Bobby Rydell (born Robert Louis Ridarelli, was on born 26 April
1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
During 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, Johnny Tillotson, Jimmy Clanton and Bobby
Vee. During 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 ("they're kissin' in
Sydney. Perth and Brisbane too...").
His second success "We Got Love" was his first million-album
seller, gaining gold disc status. "Wild One", backed with "Little Bitty Girl", was his second million-selling album
during 1959; succeeded by more success with "Ding-a-Ling", backed with "Swingin' School", and the million-album
selling "Volare" the next year. After making his first successful recordings, he continued a solo career,
performing at the Copacabana in New York during 1961, where he was a success. In February 1961 he appeared at the
Festival du Rock, at the Palais des Sports de Paris in Paris, France.
Bobby's success and prospects led his father Aldo, foreman at the
Electro-Nite Carbon Company in Philadelphia, to resign in 1961 after 22 years to become his son's road
Rydell released the song "Wildwood Days" during 1963. The song is
about the shore town of The Wildwoods in New Jersey.
During 1963, he played Hugo Peabody in the movie version of Bye
Bye Birdie with Ann Margret and Dick Van Dyke.
During the 1960s, Rydell had numerous successful songs on the
Billboard Hot 100 record chart. These included his most popular successes, 1960's "Wild One" (his highest scoring
single, it scored #2). Other songs included, "Volare" (#4), "Swingin' School" (#5), "Kissin' Time" (#11), "Sway"
(#14), "I've Got Bonnie" (#18) and "The Cha-Cha-Cha" (#10). His last major chart success was "Forget Him" (which
scored #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 during 1963), just before the so-called "British Invasion" of the American music
industry. The song was his fifth and final gold disc winner.
During this time, Rydell also performed on many television
programs, including the Red Skelton Show and the Danny Thomas Show. On October 6, 1964, he was a guest actor for an
episode of the television series, Combat!. This was Rydell's first dramatic acting role.
During January 1968, it was announced in the UK music magazine,
NME, that Rydell had signed a long term recording contract with Reprise Records company. Rydell continued to
perform in nightclubs, supper clubs and Las Vegas venues throughout the 1970s and 1980s (although his career was
hindered by the fact that ABKCO Records company did not release any of the Cameo-Parkway successes until 2005,
forcing him to re-record his old successes which were issued by K-tel) company. He still performs as a solo act,
and part of 'The Golden Boys' (with Frankie Avalon and Fabian).