadelphia. In January 2013, six months after double transplant surgery, Rydell returned to the stage in Las Vegas for a three night engagement to a sold out audience. He continues to perform internationally and he returned to tour Australia in 2014. (recent photo of Bobby Rydell and his wife, Linda Hoffman)

Bobby Rydell was never caught up in his fame. When asked why, Rydell always gave credit to his family roots. (info edited from & Wikipedia. First two label scans & mp3s from Music Master Oldies)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Bobby Rydell – Bobby’s Biggest Hits go here:

01. That Old Black Magic
02. Good Time Baby
03. Wild One
04. Swinging School
05. Kissin’ Time
06. The Fish
07. Wildwood Days
08. Ding-A-Ling
09. I Wanna Thank You
10. Make Me Forget
11. Butterfly Baby
12. I’ve Got Bonnie
13. Forget Him
14. The Cha Cha Cha
15. Sway
16. Little Bitty Girl
17. Cherie
18. We Got Love
19. Let’s Make Love Tonight
20. Do It Again
21. I Dig Girls
22. Groovy Tonight
23. Stop Fooling Around
24. The Third House
25. Lovin’ Doll
26. Home in Your Arms
27. You Were Made for Me
28. Lose Her
29. Little Queenie
30. Teach Me to Twist