In 1950, Rydell competed on the amateur talent show, Paul Whiteman’s TV Teen Club; his first-place gained him a regular part on the program.He stayed with the Whiteman show for three years, changing his name to Bobby Rydell, which was easier to pronounce. He then went to join several local bands in Philadelphia. As a teenage drummer, he played alongside Frankie Avalon in a band known as Rocco and the Saints. He was later signed to a recording contract by Cameo Records, and his debut hit “Kissin’ Time,” recorded in the summer of 1959, launched his musical career and made him a teen idol at the age of 17. Rydell was considered one of the teen idols alongside Frankie Avalon, Fabian, Johnny Tillotson, Jimmy Clanton and Bobby Vee. In May 1960 Rydell toured Australia with The Everly Brothers, Billy “Crash” Craddock, Marv Johnson, The Champs and The Crickets, recording an Australian version of “Kissin’Time” for the event (“they’re kissin’ in Sydney. Perth and Brisbane too…”).
His second hit “We Got Love” was his first million seller, gaining gold disc status. “Wild One”, backed with “Little Bitty Girl”, was his second million-selling disc in 1959; followed by further gold disc honours for “Ding-a-Ling”, backed with “Swingin’ School”, plus “Volare” the following year. After making his first hit recordings, he pursued a solo career, performing at the Copacabana in New York in 1961, where he was an instant hit. In February 1961 he appeared at the Festival du Rock, at the