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Bobby Rydell

Bobby Rydell
Rydell in 1998
Background information
Birth name Robert Louis Ridarelli
Born (1942-04-26) April 26, 1942
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Genres Rock and roll
Traditional popular music
Occupation(s) Singer, actor
Instruments Vocals, drums
Years active 1958–present
Labels Cameo-Parkway Capitol Records Reprise Records (US)
Columbia (UK)
Website .combobbyrydell

Bobby Rydell (born Robert Louis Ridarelli, April 26, 1942)[1] is an American professional singer, mainly of rock and roll music. In the early 1960s he was considered a teen idol. Well known tracks include "Wild One" and "Volare", and he appeared in the movie Bye Bye Birdie in 1963.[1]


  • Career 1
  • Later life 2
  • Media 3
  • Singles discography 4
  • Selected filmography 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Rydell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. In 1950, he won a talent show on the television series Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club and gained a spot on the cast, where he remained for several years. He changed his name to Bobby Rydell and played in several bands in the Philadelphia area. After 3 unsuccessful singles for small companies, he signed a recording contract with Cameo Records. "Kissin' Time", his first single, reached the charts in 1959.[1] In 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.

His second success "We Got Love" was his first million-album seller, gaining gold disc status.[2] 1960's "Wild One," backed with "Little Bitty Girl", was his second million-selling single; his successes continued with "Swingin' School" backed with "Ding-a-Ling," and the million-album selling "Volare" later that year.[3] He performed at the Copacabana in New York in 1961, where he was the youngest performer to headline at the nightclub.[1][2] In February 1961 he appeared at the Festival du Rock, at the Palais des Sports de Paris in Paris, France.[4]

Rydell's success and prospects led his father Adrio, foreman at the Electro-Nite Carbon Company in Philadelphia, to resign in 1961 after 22 years to become his son's road manager.[5]

Rydell released the song "Wildwood Days" in 1963. In 1963, he played Hugo Peabody in the movie version of Bye Bye Birdie with Ann-Margret and Dick Van Dyke.[1] The original stage production of Bye Bye Birdie had no real speaking role for the character of Hugo, but the movie script was rewritten specifically to expand the part for Rydell. In 2011, Sony Pictures digitally restored this film. Rydell and Ann-Margret were in attendance at the restoration premiere in Beverly Hills by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Rydell in 1960

During the 1960s, Rydell had numerous Tony Hatch, was his fifth and final gold disc winner.[6] Rydell left Cameo-Parkway Records later in 1964 and signed with Capitol Records.[7]

During this time, he performed on many The Milton Berle Show.

On October 6, 1964, he made a guest appearance on an episode of the television series, Combat!. This was Rydell's first dramatic acting role.[1]

In January 1968, it was announced in the UK music magazine NME that Rydell had signed a long term recording contract with Reprise Records company.[8] He continued to perform in nightclubs, supper clubs and Las Vegas venues throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but his career was hampered by Cameo-Parkway catalogue owner ABKCO Records' refusal to reissue Rydell's music, so the entire catalog was unavailable until 2005 (although he re-recorded his hits in 1995 for K-Tel Records).[9]

Later life

Rydell continued to perform as a solo act and has toured as part of The Golden Boys stage production since 1985 (with Frankie Avalon and Fabian). However, Rydell cancelled his 2012 Australia tour because his health had deteriorated significantly and he was in need of urgent major surgery.[10] In July 2012, he underwent a double organ transplant to replace his liver and kidneys at Thomas Jefferson University in his hometown of Philadelphia.[11] In January 2013, six months after double transplant surgery, Rydell returned to the stage in Las Vegas for a three night engagement to a sold out audience. He continues to perform internationally and he returned to tour Australia in 2014.


In both the Broadway musical drama Grease and the film Grease, the high school was named "Rydell High" after Rydell.[12]

In 2000 in the book, The Beatles Anthology (pg. 96), Paul McCartney said: "John (Lennon) and I wrote 'She Loves You' together. There was a Bobby Rydell song out at the time and, as often happens, you think of one song when you write another. We’d planned an 'answering song' where a couple of us would sing 'she loves you' and the other ones would answer 'yeah yeah.' We decided that was a crummy idea but at least we then had the idea of a song called "She Loves You." So we sat in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it—John and I, sitting on twin beds with guitars."

No specific song title is given in The Beatles Anthology, but [13]

Singles discography

Release date Title B-side
From same album as A-side except where indicated
Chart Positions Album
US Billboard[14] CB US AC[15] US R&B[15] UK Singles Chart[16]
1959 "Dream Age" "Fatty Fatty" Non-LP tracks
"Please Don't Be Mad" "Makin' Time" (Non-LP track) Bobby Sings, Bobby Swings
"All I Want Is You" "For You, For You" (Non-LP track) We Got Love
"Kissin' Time" "You'll Never Tame Me" (from Bobby's Biggest Hits) 11 16 29
"We Got Love" b/w 6 4
"I Dig Girls" 46 68 Bobby's Biggest Hits
1960 "Wild One" b/w 2 3 10 7
"Little Bitty Girl" 19 43
"Swingin' School" b/w 5 6 44
"Ding-A-Ling" 18 17
"Volare" "I'd Do It Again" 4 4 9 22 Bobby Sings, Bobby Swings
"Sway" b/w 14 12 12 Bobby's Biggest Hits
"Groovy Tonight" 70
1961 "Good Time Baby" b/w 11 13 42 Bobby's Biggest Hits, Vol. 2
"Cherie" (Non-LP track) 54 87
"That Old Black Magic" b/w 21 21 Bobby Rydell Salutes The Great Ones
"Don't Be Afraid (To Fall In Love)" 101 Bobby's Biggest Hits, Vol. 2
"The Fish" "The Third House" (Non-LP track) 25 17 Bobby's Biggest Hits, Vol. 2
"I Wanna Thank You" b/w 21 22 18 Golden Hits
"The Door To Paradise" 85 81
"Teach Me To Twist" † "Swingin' Together" 109 76 45 Bobby Rydell & Chubby Checker
"Jingle Bell Rock" † "Jingle Bells Imitations" 21 38 40
1962 "I've Got Bonnie" b/w 18 17 All The Hits
"Lose Her" 69 66 Bobby's Biggest Hits, Vol. 2
"Fatty, Fatty" "Happy, Happy" Non-LP tracks
"I'll Never Dance Again" b/w 14 19 Bobby's Biggest Hits, Vol. 2
"Gee, It's Wonderful" 109 112
"The Cha-Cha-Cha" "The Best Man Cried" 10 13
1963 "Steel Pier"
One-sided promotional single
Wild[wood] Days
"Butterfly Baby" "Love Is Blind" (Non-LP track) 23 24 All The Stars' Biggest Hits, Vol. 2
(Various Cameo/Parkway artists)
"Wildwood Days" b/w 17 26 Wild[wood] Days
"Will You Be My Baby" 114 Non-LP tracks
"The Woodpecker Song" b/w 92
"Little Queenie" 142
"Let's Make Love Tonight" "Childhood Sweetheart" 98 92
" "A Message From Bobby" Top Hits of 1963
Bonus 7" single
1964 "Forget Him" b/w 4 5 3 13 Forget Him
"Love, Love Go Away" 144
"Make Me Forget" "Little Girl, You've Had A Busy Day" (Non-LP track) 43 57
"A World Without Love" "Our Faded Love" 80 103 Non-LP tracks
"I Just Can't Say Goodbye" "Two Is The Loneliest Number" 94 119
1965 "Diana" "Stranger In The World" 98 110 23 Somebody Loves You
"Voce De La Notte" "Ciao, Ciao Bambino" (Non-LP track) Forget Him
"Side Show" "The Joker" 131 Non-LP tracks
"When I See That Girl Of Mine" "It Takes Two"
"The Word For Today" "Roses In The Snow"
1966 "Not You" "She Was The Girl"
"Open For Business As Usual" "You Gotta Enjoy Joy"
1968 "The Lovin' Things" "That's What I Call Livin'"
"The River Is Wide" "Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder"
"Every Little Bit Hurts" "Time And Changes"
1970 "It Must Be Love" "Chapel On The Hill"
1973 "California Sunshine" "Honey Buns"
"Everything Seemed Better (When I Was Younger)" "Sunday Son"
1976 "Sway" (Disco Version) "Feels Good" 115 27 Born With A Smile
"You're Not The Only Girl For Me" "Give Me Your Answer"
1977 "It's Getting Better" "The Singles Scene"

Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell

Selected filmography

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Biography by Kim Summers". Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 118.  
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 128.  
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 91. CN 5585. 
  5. ^ Billboard, October 16, 1961, p. 36
  6. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London, UK: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 165.  
  7. ^ "Billboard – Google Books". 1964-11-14. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  8. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London, UK: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 180. CN 5585. 
  9. ^ "Bobby Rydell bio at". 1942-04-26. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  10. ^ Ronald P. Smith (2012-03-07). "Oldies Music News". Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  11. ^ "60s singer Rydell gets 2 organ transplants in Pa.". Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  12. ^ "Bobby Rydell Biography". Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  13. ^ Bob Spitz (2012-06-25). "The Beatles: The Biography". Little, Brown. Retrieved 2015-08-16. 
  14. ^ Joel Whitburn, Top Pop Singles 1955–2008. 12th edn, 2009, pp. 848-849.
  15. ^ a b "Allmusic ((( Bobby Rydell – Charts & Awards – Billboard Singles )))". 
  16. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 477.  

External links

  • Bobby Rydell Official Site
  • Bobby Rydell at
  • Petition to induct Bobby Rydell into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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