Tuesday, June 21, 2016


We had a ball talking to Bobby Rydell last week about his new book ... as well as going over some of the highlights of his entire career.  

I've been told by virtually every person who has ever come in contact with him that Bobby is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys in show business ... he really loves and appreciates his fans ... and all of that came across during the time we talked together. 

You can order a copy of the book here:
And, while you're waiting for it to come in, you can read all about it ... and so much more ... here: 

Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits:  Hi Bobby, so very nice to meet you.  First of all, before we get started, let me just get a quick gush out of the way ... I want to tell you that I really loved the book ... I really enjoyed it.  

Bobby Rydell:  Well, thank you, Kent  

kk:  It's interesting because Cousin Brucie (who you've known for 150 years) said it was like sitting across the table from you and just talking and I felt exactly the same way, even 'tho we've never met - I found it very well written and entertaining and a lot of your personality came out throughout the storytelling … it was a very enjoyable read. [EDITOR'S NOTE:  Scroll back to yesterday to see our full book review and brief bio, courtesy of Gary Theroux of "The History Of Rock And Roll".]   

BR:  Well, thanks again ... you know a lot of people have said that so I really appreciate it.    

kk:  Well, the book is doing VERY well … it's VERY popular and has been getting a LOT of press.  You've already got book signings scheduled throughout November.  So that's gotta feel pretty good … that there's that many people out there who want to hear you tell your story.  

BR:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely.  If you look on Amazon and you look at the reviews, people who have bought the book are saying very nice things about it.  Last time I looked there were 83 reviews posted and they're practically all five star reviews.   

kk:  Well maybe this interview will entice a few more fans to buy it!   

BR:  No, no, there's nothing I can really do to entice anybody to buy the book.  It's up to them … if they care about me and want to learn about my career, then they're going to buy it … there's really nothing I can do to get them to buy it.

kk:  Well, as I told you before, I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it and I think it's a great read.

BR:  Thank you, thank you.

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Actually, I think reading more about Bobby ... and hearing him talk about his incredible career WILL entice more people to buy the book ... certainly anybody who was on the fence before, I believe, will be swayed (pun intended) to pick up a copy and read it for themselves!  Others who may be discovering the "real Bobby" through our series are also apt to grab it as well.  What would be the point of doing a big book-signing tour if not to bring people out to buy a copy of your book?!?!]

kk:  What finally got you to do it?  Were you asked to write a book?  Or is this something you've been wanting to do for a long time?

BR:  Well, you know, sitting around after a show, sitting down with people, you start relating stories and everybody to a person said, "Bobby, you have so many stories, you oughtta write a book" … and I'd always pass it by and say "Who the hell wants to read a book about me?" until I sat down with Allan Slutsky and then we decided to do a book that really got down to the nitty gritty … you know, the good, the bad and the ugly … and that's what the book says.  And I had known Allan for years so it seemed like a natural way to get all this down.

kk:  I invited our Forgotten Hits Readers to send in a few of their questions (and I've got quite a few of my own, too!) so I think you're going to find that we're fully armed and ready to go for this interview! 

BROK, well let's get to it, then!   

kk:  You began entertaining at a very early age, practically growing up on stage ... I mean you were doing stand-up and impressions before you were even ten years old.  Is this something that you just always knew you were going to do?  Did you have this "bug" from as far back as you can remember?  Is this something that has always been with you?  It had to happen very early on but can you pin point a time when you realized that you wanted make a career in show business? 

BR:  Well, it all goes back to when my father was overseas ... my mama used to write to my father that the baby's always singing , the baby's always singing, and my father wrote back and said, "Well who knows, maybe one day we'll have a star in the family."  And the only reason that I'm in the business today, if I had any talent within me whatsoever, was because my father was the first one to see it ... and he used to take me around to the clubs when I was seven, eight years old and he'd ask the club owner "Can my son get up and do some impersonations and sing some songs?", so I guess you're right … because of that, at a very early age, it was ingrained in me ... and show business has been the major part of my life since I was seven years old, I guess, and up until today.

kk:  And it really was an accelerated progression for you, too ... you started out in the background on the drums ... then moved out from behind the drums and came up front as a singer (a rather unusual thing at the time as there weren't a lot of singing drummers back then ... especially to find someone who was so proficient in both areas.) From there you picked up the dance steps, moved into movies and regular television appearances, where you went on to expand your comedic skills, all the while still touring and doing stage shows and live appearances to sell out crowds ... not really a NATURAL progression, I guess ... I mean most people wouldn't really consider these to be baby steps ... but you just seemed a NATURAL to do all these things and continue to grow and expand as an artist ... as really an all-around entertainer.

BR:  No, I guess for most people these wouldn't be considered baby steps, but for ME this was kinda my sort of vaudeville ... starting at that early age and my dad taking me around to clubs so you know I was ingrained in the business very early and I guess more or less you could say it was my vaudeville. 

kk:  Was that kind of the planned deal, then ... a preconceived career move to become an all-around entertainer?  

BR:  No, no, there was no plan whatsoever ... you know my dad took me around at a very early age and I sang and I did some impersonations and people applauded so I went "Wow, this is wonderful!  All I have to do is do this and do that" ...  and it's a great feeling, you know!

kk:  It just seemed to come very naturally to you, I guess.

BR:  Oh, absolutely … yes, it did ... definitely.

kk:  And each new challenge it seems ... it doesn't seem to matter what it was ... I mean let's face it, it took a lot of guts to get up in front of a crowd of people at seven years old, all strangers, and do Frank Fontaine, for example.

BR:  Oh yeah, I was always nervous and I would always tell my dad, you know, "Oh, I think I've got a stomach ache" ... or "I think I feel a cold coming on" ... yeah, the nerves were always there ... but you know, once I got up on the stage, even at a very early age, it became all very, very natural to me, even at that young age.

kk:  So as these new challenges and opportunities came up,  you just rose to meet them as they were presented to you at the time ... there had to be something in your make-up that made you feel you could do all these things successfully, because it's really quite an evolution.

BR:  Yeah, I guess it did, because once I got up on the stage in front of a crowd of people, all the nerves went away and I just did what I loved to do. 

kk:  OK, now here's a question from a reader ... When you first decided to make a record, who approached whom first?  Did you go knocking on the record company's door, or did they come to you?  How did that all come about?

BR:  Well, my first manager, a man by the name of Frankie Day, he took me around to all the majors, you know, in New York City ... so we went to RCA, Capitol and MGM and so forth ... you know, some of the other big labels around town ... and we got turned down by all of them ... and so our last resort was to go back to Philadelphia and a small local label there ... and so I auditioned for a guy by the name of Bernie Lowe, who was the President of Cameo Records ... and I auditioned for him, he signed me and I had three records for Cameo that did nothing ... they all bombed ... and then the fourth record that I recorded for Cameo was in the Summer of 1959, was a song called "Kissin' Time", which became my first hit ... and that's how it all happened. 

kk:  Those first few records were not hits ... but even before that you had recorded a couple of things for another record label ... and one of our readers wants so know what you remember about one of the very first records you ever recorded, FATTY FATTY, on Veko Records in 1958. From what I understand, this is a record that could not be played on the radio today because it wouldn't be politically correct.

BR:  Oh, it was terrible!  A terrible, terrible record ... oh my God, yeah!  And hopefully it NEVER gets played because it was a terrible, terrible record.  It was a label called Veko and my manager and I ... there were two guys from the Baltimore / Washington, DC area that supposedly put up the money for me to make that record (but the money actually came from my father and my manager at the time) to record some songs ... and one of them was FATTY FATTY and all of a sudden, they flew the coup with the tapes and then, you know, when I became successful, all of a sudden, you know, the tapes appeared ... unfortunately!

kk:  lol ... of course, of course ...

BR:  (laughing) You know! Yeah, unfortunately they appeared.   (lol)

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Since Bobby feels so strongly about the quality of his "Fatty Fatty" single, we're not going to feature it as part of our series.  However, we ARE going to feature another non-charting early Bobby Rydell track sent in by a Forgotten Hits Reader who wondered why the label seemed to be going for more of a "group sound" than your typical solo Bobby Rydell record.  I never did get the chance to ask him about that ... so Bobby, if you're reading this, please fill us in!  It's a song called "Please Don't Be Mad" ... and it's a really good track.]

kk:  There had to be some mixed emotions here ... I mean you started doing this at a very early age ... so when those first couple of records didn't take off for you, was there ever a time where you felt like "Hey, maybe this just isn't supposed to happen to me"?  "Maybe this just isn't meant to be."   This had to be a difficult time for you ... certainly there was the thrill and the excitement of being in the studio, making the records ... but then there was also the disappointment when these records didn't turn out to be hits.  Even the first couple of Cameo sides failed to make an impression on the pop charts.  

BR:  Oh, absolutely ... after all of the turn-downs from, you know, major companies, major record labels, and then I finally signed with Cameo and I guess I was, I dunno, maybe sixteen at the time, and I had three records for Cameo and they all bombed ... they did nothing ... and I was really, really happy playing drums ... so I thought that maybe this is not for me ... my career in life is to be a drummer.  And then all of a sudden, Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann and Dave Appell came up with a song called "Kissin' Time" and that became the first hit.  It was the summer of '59 and I was seventeen years old.

kk:  Now those guys, they're not really among the best known songwriters ... it's fair to say that in the scheme of things Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann and Dave Appell, all of whom were affiliated with the label would be perceived as fairly obscure songwriters ... but they certainly fed their artists at their label with material and they seemed to really have a handle on exactly the kind of sound they were going for.  The bulk of your Cameo output was created by some combination of these guys, which they seemed to craft specifically to help shape your image.  Now along the way  you also recorded songs written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and Gerry Goffin and Carole King ... Tony Hatch ... but the majority of your hits came courtesy of the in-house label principles.  Did you ever dabble in song writing yourself during this time?

BR: No, no, I never tried ... I never tried writing tunes at all.  But you're right, absolutely … I always said, "You give me the material and I'll just sing them" and then the writers would submit their tunes and we'd just go in and record them.  But we had some great songwriters sending us tunes to record, absolutely.  

kk:  How much influence did you have in regards to picking the material and how it went down once you were inside the studio?  I know in your book you make reference to a couple of songs that you didn't really think fit your style ... maybe you had a few doubts if these would be hits or maybe they weren't really in your wheelhouse ... but then once you'd recorded them, you were happy with the results. You were still willing to go in there and give it your best shot and then once you heard it, you ended up liking it. 

BR:  No, I never said that.  Anything that Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann and Dave Appell put in front of me, I never questioned it … I just went in and recorded it.  I never questioned ANY material that was given to me by them.

kk:  Was there ever a surprise where you thought, "This'll never be a hit" and then it was. 

BR:  No, never.  I didn’t know when what we recorded was going to be a hit … I mean, it sounded good to ME, but I didn't know if it was gonna be a hit.  

kk:  Well, especially, I guess, after the first few records WEREN'T hits!

BR:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely, it was just another recording.  Put it out there and let's see what happens.  Like I said before, everything was Lowe, Mann and Appell ... they wrote the songs and I'd go in, listen to them and rehearse them and then we'd record them.  I really can't remember any of the tunes that I disliked with Cameo ... it was all very, very good material, and everything they wrote, I went in and learned the tune and we recorded them.   And I was lucky when "Kissin' Time" turned out to be my first hit record. 
I remember when the movie "Bye Bye Birdie" came out, I was in London and I did a command  performance before The Royal Family with Ann-Margret ... and while there I recorded with a gentleman by the name of Tony Hatch and one of the songs that I recorded for Pye Records in London, in The UK, was "Forget Him", which eventually became my third million seller and the powers that be at Cameo ... Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann and Dave Appell ... they had nothing to do with the publishing and they didn't really want to release the song because they wouldn't be getting any money from the publishing rights!  And there was a disc jockey in Toronto, Canada, by the name of Dave Johnson, he was on CHUM Radio, and he went on the radio and started playing it and then it caught on and got played throughout Canada and then it leaked down and got played in The United States ... I believe first in Detroit ... and then, of course, Cameo was forced to release the record nationally ... and thank God they did, because it became my third million seller.  But I think that was just one of only a couple of my songs that weren't written by Lowe, Mann and Appell.

kk:  "Forget Him" is actually my favorite of yours, by the way.  And it ended up being a HUGE Top Five Hit here in The States that I always felt should have been a springboard for many more hits to follow.  Instead it ended up being your last great hurrah on the US pop charts thanks to The British Invasion.

BR:  Yeah, it was a good record, it was a really good record and it's one of the songs that I recorded that is a fan-favorite and it always gets a good response whenever I do it on stage.

kk:  Well, I've known Tony Hatch for several years and he speaks VERY highly of you.  As you follow along with this series you'll see some of his comments about this session as well.

BR:  Oh, wonderful … excellent!  You know, my God, I don't think I've seen Tony SINCE 1963 but the guy's a marvelous songwriter ... "Downtown" for Petula Clark, "Call Me" for Chris Montez, he's written quite a few hit records.  He's just a marvelous talent.

kk:  And that record just seemed to have such a clean sound to it compared to some of the Cameo stuff. 

BR:  Yeah … well, what they used to do ... and I've been asked this question before ... the difference between recording here in The States and recording overseas, and specifically the UK 'cause that's the only place I ever really recorded outside of The United States ... and when we did the session, it was basically an album and one of the songs that came out of it, of course, was "Forget Him" and everything in the studio was dry ... there was no echo, no echo on the musicians, no echo on the voice ... everything was cut dry and then in the mix, when they went back in, that's when they added the echo so it was really a very, very clean sound without any of the tom-foolery, so to speak.

kk:  It's interesting in a way because, ironically, these sessions over in England with Tony Hatch were done just on the eve of The Beatles hitting it big here in America.

BR:  You are correct! 

kk:  So you were over in England making records and we're about to get invaded by The Four Mop-Tops from Liverpool!  And America never knew what hit 'em!

BR:  Absolutely, absolutely!  And while there, I did the command performance with Ann, Ann-Margret, and then recorded with Tony Hatch, and then I toured with a young lady by the name of Helen Shapiro, who is still working today, and she's marvelous ... she's a GREAT singer ... and that's when I first met The Beatles.  They were in front of us in one car and we were traveling on a bus throughout the UK and at one stop the four guys came on the bus ... and they knew me, because this was 1963 and as far as I was concerned, they were just four guys who were gigging ... you know, they did nightclubs, they did weddings ... and we met, we shook hands, and the only thing I'm sorry about is that we never took a picture because that would have been a GREAT picture of them on the bus, which would have been taken just prior to them becoming what they became in 1964.

kk:  Now let me ask you, when this all happened back in 1964, everybody thought that this was just going to be a flash-in-the pan ... it wasn't going to last ... it was just some new little novelty thing that had come across the ocean but pretty much ALL of the American artists were knocked off the charts for a very long period of time.

BR:  Absolutely

kk:  At what point was it real for you?  At what point did you begin to feel "I've gotta deal with this ... what am I going to do now?"  Were you painfully aware as it was happening because prior to that you had a pretty good run up the charts ... something like 20 Top 40 hits over the past four or five years ... and then literally overnight the British artists took over the charts and the magazine covers and the tv spots, and so on ... it seemed to be all they were playing on the radio ... The British Invasion was an apt description of exactly what was going on at the time.

BR:  Well, it was not only myself, Kent, but I think the majority of the artists here in The United States were affected ... the British Invasion happened and it hurt a lot of the American artists … all of a sudden the British artists were selling lots of records and this is what the jockeys were playing ... everybody was playing the songs by The Beatles and The Stones and so forth and it came to a point where they finally said, "Hey, we've got to go back to playing some of the American artists" and then things started picking up again, but basically back then, 1964, just after 1964, my recording career was over ... and "Forget Him" was my last major hit on Cameo.  But, you know, you just continue working at your craft and you continuing working and doing what you do.

kk:  I think the audience that you played to that was following your stuff, especially in the clubs, pretty much allowed you to continue performing through a different avenue.  I mean, you weren't really crossing paths with The Beatles for the same audience.

BR:  Oh no, no, not at all.  They were working venues that sat thousands and thousands of people and people like myself and Anka and Avalon, we were still doing club dates ... 500-seating rooms and 300-seating rooms ... and that was how we were able to continue to work, and that was the nice thing about it ... I've never really stopped working since 1959.

kk:  And then you actually recorded a Lennon and McCartney song ... you did the original version of "A World Without Love", right?  And how did YOUR version come out ahead of the Peter and Gordon version?  It almost seems like a case of the established American artist getting the nod first over some unknown British duo ... until America discovered just who these guys were.  One reader wrote in:  "Bobby's record was the best of the US artists stealing the UK sound!"

BR:  That's correct ... we recorded it first ... but actually my manager and I were driving into New York City and we got into the area where you could hear WABC Radio and all of a sudden we're driving and we hear (singing) "I don't care what they say ..." and that was already in the can!  We had already recorded it and we were like "What the heck is this?" And so, just on principle, we put the song out, but Peter and Gordon had a two week jump on us so they really had the hit record.  Mine charted ... and there were times when jockeys across the country got so fed up, they wouldn't play Peter and Gordon's and they wouldn't play mine ... then some would play me and some would play Peter and Gordon ... so some of that may have cancelled each other out.  But you know, I saw Paul Schaffer in New York when we did a press conference for the release of the new book and Paul Schaffer did a thing when he was with Letterman and it was funny as hell ... you know, "Here's Peter and Gordon's version of 'A World Without Love" and he would go (singing very softly and sweetly) "I don't care what they say, I won't stay in a world without love".  And then he goes, "And here's Bobby Rydell's version" (big, booming voice) "I don't care what they say ..." (laughing)  It's as funny as heck!

kk:  OK, so was that a conscious decision to record something with a British feel to it?  Had you been looking for something along those lines, maybe a Lennon and McCartney tune?  How did you come across that one in the first place?  

BR:  You know, I never picked any of my tunes … it was all Lowe, Mann and Appell ... they picked all the material and this song just happened to fall by my wayside and who, how, when, where, what, why, I don't know ... but we went into New York City and recorded it.

kk:  Well, here in Chicago it actually did very well.  They charted both records at the same number so they shared a spot on the chart ... until it went to #1 and then it was only the Peter and Gordon version.

BR:  Yeah, that's what I was talkin' about, you know ... some jockeys would play both of them, some wouldn't play either one of them.  It was really a matter of if they got fed up, with all the PR and stuff.

kk:  Well I remember that I heard yours first here on WLS ... and I guess Peter and Gordon ... well, let's just say that Peter Asher certainly had a distinct advantage with Paul dating his sister at the time! 

BR:  Absolutely! (lol)  It was all in the family!  (lol) 

kk:  And here's another thing that I thought was a little bit ironic ... right around this same time, or just after, you left Cameo and moved  over to Capitol Records at a time where Capitol was pretty much just pushing The Beatles and The Beach Boys and not much else.  So how did that happen?

BR:  Well, yeah.  How did that happen?  Well, you know, Cameo had its run and my manager at the time, once again, Frankie Day, decided that it was time to move on and I signed with Capitol.  And one of the first things I recorded at Capitol was a version of Paul Anka's "Diana" and it was done like sort of like a necktie ... (singing) boom-boom-boom, boom-boom-boom, "I'm so young and you're so old ... and yada yada yada" and the record was starting to make noise but then I believe Wayne Newton came out with something, I forget what the tune was, and they dropped all of the PR on "Diana" because they figured it was starting to climb and when they dropped it, the record kinda got lost ... but I think if they would have pursued that, I coulda had a Top Ten Record with "Diana" because it was totally different than Anka's ... and it was a damn good record, I must say.  But you know, I had my good times with Capitol, I never had any major hits with them, but I recorded some really, really good tunes.

kk:  Well, I was gonna say ...  certainly you were trying to make the best records you could at the time ... you went into this whole thing with the best intentions and gave it your best effort but if the label doesn't help promote them, they're really not going to go anywhere.  

BR:  Oh yeah, for sure, for sure.  As a matter of fact when I was with Capitol, I was doing "The Milton Berle Show" out in California ... the show only lasted for six months ... but one of the songs that I recorded for Capitol was a song called "You've Gotta Enjoy Joy" and that was written by Milton Berle ... in fact, that was his theme song on his show and it was a big band arrangement written by one of the great arrangers in California named Bob Florence, and I had people like Louie Bellson on drums and all of the top cats in California and it was really a swingin' record, which I LOVED ... I absolutely ADORED doing that kind of music ... I love big band music ... but it never happened.  But like you said, I recorded some really good pieces of material on Capitol.

kk:  I believe all that stuff is out of print right now ... I went looking for some of these tracks because I thought it might be kinda neat to feature a couple of them because I'm guessing that other than some of your diehard fans, most people have never heard this material.  It sounds like you had a lot of fun recording over there ... what are some of your favorite tracks that you recorded for Capitol Records?  

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Tom Diehl sent us a few Capitol tracks to share.  As it turns out, ALL of this Capitol material is available now on CD and for download … look for links at the end of this article so you can add these tracks to your collection.]

BR:  Yeah, that would be wonderful if you could feature a couple of these ... I'm not really sure where you'd find them ... but there was another song arranged by Bob Florence and it's a song called "Blue For You" ... a wonderful piece … an absolutely wonderful piece of material ... a ballad, but done with a big band arrangement.  Like I said, there's a lot of good stuff I did with Capitol

kk:  Going back to Cameo / Parkway for just a minute, at one point they paired you up with Chubby Checker for a few recordings and, of course the big Christmas record.  Did you consider this to be more of a gimmick move at the time?  You both had already had a number of successes on the charts as solo artists ... had you guys known each other before?  How did you get along and do you still keep in touch?  There are some on the list who feel that the Rydell / Checker version is the best one ever of "Jingle Bell Rock".  

BR:  Well, as a matter of fact, the story goes ... and it's a true story ... that one of Chubby's first records was a song called "The Class" and I was a hand-clapper (laughing) in the studio during the recording of "The Class" and that's when I first met Chubby ... and then, of course, as things happen, he recorded, of course, "The Twist" and I'd already had quite a few hits, so I was hot and now Chubby was hot and so they decided to put the two of us together to do an album.  And it specifically wasn't released during the holidays but we had songs on there like "Jingle Bell Rock" and "What Are You Doing New Year's" but it wasn't specifically a seasonal kind of thing that we did for this album … and it did very, very well for both Chubby and myself and, of course, for Cameo.

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  The "Bobby Rydell / Chubby Checker" album first charted in mid-December of 1961 … and STAYED on the chart for 30 weeks!  While there are several tracks that lend themselves to the holiday spirit, the duo also cut "Side By Side", "Swingin' Together", "Teach Me To Twist", "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and a medley of hits called "Your Hits And Mine Medley".]

kk:  So did you guys ever tour together then at this point or do any shows or television appearances together in support of that record?

BR:  Well, in fact, I do a show called "The Golden Boys" and that's with Frankie Avalon and Fabian, two dear friends, and at one point Frankie left the show to do a movie with Annette called "Back To The Beach" and when Frankie left for a couple of, I dunno, three, four months, to make the movie, Chubby took his place, so it was Chubby, Fabe and myself doing "The Golden Boys".

kk:  Are you still doing "The Golden Boys" shows?

BR:  Oh yeah, yeah ... we first started doing this show back in 1985 and it was a tremendous success and I turned to Frankie and, you know Frankie and I go way, way back ... I think I was ten years old and he was maybe twelve or thirteen ... he's a couple or three years older than me ... and after we'd been touring for awhile, I turned to him ... and I call him Cheech, in Italian Frank is Cheech, and I said, "Cheech, how long is this gonna last?  A year?  Two years tops?"  And this was 1985 and now it's 2016 and we're still doing it.

kk:  Well, I've got to say that you sound great.  I mean, you're practically The Bionic Man now, right?  You've got all these new parts!  It's like a complete rebuild!  (lol)

BR:  (laughing) You know, I guess I am!  (lol)  I've got a new liver, new kidney, I've had a heart surgery ...

kk:  (laughing) You've been thru it all!

BR:  (laughing) I've been thru it all!  Oh yeah ... all I need now is a lobotomy and I'll be fine!  

kk:  Well, being from Chicago, people want to know, do you have any plans to come out to Chicago?  Actually, Frankie Avalon was just here for Mother's Day.

BR:  Really?  Well, I love Chicago, it's one of my favorite towns in the whole world, and, matter of fact, my drummer was originally from Broomall and from where I live, that's only about fifteen or twenty minutes away, but he met a girl ... we were on a cruise ship ... and he got married and she lived in Chicago ... and my drummer moved out there, I think somewhere near Elmwood Park.

kk:  Oh wow, I actually lived in Elmwood Park for awhile ... it's not too far from where I'm at right now.

BR:  And he's been out there now ever since he got married ... seventeen, eighteen years ago or so.  I certainly look forward to coming to Chicago ... I don't think there's anything planned in the immediate near future but I've always loved the town.

kk:  So your health is good ... about how many dates a year do you do?  Where are we most likely to see Bobby Rydell perform in concert?  A cruise ship? A Las Vegas show lounge?  Are you doing a lot of cruise ships? 

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  A look at Bobby's website gives you his full itinerary ... and he's got quite a few shows coming up.  See link below]

BR:  Ehh ... the things that I'm doing now is a cruise called Malt Shop Memories and I did an informercial for them, or for Time / Life quite a few years ago and it was a big, big seller ... in the Top Five of their all time Time / Life best selling CD's through all these infomercial things and it became so big that they started doing cruises and the cruises are called Malt Shop Memories and I've done, I think, four so far, and the last one was 2015, and I guess I'll be doing it again in 2017.  So the last cruise we did is we got myself and Avalon and Neil Sedaka, Little Anthony, Lou Christie ... and the people just go bananas because you know the people on the cruise, they start signing up for the next cruise because if they sign up early for the next cruise they get some kind of a discount and they're like alumni ... and it's amazing, it's really amazing ... and the cruises always do well because it's like 3000 people on a big ship and there's shows every minute of the day.  There's always something to do somewhere.

kk:  It's interesting because ALL of those artists you just mentioned have all just recently been thru Chicago ... we've got an old theater here ... it was built back in the 1920's during the old vaudeville days ... called The Arcada Theatre and the guy who owns it seems to be really prone to booking those kinds of acts.  Neil Sedaka was just here toward the end of last year ... Little Anthony's coming up in about a month ... Frankie Avalon was just here for Mother's Day ... so let me talk to him because you would just be a natural to perform there.

BR:  Oh, absolutely, what's the name of the theater again?

kk:  It's called The Arcada Theatre and it's in St. Charles, Illinois ... it's a totally restored theater ... one of those old, small 900-seaters

BR:  Well definitely ... I've got to tell my manager ... oh yeah, yeah, those old theaters ... they're fantastic and we've played a lot of them across the country ... and they're great, these refurbished theaters ... they're just marvelous.

kk:  It just seems like a perfect fit so I will mention this to the owner.  His name is Ron Onesti and we kinda help promote some of their stuff and actually, I've helped promote some of the Malt Shop Cruises over the years, too.  I just think this would be a real natural fit for you.

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Ron Onesti has already been talking to Bobby's manager, Dick Fox, about booking a Chicago date.  In fact, Dick Fox also manages the career of Lou Christie ... so don't be surprised to find BOTH of these guys coming into the Chicago area real soon ... maybe as soon as November of this year … so stay tuned to Forgotten Hits for more details!  Lou Christie tells me that he and Bobby have done several dates together recently ... so this is a show you're not going to want to miss!]

BR:  Well, OK, please talk to whoever you have to talk to.  Thank you, Kent!   

[EDITOR'S NOTE:  Bobby says that he has talked to his manager, Dick Fox, and the final details are being worked out.  Although no official date has been booked or announced yet, he says that it will NOT be a double bill … Bobby will come in and do his show and then Lou Christie will do his own show later.  Ron Onesti booked Lou Christie for last year's Italian Fest in Addison and he was great … that's when I got to meet him for the first time.  This just means we've two more GREAT shows to look forward to at The Arcada Theatre!]

kk:  Happy to do it ... plus then I get to see you, too! (lol)
I can't wait to meet Bobby in person in November when he hits The Arcada Theatre!  More details to come ...