Bobby Rydell, who was a popular teen heartthrob singer in the 1950s and 1960s has passed away at the age of 79. Variety has reported that he died from complications of pneumonia. He will always be remembered for his hit songs Volare and Wild One, but he had many other successes in his life as well. He released several other albums and had an acting career as well.
Bobby was born Robert Louis Ridarelli in Philadelphia in 1942. He got his big break when he was just a child when he won a talent contest in 1950.
The organizer of the contest was Paul Whiteman who also ran the TV Teen Club and he invited Bobby to perform on the show for multiple years. During this time he decided to change his name to Bobby Rydell.
He didn’t get any traction on any of his original songs until his 1959 single Kissin’ Time reached number 83 on the pop charts.
Rydell then went on to release several hit songs including We Got Love and Swingin’ School. With all the success, he became a local legend in his hometown of Philadelphia.
Bobby started his acting career with the role of Hugo Peabody in the 1963 classic Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway. The original script had very few lines and no singing for the character, but they rewrote it after seeing Bobby’s chemistry with co-star Ann-Margret.
Paul McCartney has named Rydell as one of the big influences on The Beatles.
Rydell was active all the way up until his death, and even had concerts scheduled for later this year.
Rest in peace, Bobby. You will be missed!