Bobby Rydell Biography

Robert Ridarelli, 26 April 1942, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Probably the most musically talented of the late 50s Philadelphia school of clean-cut teen-idols, Rydell first performed in public as a drummer at the age of seven. At nine he debuted on Paul Whiteman’s Teen Club amateur television show and was the show’s regular drummer for three years. He attended the same boys club as Fabian and Frankie Avalon, formed a duo with Avalon in 1954 and shortly afterwards, they both joined local group Rocco And The Saints. After several rejections from labels, he recorded his first solo single ‘Fatty Fatty’ for his manager’s Veko label. In 1958 he joined Cameo-Parkway Records and his fourth release for that label, ‘Kissin’ Time’ (which owed something to ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’), became the first of his 18 US Top 40 hits over the next four years. The photogenic pop/rock singer’s best-known transatlantic hits are ‘Wild One’, ‘Sway’ and ‘Volare’ (only two years after the song first topped the charts) all in 1960 and ‘Forget Him’, a song written and produced in Britain by Tony Hatch in 1963. Rydell, whose ambition was always to be an all-round entertainer, starred in the movie Bye Bye Birdie and quickly, and initially successfully, moved into the cabaret circuit. The arrival of the British groups in 1964 was the final nail in his chart coffin. He later recorded without success for Capitol Records, Reprise Records, RCA Records, Perception and Pickwick International. Rydell has continued to work the club and oldies circuit and had some recognition for his role in rock when the high school in the hit 70s musical Grease was named after him. He returned to the studio in 1995 to re-record all his greatest hits asThe Best Of Bobby Rydell.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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