Rydell in 1998
|Birth name||Robert Louis Ridarelli|
26 April 1942 |
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
|Genres||Rock and roll
Traditional popular music
|Labels||Cameo-Parkway Capitol Records Reprise Records (US)
Bobby Rydell (born Robert Louis Ridarelli, 26 April 1942, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American professional singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s he was considered a "teen idol". According to Allmusic music journalist Kim Summers, Rydell, whose interest in show business began at the age of four years, "is one of the most sought-after nightclub and concert acts in the US. His performance in Bye Bye Birdie and his recordings "Wild One" and "Volare" made him a famous performer in the 1960s. Rydell used his talents as an impersonator and drummer mostly in pursuing a musical rather than an acting career.
In 1950, Rydell competed on the amateur talent television series, Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club; his first-place win gained him a regular role with the series. He worked with the Whiteman series for three years, changing his name to Bobby Rydell. He later joined several local bands in Philadelphia. As a teenage drummer, he played alongside Frankie Avalon in a musical ensemble known as Rocco and the Saints. He later had a recording contract with Cameo Records company, and his debut success was "Kissin' Time", recorded during the summer of 1959. Rydell was considered a "teen idol" along with Frankie Avalon, Pat Boone (on whose program Rydell performed, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom), Fabian Forte, Johnny Tillotson, Jimmy Clanton and Bobby Vee. In May 1960, Rydell toured Australia with The Everly Brothers, Billy "Crash" Craddock, Marv Johnson, The Champs and The Crickets, recording an Australian version of "Kissin' Time" for the event.
His second success "We Got Love" was his first million-album seller, gaining gold disc status. 1960's "Wild One," backed with "Little Bitty Girl", was his second million-selling single; his successes continued with "Swingin' School" backed with "Ding-a-Ling," and the million-album selling "Volare" later that year. After making his first successful recordings, he continued a solo career, performing at the Copacabana in New York in 1961, where he was the youngest performer to headline at the nightclub. In February 1961 he appeared at the Festival du Rock, at the Palais des Sports de Paris in Paris, France.
Rydell's success and prospects led his father Adrio, foreman at the Electro-Nite Carbon Company in Philadelphia, to resign in 1961 after 22 years to become his son's road manager.
Rydell released the song "Wildwood Days" in 1963. The song is about the shore town of The Wildwoods in New Jersey. His hometown of Philadelphia, also has a four block radius renamed "Bobby Rydell Boulevard" where the entertainer grew up.
In 1963, he played Hugo Peabody in the movie version of Bye Bye Birdie with Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke. The original stage production of Bye Bye Birdie had no real speaking role for the character of Hugo, but the movie script was rewritten specifically to expand the part for Rydell. In 2011, Sony Pictures digitally restored this film. Rydell and Ann-Margret were in attendance at the restoration premiere in Beverly Hills by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
During the 1960s, Rydell had numerous hit records on the Billboard Hot 100 record chart. His recording career earned him 34 Top 40 hits, placing him in the Top 5 artists of his era (Billboard). These included his most popular successes, "Wild One" (his highest scoring single, at number 2), "Volare" (number 4), "Swingin' School" (number 5), "Kissin' Time" (number 11), "Sway" (number 14), "I've Got Bonnie" (number 18) and "The Cha-Cha-Cha" (number 10). His last major chart success was "Forget Him", which reached number 4 on the Hot 100 in January 1964. The song - written by Tony Hatch - was his fifth and final gold disc winner.
During this time, Rydell also performed on many television programs, including the Red Skelton Show where a recurring role was written for him by Red Skelton as Zeke Kadiddlehopper, Clem Kadiddlehopper's younger cousin. He also appeared on the Danny Thomas Show, Jack Benny, Joey Bishop, and George Burns where his love of comedy was able to bloom. Rydell was also a regular on The Milton Berle Show.
Rydell continued to perform in nightclubs, supper clubs and Las Vegas venues throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but 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 old hits in 1995 for K-Tel Records).
Rydell continued to perform as a solo act, and has toured as part of 'The Golden Boys' successful stage production since 1985 (with Frankie Avalon and Fabian). However, Rydell cancelled his 2012 Australia tour because his health had deteriorated significantly, and he was in need of urgent major surgery.
In Jan 2013, just 6 months after double transplant surgery, Rydell made a triumphant return to the stage in Las Vegas for a three night engagement to a sold out audience. He continues to perform internationally as well; and a return tour of Australia is in the works for 2014.
In 2000 in the book, The Beatles Anthology (pg. 96), Paul McCartney stated: "John (Lennon) and I wrote "She Loves You" together. There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another. We’d planned an 'answering song' where a couple of us would sing 'she loves you' and the other ones would answer 'yeah yeah.' We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called "She Loves You." So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it— John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars.”
No Rydell song title is named in The Beatles Anthology pg. 96. But in Bob Spitz's The Beatles: The Biography, the author claims McCartney originally modeled "She Loves You" on an earlier Rydell "answering song" called "Swingin' School," not "Forget Him," as is commonly cited. However, Spitz is, unfortunately incorrect. The exact line "yeah, yeah, yeah" occurs at 00:46 in Rydell's Cameo 1959 single "We Got Love".
|Release date||Title||B-side||Chart Positions|
|US Hot 100||US AC||US R&B||UK Singles Chart|
|1959||"Kissin' Time"||"You'll Never Tame Me"||11||29|
|"We Got Love" b/w||6|
|"I Dig Girls"||46|
|1960||"Wild One" b/w||2||10||7|
|"Little Bitty Girl"||19|
|"Swingin' School" b/w||5||44|
|"Volare"||"I'd Do It Again"||4||9||22|
|1961||"Good Time Baby" b/w||11||42|
|"The Fish"||"The Third House"||25|
|"I Wanna Thank You"||"The Door To Paradise"||21|
|"Teach Me To Twist" †||45|
|"Jingle Bell Rock" †||21||40|
|1962||"I've Got Bonnie" b/w||18|
|"I'll Never Dance Again"||"Gee It's Wonderful"||14|
|"The Cha-Cha-Cha"||"The Best Man Cried"||10|
|1963||"Butterfly Baby"||"Love Is Blind"||23|
|"Wildwood Days"||"Will You Be My Baby"||17|
|"Let's Make Love Tonight"||"Childhood Sweetheart"||98|
|1964||"Forget Him"||"Love, Love Go Away"||4||3||13|
|"I Just Can't Say Goodbye"||94|
|"Make Me Forget"||43|
|"A World Without Love"||50|
|1976||"Sway" (Disco Version)||27|
† Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell
- List of people from Philadelphia
- List of acts who appeared on American Bandstand
- List of Italian American entertainers
- List of stage names
- "Biography by Kim Summers". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 118. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 128. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 91. CN 5585.
- Billboard, October 16, 1961, p. 36
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 165. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 180. CN 5585.
- "Bobby Rydell Biography". OLDIES.com. 1942-04-26. Retrieved 2012-04-26.
- Ronald P. Smith (2012-03-07). "Oldies Music News". Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "60s singer Rydell gets 2 organ transplants in Pa.".
- Biography at BobbyRydell.com (Official Site)
- Spitz, Bob: "The Beatles: The Biography 2005.
- Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles. 12th edn, 2009, pp. 848-849.
- "Allmusic ((( Bobby Rydell - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles )))".
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 477. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Bobby Rydell Official Site
- Bobby Rydell at Billboard.com
- Petition to induct Bobby Rydell into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame