Bobby Curtola

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Bobby Curtola

Robert Allen Curtola[1]

(1943-04-17)April 17, 1943
DiedJune 4, 2016(2016-06-04) (aged 73)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Occupationrock and roll singer
SpouseAva Curtola 1975–2000 Karyn Rochford 2010–2015

Robert Allen Curtola, CM (April 17, 1943 – June 4, 2016)[1][2] was a Canadian rock and roll singer and teen idol.


Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada.[2] He began performing at age 15 with a band called Bobby and the Bobcats, singing at high school assemblies.[3] Over the subsequent years, the singer had many songs on the Canadian music charts beginning with "Hand in Hand With You" in 1960.[4] He was backed by the Corvettes, a group who changed their name to The Martels (named after Curtola's manager, Maria Martell).[5]

Curtola went on to record hits such as "Indian Giver", "Aladdin" and his biggest chart topper, "Fortune Teller" in 1962, which was also successful internationally, selling 2.5 million copies.[6][7] Between 1960 and 1968 he had continual single and album releases on the Tartan label in Canada. The managers and main songwriters were brothers Dyer and Basil Hurdon. The Del-Fi label released some of those singles in the US. He wrote and performed the song "Things go better with Coca-Cola" in 1964 for advertising and was a pitchman for the company.[8]

In 1966 he won a RPM Gold Leaf Award[9] for becoming the first Canadian to have an album go gold.[10] In the early 1970s, Curtola hosted a CTV musical series entitled, Shake, Rock and Roll and Curtola went on to a successful singing career at Las Vegas, Nevada casino venues.[11] In the 1980s, in an attempt at updating his image, Curtola briefly adopted the billing Boby Curtola and released at least two singles under this name before reverting to his original spelling.

During his career, the singer achieved 25 Canadian gold singles and 12 Canadian gold albums.[8] In 1998, in recognition of his long service to the Canadian music industry as well as his humanitarian work, particularly with children's charities,[12] he was made a member of the Order of Canada.[2][13] His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.[14] Curtola also performed on some Princess Cruises ships in the 1990s but also more recently, in 2014, for example.[15]

In addition to his musical work, Curtola was a business entrepreneur, marketing a brand of tomato clam Caesar cocktail called SeaCzar for three years.[16] Curtola founded companies that acquired hotel and truck stops throughout Canada, and in 1991 bid for ownership of the Ottawa Rough Riders.[11] He was chief executive officer of Home Farms Technologies, a Canadian-based company which was attempting to develop an environmentally friendly waste management system for hog waste. It was a development stage company and has been inactive since 2005 according to Government of Canada records.[17][18]

In 2011, he received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto.[19]

Bobby married Ava, his road manager's daughter in Edmonton in 1975. They had two boys Christopher in 1977 and Michael in 1979 .

Curtola's partner, Karyn Rochford, died in a car accident in Nova Scotia on December 15, 2015.[20][21]

Curtola had been living in Edmonton, Alberta, Las Vegas, Nevada, and finally Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, but moved back to Edmonton in early 2016 after Rochford's death.

Curtola died at his home in Edmonton on June 4, 2016, at age 73.[2][21][22][23]



Year Album CAN
1961 Hitch-Hiker
1962 Mr. Personality
1963 Truly Yours
1964 12 Tickets to Cloud 9
1965 Love Story in Stereo
1966 Magic Moments
1970 Changes 71
1971 Curtola 88
1972 Songman
1974 Shake, Rock and Roll 93
1976 Stickin' With Beautiful Things
1992 Christmas Flashback
1993 Gotta Get Used to Being Country
1998 Turn the Radio Up

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album CAN
1966 12 Golden Hits
1968 Bobby Curtola's Greatest Hits Volume 1
1977 His Greatest
1991 15 Greatest Hits


Year Single Chart Positions
1960 "Hand in Hand With You" 26
1961 "Don't You Sweetheart Me" 5
"I'll Never Be Alone Again" 6
"Hitchhiker" 4
1962 "Fortuneteller" 5 41
"Johnny Take Your Time"
(B-side to "Fortuneteller")
"You Must Belong To Me" 23
"I Cry And Cry" 15
"Aladdin" 11 92
"My Christmas Tree" 39
1963 "Destination Love" 22
"Gypsy Heart"
"Indian Giver" 3
"Three Rows Over" 2
"Move Over" 24
1964 "Little Girl Blue" 7
"You're Not A Goody Goody" 31
"As Long as I'm Sure of You" 11
"Come Home Little Girl" 25
"Alone and Lonely" 11
1965 "It's About Time" 9
"Mean Woman Blues" 3
"Walkin with My Angel" 3
"Makin' Love" 2
"Forget Her" 10
1966 "While I'm Away" 4
"Real Thing" 15
"Wildwood Days" 36
"It's Not Funny Honey" 39
1967 "Give Me A Reason To Stay" 37
"Quando Quando Quando" 72
"Footsteps" 68
1968 "Sandy"
"Pretty Blue Eyes"
"Step By Step"
1969 "Unless You Care"
"Mammy Blue"
"Gotta Give Love"
1970 "Jean" 39
1971 "Way Down Deep" 74
1973 "Songman" 32 83
1976 "Oh My Marie" 23
1990 "Playin' the Shadows of Glory" 31 25
"Drivin' Down a Phantom Road" 52

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Csillag, Ron (June 16, 2016). "Bobby Curtola was the original Canadian idol". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Bliss, Karen (June 5, 2016). "Bobby Curtola, Canadian former Teen Idol, Dies at 73". Billboard. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ Capone, Julijana (August 11, 2014). "Bobby Curtola: Rise of a Canadian teen idol". Studio Bell. National Music Centre. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016. Before long, kids started coming from other high schools to see Bobby and the Bobcats perform. Then the band was filling gymnasiums at other high schools, and playing dances at the inner-city coliseum.
  4. ^ "Canadian Charts from 1957 to 1986". Archived from the original on March 12, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2006
  5. ^ Forsyth, Bruce (February 2016). "The Martels". Retrieved June 6, 2016. The Martels first emerged on the music scene in 1957 ... formed The Corvettes ... The Corvettes would go on to become the backing band for Canada's first teen idol Bobby Curtola as he toured the university circuit. Changing their name to Bobby Curtola & The Martells
  6. ^ Capone, Julijana (August 11, 2014). "Bobby Curtola: Rise of a Canadian teen idol". Studio Bell. National Music Centre. Archived from the original on September 13, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016. sold 2.5 million records worldwide
  7. ^ "U.S Billboard chart rankings". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 3, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2006
  8. ^ a b French, Janet (June 5, 2016). "Canadian singer Bobby Curtola dies during Edmonton visit". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  9. ^ "RPM Gold Leaf Award/Canadian Music Hall of Fame winner and nominations". Retrieved November 26, 2006
  10. ^ "Gold & Platinum certification of albums at RIAA". Archived from the original on June 8, 2007. Retrieved November 26, 2006
  11. ^ a b "Canadian singer Bobby Curtola dies during Edmonton visit". Edmontonjournal. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  12. ^ "Canadian former teen idol Bobby Curtola dies". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail Inc. June 5, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016. He was also known for his charity work, particularly for children.
  13. ^ "Mr. Bobby Curtola: Member of the Order of Canada". Governor General of Canada.
  14. ^ "Rockabilly Hall of Fame inductees". Retrieved November 26, 2006
  15. ^ "Join Bobby in the Beautiful Caribbean in 2014!". Bobby Curtola. Bobby Curtola Entertainment Group Inc. Retrieved June 6, 2016. Join me in the beautiful Caribbean on the brand new Royal Princess sailing from Ft Lauderdale to St Thomas, St Maarten and Princess Cays…
  16. ^ French, Janet (June 5, 2016). "Canadian singer Bobby Curtola dies during Edmonton visit". Edmonton Journal. Postmedia Network Inc. Retrieved June 6, 2016. ...a competing tomato drink called SeaCzar. They produced the drink in Edmonton for about three years before the business ran into trouble.
  17. ^ "Home Farms Technologies: Water Reclamation". Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  18. ^ "Home Farms Technologies". May 16, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016. Date of Last Annual Meeting 2005-12-31
  19. ^ Connor, Kevin. "Walking proud in Little Italy". Toronto Sun. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  20. ^ "Bobby Curtola's wife dies in Highway 103 crash". CBC News. December 16, 2015.
  21. ^ a b "'It just hurt him so badly': Friend says Bobby Curtola died with broken heart". CTV News. June 7, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  22. ^ French, Janet (June 5, 2016). "Bobby Curtola dies in Edmonton at 73". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  23. ^ "Bobby Curtola, Canadian former teen idol, dead at 73". CBC News. June 5, 2016. Retrieved October 4, 2016.

External links[edit]