Bobby Rydell, Philly-born 1960s teenage idol whose hits included “Volar” and “Wild One” and who took part in a scene-stealing dance with Ann-Margaret in the 1963 film Bye bye birdie, He died today at the age of 79.
Philadelphia’s CBS-certified agency reported his death. Additional details were not immediately available.
The early 60’s pop was so immersed in the environment that the musical Greece Named after Riddle High School, Bobby Riddle recorded a few local hit songs in 1959 before scoring his first top 20 with “Kissin ‘Time”. The song earned him a place on an Australian concert tour with The Everly Brothers, The Cricket and others.
His next hit was even bigger: “We Got Love” turned to gold and was followed by “Wild One”, a 1960 million-seller who remains a major figure in Golden Oldies Radio. That year was followed by “Volar”, which peaked at # 4 on the US charts.
His success continued through casting in the Broadway hit film version Bye bye birdie, With his character Hugo expanding from Broadway staging to gaining Ridel’s popularity. In addition to her duet with Ann-Margaret, one of the most memorable dance scenes in these two films is the musical number “A Lot of Livin to Do”.
In a 2020 interview, Rydell recalled the scene. “I have never been a dancer. And by that I mean, I’ve never been tapped. I wasn’t a soft shoe type guy, but I was always a fairly good mover, and everything Bye bye birdie All is rice. Shoulders, legs… it took two weeks to rehearse, and another two weeks to shoot. It was a very, very intense number, with all these different camera angles and close-ups. “
Rydell continued to perform in nightclubs and casinos throughout the 1980s, and later appeared on the Oldies Review Show with Frankie Avalon, Fabian and others. Despite having serious health problems in subsequent years, he occasionally performed in Las Vegas, Australia, and elsewhere, and his official website lists attendance for the upcoming summer concert among other venues in Atlantic City.
Extra Greece Namecheck, Rydell’s legacy lives in his hometown, where he has his name on at least two streets and in the 2018 Oscar-winning film The green bookWhere he was portrayed by actor Von Lewis.
Her influence can be heard in one of the most enduring and popular songs of the 1960’s: The Beatles’ “She Loves You.” Paul McCartney says he and John Lennon were immediately inspired to write the famous “Yes, Yes,” song after hearing a similar call-and-response to a popular Riddle song, probably the 1960s hit “Swingin ‘School” that Riddle sang, “Yes, yes, yes.” , I go to a cradle school. “