Frankie Avalon and Bobby Rydell are universally known as two of the original teenage idols of early rock ‘n’ roll. From January 15-17, Avalon and Rydell will bring their incomparable voices and generation-defining songs to the Orleans Showroom for a three-night engagement.
Childhood friends from the same south Philadelphia neighborhood, Avalon and Rydell first teamed up on a band called Rocco and the Saints, with Avalon on trumpet and Rydell on drums. But it was their voices that would establish both performers as two of the biggest pop music stars of the pre-Beatles era.
Known as a child prodigy on the trumpet, Avalon was deemed a virtuoso by a member of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra, and made several guest appearances on The Perry Como Show and the Jackie Gleason Show. But it was his 1957 single “Dee Dee Dinah” that established Avalon as a singing sensation, quickly selling more than a million copies. Numerous gold albums and hit singles followed, including “Venus,” “Bobby Sox to Stockings,” “Just Ask Your Heart,” and “Why.”
Avalon has some 30 motion picture credits, including the highly successful 1960s Beach Party film series, including such favorites as Grease, Beach Party, Muscle Beach Party, Beach Blanket Bingo, Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine, Bikini Beach and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. His talents as a dramatic actor are evidenced in The Alamo and Guns of the Timberland. Other film credits include Skidoo, I’ll Take Sweden and Casino, among others.
Not to be outdone by his friend, Rydell recorded his first single hit in 1959 with “Kissin’ Time.” Over the next several years Rydell established himself as a teenage sensation with 34 Top 40 hits, including “We Got Love,” “ “Wild One,” “That Old Black Magic,” “I’ll Never Dance Again” and “Forget Him.” He was later recognized by Billboard as one of the Top Five Artists of the early ‘60s.
Beyond selling millions of records, Rydell enjoyed fame as a regular on such television shows as American Bandstand, The Red Skelton Show and The Milton Berle Show. Rydell was also featured in the classic film Bye Bye Birdie as Ann-Margret’s boyfriend, Hugo Peabody.
Tickets are now available starting from $29.95, plus tax. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Orleans Box Office at 702.365.7075 or visiting www.orleanscasino.com.