Robert Louis Ridarelli, better known as Bobby Rydell, was another product of Philadelphia. At the age of 8, he appeared on Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club and earned a spot with the cast for several years. He changed his name to Bobby Rydell and played with several bands in the Philadelphia area. He recorded several singles in 1959 that failed to chart before having his first hit, “Kissin’ Time,” which reached #11. His biggest-selling single, however, was “Wild One,” which reached #2 and earned him a gold record.
Later in 1960, he found successs again with a cover of “Volare,” which reached #4.
In 1963, Bobby played Hugo Peabody in the film adaptation of Bye Bye Birdie. In the play, Hugo wasn’t a speaking role, but one was written for him for the movie. His last major hit was 1964’s “Forget Him,” which reached #4.
Bobby continued to appear in nightclubs and in Las Vegas through the 1970’s and 1980’s, but his career was hampered by ABKCO Records, who owned the catalog of his hits from Cameo Records and refused to reissue them until 2005. Rydell got around that by recording his hits for K-Tel Records in 1995. He continues to perform and tour along with fellow Philadelphians Fabian and Frankie Avalon. In the stage play Grease and the movie adaptation, the high school is named Rydell High in his honor.
Bobby Rydell, your Two for Tuesday, April 17, 2018.