photocredit: This blog was originally posted on January 16, 2018.


When I was a teenager, I was slightly obsessed with the movie, Grease.  I remember thinking how awesome it would have been to attend Rydell High School, mostly because the students randomly broke out into spontaneous song over the mundane issues of their lives.  They’d sing through their troubles and fears, their wonderment and success.  And somehow, everyone miraculously knew all the dance moves.

Come on… y’all know that would be totally incredible!

So imagine my surprise as I’m trolling through articles on the various performers for the Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom.  As I come across the name, Bobby Rydell, I think to myself, “Huh… like from Rydell High School?”  Honestly, I didn’t think there would be any connection whatsoever.

Then I got to this line…

When the producers of “Grease” wanted to pay tribute to the era in which the popular musical was set, they names the high school where most of the action took place, “Rydell High” in honor of Bobby Rydell.

Well, I’ll be.  All these years watching that movie and I never knew this! 

As I read on, I learned that Bobby Rydell’s career has thrived for six decades, slating his historical place in various areas of the entertainment world.  Not only is he a marvelous singer, but he’s an outstanding drummer, an agile dancer and an extremely fine actor.

In fact, he played the role of Hugo Peabody in the movie Bye Bye Birdie.  In the theater production, Hugo was a small, non-speaking part.  But in the movie adaptation, the character was rewritten specifically to showcase the incredible talent of Rydell.

Rydell recorded and performed a slew of hits over the years, earning his 34 Top 40 hits which places him as one of the Top 5 artist of his era according to Billboard Magazine.  His hits include Volare, Wild One, We Got Love, Kissin’ Time, Swingin’ School and Forget Him, selling a combined total of over twenty-five MILLION records!

When he took the stage, Rydell captivated audiences with his smooth crooning and his even smoother good looks, causing the hearts of teenage girls across the globe to swoon.  The teen idol, now a seasoned performer, continues to perform to sell out audiences throughout the world.

Bobby Rydell performed on stage at the Surf Ballroom during the 2018 Winter Dance party.

Robert Louis Ridarelli (April 26, 1942 – April 5, 2022)