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...


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Back to the Manuscript: Part 14

The contract for my next novel has been signed, sealed, stamped and is on the way to the publisher.

It has been assigned ISBN numbers for print and electronic editions. The tentative release date is Oct. 1.

To backtrack, when I finished the manuscript on Aug. 1, I submitted to my publisher. It was then forwarded to an editor, who recommended a contract for the work.

Now I will await word from an editor for the final edit. It will probably take several weeks for this phase. It's time-consuming but worth the effort as we both endeavor to make the manuscript ready for publication. 

I will also be working with an artist for a cover, providing her with information about the book and sharing any ideas I have on making it eye-catching, noteworthy, and marketable. She'll come up with some covers and we'll decide which best reflects the story, and that involves a few tweaks along the way.

There is still more to come, but I see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Until the next time...

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Back to the Manuscript: Part 13

I'm proud and relieved to say that my manuscript has been sent to the publisher. 

The word count is nearly 87k, an increase of about 7k after the ninth rewrite. It started at about 65k with the first draft. A big reason is that I changed hats from telling to showing the story. 

Another chapter was added, making it 38. At one time it was 40 chapters, then dropped to 37. It could go back up to 40 or so since several chapters are rather long. 

While I've let go of the manuscript, that's only the end of one phase. Now it goes to an editor, who will make suggestions on various parts -- dialogue, scenes, characters, grammar, etc. -- and comes back to me.  

In the meantime, I'm taking a short break.

Until the next time....