Sunday, September 18, 2016

SHG: Bobby Rydell: "Wild One"

Bobby Rydell: “Wild One”
Entered the chart on: 2/8/1960
Peaked on: 3/28/1960
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “Theme From A Summer Place” by Percy Faith

And so, we’re back to the phony rock teen-idols of the so-called Philadelphia Scene. To be fair to Bobby, he was definitely preferable to the likes of Frankie “I’m plugging my nose to sound more like a teenager with adenoids” Avalon or [shudder] Fabian. Bobby had some actual singing ability, which probably explains why the top brass at Cameo-Parkway paired him up with songs like Domenico Modugno’s classic “Volare.” They wanted you to be sure you knew he could really sing!

But...yeah. That’s damning with faint praise. It’s like saying that getting a poison-oak rash on your arm isn’t as bad as getting one on your eyes. And he still has about as much to do with rock & roll as an accordion.

Sorry, you can doll this up with as much chunky electric guitar and twist-club saxophone, but you can’t fool me. Bobby’s Vegas lounge performer ethos completely swamps any attempt at me taking this seriously as “rock & roll.” Well, that and the shrill female backing chorus, no member of which sounds to be over the age of fifteen.

The “Wild One” of the title is his intended lady love, who he wishes to “be wild about me!” Eh...I’m running out of things to say about this. It doesn’t sound like a “real” song, rather like a song that would appear on a TV show performed by some second-string run-of-the-mill session singer play-acting at being somebody famous and beloved. Somewhat apropos for the future star of Bye Bye Birdie. You could picture Mary Stone on The Donna Reed Show or Linda Williams on Make Room for Daddy twisting to this but real people?

I think they’d prefer Ricky Nelson. Oh, the irony.

Rating: 1

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