Friday, August 21, 2015

Spotlight on Bobby Rydell

Back in the late 1950s and early '60s, rock and roll was dominated by male solo artists such as Jimmy Clanton, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Darin, Paul Anka, Bobby Vee, Gene Pitney, Johnny Mathis, Neil Sedaka, Pat Boone and, of course, the King -- Elvis.

Bobby Rydell
 One of the biggest stars was Bobby Rydell, who scored 34 Top 40 hits during that  time. His first major hit was "Kissing Time," which reached No. 11 in 1959. He was only 17 at the time. Two years later he on stage at the Copacabana, the youngest performer to headline the famous New York nightclub. 

Rydell, who was born in Philadelphia, never hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts but came close with No. 2 "Wild One," No. 4 "Volare," No. 4 "Forget Him," No. 5 "Swingin' School," and No. 10 "The Cha-Cha-Cha." He sold more than 25 million records.

Rydell was such a big star that he landed a part in the movie, "Bye Bye Birdie," playing the role of Hugo Peabody, who was Ann-Margret's boyfriend. And a few years later, his name reappeared in the musical  "Grease" -- in Rydell High School.

The Golden Boys -- Rydell, Avalon and Forte
Since 1985, he has teamed with fellow South Philly singers Frankie Avalon and Fabian Forte -- billed as Dick Fox's Golden Boys -- for concerts at various venues worldwide.

Rydell did take a break from the Golden Boys in 2012 when he had a double-organ transplant -- kidney and liver -- but was back on the stage six months later. Since then he's been a vocal advocate for organ donation.

Despite all his success, Rydell isn't in the Rock and Roll of Fame. I couldn't find if he has even been nominated for the honor. That's not surprising since many solo performers -- male and female -- from that era have been overlooked as voters fail to view them in the context of their times.

Regardless, we still have his music to enjoy and perhaps see him in concert. 

Here are a few videos from his amazing career:

Until the next time...


1 comment:

  1. Only downsides here was that I’m not sure if they were expecting such a crowd as they did not have nearly enough servers and sometimes it would take a really long time for service guy to come. But at event space NYC they tried to keep a smiles on their face.