Bobby Riddell, a teen idol from the golden age of pop in the early 1960s, was also very popular for his hits and for his role as Hugo Peabody in the 1963 film. goodbye birdieAccording to a statement issued by his representatives, he passed away. He was 79 years old.
Rydell died on April 5 at a hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania from complications of pneumonia that, according to the shared text, were not related to Covid-19.
Bobby’s longtime friend and radio legend Jerry Blavat confirmed the sad news. “Of all the pop idols of that era, he had the best voice and was the best entertainer. He told the best stories, made the best impression, and he was the best man,” Jerry said of his late friend.
Bobby Riddell in 1962. Photo: AP
Dozens of Pop Hits
Born Robert Ridderelli in 1942, Riddell had his first song on the Billboard 100 in 1959, and a career that included 34 Top 100 hits and more than 25 million album sales, according to a statement released today.
With melodious romance songs sung in his clean, heartfelt voice, Riddell reached the US top 10 five times: with We Got Love, Swingin’ Schoolhis famous version I will fly, wild forest (also a UK top 10 hit) and forget it,
Actually, this is enough to measure its popularity that it was always said that forget it was the inspiration for she loves you Paul McCartney stated that the song was inspired by a Rydel title by the Beatles, but without giving a name.
even on the big screen
Her brief break in acting came in a supporting role alongside Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke and Ann-Margret in the 1963 romantic comedy, goodbye birdieBut did not want to go to California to pursue a film career.
Like many of his fellow teen idols of the early ’60s, Rydell’s pop culture dominance quickly faded in the wake of Beatlemania and the British Invasion, but his career was fueled by enduring and increasingly nostalgic fandom on variety shows and all. Went.
The three great pop idols of the ’60s: Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Riddell, made their mark in Atlantic City. Photo: AP
He continued to tour for the rest of his life, including a trio with Frankie Avalon and Fabian called The Golden Boys of Bandstand. He also jumped on the disco craze in the late 1970s.
Among those who paid tribute to Rydell was writer Stephen King, who said he was “one of the most talented teen idols of the ’50s and early ’60s.”
Rydell, who discussed receiving a double organ transplant in 2012 in his 2016 biography Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second ChanceHe was an advocate of organ donation. Rydell’s family consists of his wife Linda J. Hoffman, son Robert Ridarelli, daughter Jennifer Dulin and they have five grandchildren.
Ann-Margret and Bobby Riddell dance in a scene from the 1962 film “By Birdie”. Photo: AP
Rydell never strayed away from his Philadelphia roots, living in the area for most of his life. The block on 11th Street where he grew up was renamed Bobby Rydell Boulevard for his hometown in 1995.
“I never considered myself a celebrity,” he told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2003. “I was just a guy who went out and worked.”
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