Forget Him - Bobby Rydell
Teen idols get short shrift. Male pop singers from the late fifties and early sixties - after Elvis was inducted into the Army and before the Beatles conquered America - are often overlooked. Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Brian Hyland - good looking, clean cut guys who sang catchy if simple love songs. Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka, who wrote their own songs, are perhaps better known for their 1970s comebacks than for their teen years.
In any musical genre, there are records that are disposable and others that work magic on open-minded ears, to coin an odd phrase. So it goes with the output of the original American idols.
My favorite song by one of these artists is Bobby Rydell's "Forget Him." Yes, he was another young, handsome fellow from Philly who sang songs aimed at young girls, but he had (and has) the best set of pipes in his peer group. Something in the combination of strength and vulnerability in his voice on the lines "So don't you cry now, just tell him goodbye now, forget him and please come home to me" charms me every time.
34 Top 40 hits. Streets named after him in Philadelphia and in Wildwood, NJ. The high school in "Grease" bears his name. A starring role in "Bye Bye Birdie." Fifty years of touring the globe. And he still takes the time to graciously answer my questions - look for them and for video of "Forget Him" below the fold.