One of the great teen idols of the late 50's to mid-60's, Bobby Rydell, will release his autobiography Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances on May 4 via Doctor Licks Publishing.
Rydell wrote the new book with the help of Allan "Dr. Licks" Slutsky, the author of the book Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson on which the outstanding documentary film was based. Slutsky also worked on the film as a musician, arranger and soundtrack producer.
Bobby Rydell started his entertainment career as a winner and, later, cast member of Paul Whiteman's TV Teen Club at the age of 8. In the late-50's, he changed his given name of Robert Ridarelli to Bobby Rydell and signed with Philadelphia's Cameo Records where he scored such hits as Kissin' Time (1959 / #11), We Got Love (1959 / #6), Wild One (1960 / #2), Swingin' School (1960 / #5), Volare (1960 / #4), Sway (1960 / #14) and Forget Him (1964 / #4).
Rydell also went on to act in movies like Bye Bye Birdie and on television in shows like Combat! but all of his success hid his own personal demons.
Teen on the Rocks not only tells Rydell's story but also of American pop culture through the past six decades. In its pages, Bobby writes of his encounters with such giants of 20th century show business as Frank Sinatra, Ann-Margret, The Beatles, Red Skelton, Jack Benny and Dick Clark, whose Philly-based American Bandstand helped make Rydell the world’s biggest teen idol in the years between Elvis Presley’s army induction and the advent of Beatlemania. A time when Frank Sinatra called Bobby his “favorite” pop singer.
The book is also very personal and often-painful as Bobby delves into the darker and more dramatic aspects of his life, including the death of his beloved first wife, Camille, his decades of alcohol abuse, and the last-ditch transplant surgery that saved his life.
Among other topics covered in the book:
- The circumstances of how Bobby lost his virginity in a Hollywood hotel suite at the age of 17.
- How a Philadelphia mob boss helped him take a movie acting job.
- His becoming, at age 19, the youngest-ever headliner at New York’s legendary Copacabana nightclub.
- How The Beatles paid homage to Bobby in one of their biggest hits and how the Fab Four’s emergence as a global phenomenon all but killed his career.