Bobby Rydell was born Robert Louis Ridarelli on April 26, 1942 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He will be 72 years old tomorrow.
It doesn’t seem possible that 55 years have passed, since he had his first hit song, with the release of Kissin’ Time in 1959.
Before that he had won a talent contest and became a member of the cast of Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club. Whiteman had difficult pronouncing his last name Ridarelli, so changed his last name to Rydell.
He joined the Rocco and the Saints band at the age of 16 and the band also had a soon to be famous trumpet player in Frankie Avalon.
First Million Selling Single
We Got Love, which was his first million selling album peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Wild One was his next million selling single and it reached #2 on the charts and it was released in 1960. My personal favorite Bobby Rydell song Volare was also released in 1960 and went to #4 on the charts. Sway also did well for Rydell in 1960 going to #14 on the charts. Swingin’ School also reached the charts in 1960 and peaked at #5.
Sadly, Rydell only had one more Top Ten hit, when he released Forget Him in 1963, which peaked at #4 on the music charts.
His last new song to make the Billboard Hot 100 charts was Diana, which barely made it onto the charts at #98 in 1965.
It has been 49 years, since he had a song that made the Billboard Hot 100.
More recent photo of Bobby Rydell
He had to cancel a 2012 tour to Australian because of health problems. Rydell would have his liver and kidneys replaced in a double organ transplant. The transplant took place at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in July of 2012.
After recovering for six months Rydell performed in a three night engagement in Las Vegas.
With the health problems behind him Rydell has been very active. He has appeared in international concerts, which included a 2014 tour in Australia. He also has appeared as part of a stage act, with fellow Philadelphian rock and rollers Fabian and Frankie Avalon.
Interesting Trivia From IMDB.com
Rydell High School in Grease was named after Rydell.
He was married to his first wife Camille Quattrone Ridarelli from 1968-2003 until the time of her death. He remarried in 2009 to Linda Hoffman.
Started playing drums at the age of six.
The city of Philadelphia named Bobby Rydell Boulevard after him.
He was a victim of the British invasion, as his recording career was never the same after the Beatles hit American shores.
Has Remained Active
Bobby Rydell has remained active after his recording career more or less ended, by hitting the night club circuit and appearing in concert. However, he did appear in the movie Bye Bye Birdie in 1963, at the height of his popularity.
He has appeared in Time-Life infomercial for Malt Shop Memories.
It was sad that his recording career fizzled out at the age of 23, but he was too talented and too young to walk away from the music scene.
When he turns 72 tomorrow he can reflect on a long career in music and has been a fine representative for the city of Philadelphia.
Dick Clark played a part in the success of Bobby Rydell, by having him appear on American Bandstand.
He may have not had the long recording career, of some recording artists, but that has only made his fans treasure, more than ever, those years in the 60’s, when he was making memories for all of us.