Meet Bobby Rydell at Book Talk/Signing on May 7
In the late 1950s, Bobby Rydell, Frankie Avalon and Fabian emerged on the rock ’n’ roll scene as Philadelphia teen idols, churning out numerous hit records as well as many appearances on “American Bandstand” and other variety shows.
Rydell will discuss details of his life through his new book, Teen Idol On the Rocks, at a book signing and talk on Sunday, May 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Toms River Branch of the Ocean County Library.
Co-written with award-winning musician, author and filmmaker Allan Slutsky, the book not only tells Rydell’s story but outlines the culture of American pop music through the past six decades. The book reveals the 74-year-old Rydell’s public triumphs, private demons and behind the scenes stories. After his presentation, Rydell’s book will be available for purchase and signing.
Born Robert Ridarelli, the performer first took the stage as a professional drummer at age 9. When he was 19, he was the youngest person ever to headline the famous Copacabana club in New York. His recording career earned him 34 Top 40 hits.
Billboard magazine placed him in the Top 5 artists of his era. His biggest hits included “Volare,” “Wild One,” “We Got Love,” “Kissin’ Time,” “Swingin’ School,” “Sway,” “Wildwood Days” and “Forget Him.”
Although Rydell sold more than 25 million records, artists such as him found their careers sagging once the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other British bands took center stage in the American pop music scene. He even covered a British Invasion hit, “A World Without Love,” by Peter and Gordon.
In addition, Rydell starred with Ann-Margret in the movie “Bye Bye Birdie” in 1963. When the producers of “Grease” wanted to pay tribute to the era, they named the high school where most of the story took place “Rydell High” in his honor.
Rydell still tours today, playing venues in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. He has also reunited with Avalon and Fabian for a “Golden Boys” show.
To register, log on to theoceancountylibrary.org or call 732-349-6200. —E.E.