PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia music legend Bobby Rydell has died.
The former teen idol is probably best-known in the area for the song “Wildwood Days,” but he had so many hits — “Volare,” “Wild One” and so many others.READ MORE: 5-Year-Old Boy Injured In North Philadelphia Shooting, Police Say
Rydell was also a movie star, appearing in “Bye Bye Birdie” with Ann Margaret.
— Ukee Washington (@UkeeWashington) April 5, 2022
There are streets in Philadelphia and Wildwood named for Rydell.
He died just shy of his 80th birthday.
Rydell, born Robert Ridarelli, was, in many respects, the original teen heartthrob.
A staunchly proud South Philly native, Rydell rose to fame and achieved teen idol status in the late 1950s and early ’60s after winning a talent contest on Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club show in 1950.
“Bobby was exceptional. He not only was a singer, he did comedy, incredible pipes, and he also played drums at one time,” Philadelphia radio personality Jerry Blavat said.
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RIP Bobby Rydell, you will certainly be missed. We will think of you every time we head to Wildwood, & sing along to one of your songs. Much love to your family. #BobbyRydell @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/VdRm0hGahc
— Jessica Kartalija (@JessKartalija) April 5, 2022
A series of hit songs followed — “Kissin’ Time, “Wild one” and the Philly and South Jersey favorite, “Wildwood Days.” In all, Rydell had 34 top-40 hits.
“Avalon will tell you. Bobby Rydell had the greatest set of pipes,” Blavat said.
But his career flourished well beyond the early ’60s.
He starred in film and television. The fictional Rydell High in the musical and film “Grease” is named as an honor to him.
And long after his heyday, he continued to tour and entertain legions of fans focusing on the great American songbook.
“Bobby was blessed that he followed show business and there was not a day in his life he did not love performing,” Blavat said.
As we celebrate the life, accomplishments, and contributions of Bobby Rydell to the Delaware Valley, as well as the greater society as a whole, it is with the profound realization that there will never be another Bobby Rydell.MORE NEWS: Police: 4-Year-Old In Stable But Critical Condition After Being Struck By SUV In West Philly
CBS3’s Siafa Lewis contributed to this report.