Bobby Rydell was born Robert Louis Ridarelli on April 26, 1942, to an Italian family, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Jennie (Sapienza) and Adrio “Al” Ridarelli. Bobby’s abilities were fostered by his father, Adrio Ridarelli, who took time to introduce his son to some of the best music ever made. Father and son would frequent Philadelphia’s big band hot spots to take in the lively postwar sounds of legendary acts. The songs, performances, arrangements, and characters of the scene were nourishing to the soul, but not the passion. It was not until one fateful trip to the Earle Theater, when young Robert answered passions call. Amid the genius of Gene Krupa with Benny Goodman’s Orchestra, young Robert said, “Daddy, I want to be him… I want to be a drummer.” Although not officially, this was the moment when Robert Ridarelli became Bobby Rydell.
Today, Bobby Rydell is still using his talent and charm to please audiences all over the world. In fact, he can’t help it – he was, is, and always will be a brilliant entertainer. However, more remarkable then his talent and charisma, is the loving, compassionate, and gracious nature of the man, Bobby Rydell.