Most baby boomers remember Philadelphia native Bobby Rydell. Though they may not recall many details, the mention of his name at this point in time triggers fond memories of their teen years. Songs like “Kissin’ Time,” “Swingin’ School,” ”Wildwood Days,” Wild One” and “Volare” bring visions of the 1960s to mind – Dick Clark’s Saturday Night Beech-Nut television show, ABC Radio’s Silver Dollar Surveys and the film version of Broadway’s Bye Bye Birdie.
Bobby Rydell has been out of the mainstream music scene limelight for some time. Though he continued to perform in clubs, television and the oldies circuit over the past four decades, one had to be a hard core Rydell aficionado to know there was much more to his story than all those Cameo-Parkway picture jacket vinyl 45s.
Eventually the teen idol lifestyle caught up with this iconic pop music figure, and his storied alcohol abuse likely was a major factor in his double organ transplant surgeries in 2012.
Miraculously, Bobby Rydell survived and thrived since those life changing surgeries. He is performing once more, and is a staunch advocate for organizations like the Gift of Life Donor Program and the National Kidney Foundation. His newly published life story, Teen Idol On The Rocks, which he wrote with Grammy winner Allan Slutsky, not only details his life and career adventures and misadventures, but also gives the reader some riveting insights into the backrooms of the pop music business. The book also provides “street smart” lessons that can be invaluable to today’s aspiring musicians.
Bobby Rydell has come up with a “Tale of Second Chances” that is both inspiring and an invaluable addition to your musical heritage library.
-Howard B. Leibowitz
Spotted! At a recent book signing in New York City, we caught Paul Shaffer waiting patiently in line for an autograph…
Photo by Howard B. Leibowitz / Courtesy of B.L.Howard Productions