Bobby Rydell dies: 1960s pop idol and ‘bye bird’ star 79

Bobby Rydell, abbreviated from the early 60s “Teen Eagle” who combined that fame with a lead role opposite Ann-Margaret in the 1963 film “Bye Bye Birdie”, has died today at the age of 79. The cause of death was pneumonia.

His death, just days after his 80th birthday, was confirmed by the singer’s South Philadelphia stomping ground by Rydell’s longtime friend, radio legend Jerry Plovd. “Of all the kids” from that era, Blavet said, “He had the best pipes and the best entertainment. He told the best stories, did the best impersonation and was the best guy.

In the days leading up to Rock’s British invasion, Rydell’s fame was abbreviated to that of an American teen pop star, named after Rydell High School in Broadway music and the next film, “Greece”. An actor portrayed him in an acting scene in the movie “Green Book”.

“It was great to know it was high school [in ‘Grease’] Named after me, “he said.” And I said, ‘Why me?’ It could have been Anga High, Presley High, Everly High, Fabian High, Avalon High. And they brought Rydell High, once again with total respect. “

The singer had a list of 34 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Wild One”. 2nd place and “Volare” 4th place. The other top 10 songs include “Swingin ‘School” and “The Sa-Sa-Sa”. The run of his first 10 songs began with “We Got Love”, which peaked at number 6 in 1959, and ended with “Forget Him” ​​in 1964.

Bobby Rydell portraits at home in Brian Maverick on April 18, 2016
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One of his first hits, “Wildwood Days”, peaked at number 17 in 1963, but continues to be the anthem of the New Jersey area. Rydell’s mural adorns Wildwood, NJ boardwalk.

In a 2020 interview, Rydell recalled how his role expanded when he starred in “Bye Bye Birdie.” “I’m going to see the play, I’m going to see Hugo Bipadi, he’s not singing, there’s no dancing, he’s just standing there. Every day I go back to the Columbia studio, my script gets bigger, bigger, bigger, more dialogue, more song, more dance.I’m not a movie star in my imagination, but if I were to be in a movie, it’s a classic like ‘Greece’. I’m so glad to be involved in that wonderful one thing.

Born on April 26, 1942, Robert Louis Ridderley began playing and playing the drums at the age of 6, and at the age of 7, at the insistence of his father, began performing professionally in nightclubs in the Billy / South Jersey area.

In 1950, during the television series “Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club”, Riedel won a talent show and became a regular on the show. Three years later, the singer / drummer changed his name to “Rydell” as part of Whiteman’s singing on-air band, and also featured local bands Rocco and the Saints (featuring another South Philly friend, Frankie Avalon, as its trumpet).

After trying his luck with a few failed singles for small, independent labels, Riedel signed with Philadelphia’s Cameo Records (eventually Cameo / Parkway) and won the rankings in 1959 with “Kiss’ Time”. With that single, its sequel-ups, “We Got Love” (his first million-seller), “Wild One,” “Swingin ‘,” and the classic, “Volare,” became a good teen idol that Rydell picked up.

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Ann-Margaret, right and Bobby Rydell dance during a scene from the movie “Bye Bye Bird” in Hollywood on September 14, 1962. It stars actor-singer Bobby, 20 and The. Second Actress Ann-Margaret, 21. (AP Photo)
Associated Press

By 1961, when Rydell performed at Copacabana in New York City in 1961, Rydell became the youngest artist to headline the famed nightclub, thus cementing his position with Redback fans and Dean Pack (in 1961). He appeared at the Festival de Rock at the Palais des Sportes de Paris in France, which cemented his relationship with European and British audiences, for whom he has led cabaret performances to this day).

In 1963, he co-starred with Ann-Margaret and Dick Van Dyke in the film version of the satirical song “Bye Bye Birdie” as Hugo Beep. His role is not the title of a rock star, but the jealous boyfriend of the woman who won the chance to meet Birdie before he joined the military. In 2011, “Bye Bye Birdie” received a digital remake, and Rydell appeared with On-Margaret at the Special Academy screening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater (see video below).

Within the next year, Rydell will leave Cameo-Parkway Records to Capitol Records, the same label Beatles had for him as his soon-to-be rivals.

In the late 60s, he moved to Reprise, where he saw little success. “Mr. Sinatra wanted to put me on his reprint label, so I said yes, but no promotion,” Rydell told Goldmine.

Leaving their popularity for mop-top all things, Rydell, Avalon and the band of clean-cut teen eyes became lounge singers on Las Vegas and international touring rounds.

After 1965, Rydell was not re-listed on the Billboard Hot 100, although he continued to release singles in the mid ’70s, and one of his final songs, Disco Number, also known as “Sway” in 1977, had a small impact on adult contemporaries. Chart.

Rydell wrote a memoir, “Bobby Rydell: Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chance.” The verse “On the Rocks” refers to his struggle with alcoholism after his 36-year-old wife died of breast cancer in 2003.

“There was a huge vacuum in my life. There was no one in bed, no one to talk to, no one to laugh at, no one to relate stories to,” he said in an interview with Morning Call when the book came out. In 2016. “And, you know, I’re back to drinking. Vodka became a very dear friend – a few years later, it led to double transplant surgery. A new liver and a new kidney, due to all the drinking.” A lot of people with the same problem will learn from the book While writing the review, there are a few who say, ‘I wish he had told me in more detail about his drinking.’ If God forbid, it might be another book.

After he married his second wife, Linda, he underwent double transplant surgery in 2012.

In early July of that year, he said, “My wife and I were in bed, and I said to her, ‘Listen, darling, it’s good that we’re all together, because I’m not going to do that.’ And a few days ago she told me, ‘If you’ve ever had a liver transplant, it’s going to happen this time of year – July 4th, you know, hit-and-run, DUIs, crashes, and so on. Young woman – she was 21, she crashed her car, she donated it to me, she not only saved my life, she saved seven more, and I [blood type] O-positive, which means I can give to anyone, but I can only take O-positive, Julia O-positive. The way things happened is a miracle. It really was. “

Rydell has toured as a soloist to this day, and has been part of the Golden Boys stage production with Frankie Avalon and Fabian since 1985. The three “statues” were preparing for the 2022 spring and summer tour.

In a 2020 interview, Rydell spoke about the trio’s tolerance as a travel agent. “Now that we’re running a show, I hope you were familiar with ‘The Golden Boys’. We started that show in 1985 and it was a huge success,” he said. “I told Frankie – I called him Cheach because Frank Cheach in Italian – I said, ‘Cheach, this is awesome, but how long will it last? One year, two years tops is over.’ Well, it’s 1985, we’re going to 2021, we’re still doing the show.

In a 2016 interview with Morning Call, Rydell expressed some regret about how his life went. “God, it’s been six decades since I got my first record of success in 1959. I am so happy and blessed that again I was able to do what I really wanted to do. Since the age of 7, this is once again my life. So, no, I can not complain about my career. You know, its ups and downs, its peaks and valleys, and many more. But I survived it all, and I continue to do what I really enjoy.

“At 74, I no longer think of myself as a teenage idol. I mean, the fans are still there and God bless them. I mean, they come out and I think they will remember how much better everything was in the 50s. It was really like the TV show ‘Happy Days’. I think all the fans who still come to the show will remember it, yes, they want to look back on those particular years when Bobby Rydell was a teenage idol. A good thing I got after so many years.

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