Acts and Performers
Bobby Rydell is an American Entertainment Legend!
With a career starting as a 1950’s teen idol, to the present where he pays homage to both jazz and The Great American Song Book, Bobby Rydell draws crowds across every age group nationally and internationally. Rydell first took the stage as a professional drummer at the age of 9. A polished performer by the age of 19, he was the youngest person ever to headline the famous Copacabana in New York. Bobby’s recording career earned him 34 Top 40 hits, placing him in the Top 5 artists of his era (Billboard Magazine). Bobby’s hits include million-selling singles Volare, Wild One, We Got Love, Kissin’ Time, Swingin’ School, Wildwood Days, and Forget Him, selling a combined total of over 25 million records.
In 1963, Bobby starred with Ann- Margret in the iconic movie “Bye Bye Birdie.” They appeared a few years ago together recently at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences premiere of the digital restoration of the movie.
Bobby Rydell’s influence on popular music has been profound. When the producers of “Grease” wanted to pay tribute to the era in which the popular musical was set, they named the high school where most of the action took place “Rydell High” in his honor.
But to peg the totality of his career as a teen idol would be similar to reading the first sentence of a book and trying to guess the ending. Long dedicated to the great standards Bobby Rydell tours the nation, backed by full orchestras for large venues or a trio for intimate gigs, enthralling audiences with selections from The Great American Song Book by such composers as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rogers and more. Rydell has earned the reputation as someone who has a passion for this music and brings it to life each night on stage. His 2010, re-released album, Bobby Rydell Salutes the Great Ones/Rydell at the Copa was released to overwhelming critical praise for his artistic treatment of these great standards.
In 1995, his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania named the street he was born “Bobby Rydell Boulevard.” The City of Philadelphia sponsored “block party” followed dedication ceremonies — Quite a tribute to a city’s favorite native son! Wildwood, New Jersey also has a street named for Bobby in appreciation for Bobby’s massive hit, “Wildwood Days.”
On July 9, 2012, Bobby underwent a double organ transplant. He received 75% of a liver and one kidney. His life was about to end when the generous family of a dying child saved 8 lives by organ donation. Bobby returned to the stage in Las Vegas in just 6 months, turning near tragedy to triumph. He is dedicated to public awareness; spreading the word to the world in his travels about the Gift of Life through organ donation.
Today Bobby enjoys a career that is full. He has a busy schedule throughout the world as a headline solo act. Australia has welcomed him for 20 tours down under, where he continues to be a favorite performer. Bobby also performs regularly in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. For over 30 years, Bobby has also performed in over 700 shows in the must-see production called “The Golden Boys.” This is a happy, fun-filled look back at a simpler time in music history with his childhood pals, Frankie Avalon and Fabian.
As a reviewer of a recent performance simply stated, “Bobby Rydell is a true American music treasure.”
Brian was born in Brooklyn/Queens, New York City, where his first musical experience ranged from church choir at nine to clarinet and guitar, to his first local harmony group, the Delfis. In 1959, they cut a demo record and made the rounds of New York City record labels. Finally, with much persistence, after many closed doors, Brian was signed as a solo artist to a management contract, where he cut demos for bandleader Sammy Kaye’s publishing company. Kapp Records heard a demo and signed Brian at age 16. That became his first record “Rosemary” and was followed that summer of 1960 by the now-infamous “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini,” which got a shout out from Brian’s cousin by marriage, Larry, of The Three Stooges, on their local New York TV Show, Three Stooges Fun House, although they wouldn’t meet till eight years later in Hollywood.
In 1961, the song was used as a successful brainwashing technique in the classic Billy Wilder movie comedy, “One, Two, Three” starring James Cagney. It was Brian’s first Gold Record, selling millions worldwide and racing to #1 in the U.S. briefly edging ahead of Elvis’ all-time biggest hit, “It’s Now Or Never,” as well as reaching the top of the charts in Japan, where he toured and performed in a TV special.
Not to be deterred, by this simple twist of fate, Brian quickly moved on to ABC Records, in 1961, sharing their short pop roster with The Impressions and Ray Charles, where he cut a string of chart records with the NY writing/production team of Gary Geld and Peter Udell. In 1961, the top twenty “Let Me Belong To You” and “I’ll Never Stop Wanting You.” Then in 1962, “Ginny Come Lately,” went to #21 in the U.S. while reaching #5 in England and top ten all over Europe. This was followed that same year by “Sealed With A Kiss,” reaching #3 in the U.S. and England, top ten in Germany, and another worldwide hit. He also recorded German versions of both songs.
Brian was constantly on the road, appearing on American Bandstand often, once hosting the show, as well as the Saturday Night Show, and many popular local TV music shows around the country, as he put on endless miles doing bus tours, including The Caravan of Stars (“as many miles as anyone” says Dick Clark) and one-nighters. In 1963, he headlined a tour in England with Little Eva, appearing on TV shows Thank Your Lucky Stars and Jukebox Jury as well as the live BBC radio show Saturday Club, where he heard and became an early Beatles fan. And while doing several annual tours in South America with Neil Sedaka during Carnaval, he heard the early Bossa Nova artists. He was never without his acoustic Martin guitar and was always open to, and absorbing new musical influences and changes.
His following early “Country-Rock” chart singles (which John Fogerty told him were “ahead of their time”) included in 1962, the #25 single “Warmed Over Kisses (Left Over Love),” “I May Not Live To See Tomorrow” and in 1963, “I’m Afraid To Go Home.” About this time, Brian performed in Greenwich Village at the Cafe Wha? with a young comedian named Richard Pryor.
He then moved on to Philips Records, where in 1966 he recorded an album produced by Snuff Garrett with the musical assistance of now-legendary musicians Leon Russell and JJ Cale, which included the top twenty singles, “The Joker Went Wild” and “Run, Run, Look And See.” He went on to record two albums and chart singles for DOT Records, including his 1969 hit remake of the Thomas Wayne song “Tragedy.”
In 1970, Brian cut his third Gold Record with the Curtis Mayfield/Impressions song “Gypsy Woman,” which went to #3 in the U.S. and sold well over 3 million internationally, followed by his tenth album with six original songs and another hit single, a version of Jackie Wilson’s classic “Lonely Teardrops,” which he co-wrote and co-produced with Del Shannon on UNI Records.
Vocally & artistically Brian is called “chameleonesque” for all his musical changes, having produced Hits for five different labels & successfully recorded everything from Novelty to Pop Ballads; to Folk Rock and Country Rock; to Pop Rock and Pop Soul, over more than a decade, but quite modestly having spent more than half of his life on the road and in the studio both writing and living his music, Brian feels he has just begun to Rock!
In 1975, while on a tour of Indian Country in the Southwest with the Native American rock group XIT, he learned that ABC/Anchor Records in England had reissued his original recording of “Sealed With A Kiss” b/w “Ginny Come Lately,” due to popular demand, and it surprised everyone by becoming a hit again, thirteen years later, the second time around!..going to #7 in England as well as charting again in Europe.
In the late seventies, with songwriting partner Rosmari, he turned his focus to writing and they spent a couple of years in New Orleans working with legendary writer/producer/artist, Allen Toussaint, which resulted in the album “In A State Of Bayou” on Private Stock Records, including three original songs.
He later recorded a couple of original songs with help from members of The Band, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson at their Malibu studio, Shangri-La, and then joined Rick on one of his solo shows.
In the early 1980’s Brian’s recording of “Ginny Come Lately” was included on the soundtrack album Lemon Popsicle 5 from the British movie Baby Love. The release in Germany of “Brian Hyland, Original Favorites” LP/CSS, was a partial collection of his Hit singles, however, after twenty-seven years Rhino Records released the first Brian Hyland Greatest Hits on LP/CSS in March of 1987. It includes fourteen of the twenty-two hot 100 chart singles Brian scored over an eleven year period from 1960 to 1971. Other releases include: an LP of Brian’s German-language recordings on Bear Family Records in Germany; a 16 track CD on Warners in Germany, “The Golden Gate Collection;” a CD3 on Old Gold Records in England; a CD3 on MCA Records in the U.S.; a 20 track CD “Let Me Belong To You,” MCA Germany; a 27 track CD on Euro; “the Bashful Blond” in England; another English CD on Music Club; And available on CD in the U.S. and Canada,
A release in May 1994 on MCA, “Brian Hyland, Greatest Hits” an 18 track CD including hits from all five labels!
While recording three duets for the album “Albert West and Friends” on Cherry Records & the Dutch charts, Brian performed on TV shows in Germany, Belgium and a Dutch TV special in Aruba. He also made two separate appearances on the U.S. TV show “Rock & Roll Palace” with Wolfman Jack; on Nashville Now, including a special from the Cayman Islands; and “The Daniel O’Donnel Show” in Dublin. He continues to tour around the U.S. and the world with songwriting/stage partner Rosmari and their favorite rock drummer, son Bodi, performing classic Rock & Roll. . new & Gold!
While continuing to write new music and record, they are also compiling material for a book about the long and winding Rock & Roll road . . Among others, Brian has contributed original pen & ink art to the Rock Art Auction for AmFar; to the Rock & Roll Cookbook for the National Music Foundation; performed for the Special Olympics; recorded on annual Christmas Albums for Children’s Hospitals nationwide and a song for “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer; The Movie.”
In his Mac Music Studio, STONE BUFFALO TRAX Brian plays an acoustic Taylor guitar, a custom ’68 Fender Telecaster, a custom “Vintage” ’57 Fender Stratocaster, a custom Cort Bass, a Roland U20 keyboard/Synth, and Harmonica. They are currently writing and recording at home in California, continually adding to an archive of Classic R&R, as well as a trilogy of CD’s beginning with “Turquoise Moon” for independent release.
Jimmy’s music takes us back to a special time and place in our memories and in our hearts. Who can forget 1958 and the first time they heard “Just a Dream”? The good-looking young man singing would have been quite enough for the teenage girls, but the wonderful and very unique voice of that young man was what won us over. Being raised in Louisiana culture with the rhythm & blues influence and his extraordinary soulful vocals, Jimmy became known as the “swamp pop R&B teenage idol.” He was one of the biggest recording stars of the day, hitting his stride with seven charted hits between 1958 & 1962. Three of those being in the Top 10. He was one of the most popular teen idols of the ’50s & ’60s.
Jimmy continues to write and record and successfully entertain fans all over the U.S. He is a classic entertainer with loyal fans who are never disappointed. With the same wonderful voice, just as strong as it was in 1958, and that beautiful”killer smile,” Jimmy rocks and croons and gives the best of himself in each and every show. He loves his music and he loves performing for his fans.
Jimmy Clanton is best known for his performance in Go Johnny Go, the 1959 Alan Freed-produced jukebox movie. Clanton was a dedicated R&B enthusiast and singer with a great voice and a genuine feel for New Orleans music. What’s more, he also wrote many of the songs that he recorded.
Clanton is known for Doo-wop hits such as Just a Dream, Ship on a Stormy Sea, My Love Is Strong, Letter to an Angel, A Part of Me, My Own True Love, Venus in Blue Jeans, Darkest Street in Town, Go Jimmy Go and Don’t Look at Me. Clanton had appearances on American Bandstand and reached Billboard Pop Chart Top 10 multiple times in his career.
Paul & Paula
Ray Hildebrand was born in Joshua, Texas, and Jill Jackson in McCamey, Texas. Both were attending Howard Payne College (now called Howard Payne University) in Brownwood, Texas in 1962 when a local disc jockey, Riney Jordan, asked listeners to come to the studio and sing their songs to help the American Cancer Society. The duo sang a song called “Hey Paula,” which Hildebrand wrote, and was encouraged to make a record of it.
Shelby Singleton of Philips Records eventually signed them, but not before changing their professional name (Singleton reasoned that a pair named Ray and Jill singing about “Hey, hey Paula” and “Hey, hey Paul” did not make sense). “Hey Paula” sold over two million copies globally, and was awarded a gold disc by the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.) in 1963. The pairing of Paul & Paula was credited with inspiring other famous male/female pairings down the line, mostly from record companies that had originally turned the duo down in 1962. In November 1963 Nino Tempo & April Stevens and Dale and Grace had back-to-back Hot 100 #1s. Jerry Butler was quickly paired with Betty Everett, and Marvin Gaye was paired with a number of female partners before Motown finally settled on Tammi Terrell. A revival of this duet craze started in 1977, when country music stars Kenny Rogers and Dottie West teamed up and recorded a series of big hit duets, such as “Everytime Two Fools Collide” and “Anyone Who Isn’t Me Tonight.” Rogers would also pair up successfully with Kim Carnes, Sheena Easton and (later) Dolly Parton.
The duo released two regular albums and a Christmas-themed album after the success of “Hey Paula”, which charted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the entire month of February 1963. Their follow-up, “Young Lovers“, reached #6 on the Billboard chart later in the same year.
In 1963, American Bandstand signed Paul & Paula to Dick Clark‘s Caravan of Stars national U.S. tour which was scheduled to perform its 15th show on the night of November 22, 1963 at the Memorial Auditorium in Dallas, Texas until suddenly the Friday evening event had to be canceled moments after U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated that afternoon while touring Dallas in an open car caravan.  
In 1965, Hildebrand left the act to complete his college education, having decided that a future in show business was not for him. He made this decision in the middle of another Dick Clark Caravan of Stars road trip, and Clark had to fill in at the last minute. Hildebrand recorded a Christian music album in 1967 called He’s Everything to Me.
Jackson went on with a solo career and Hildebrand returned to singing in the 1980s in the Christian duo Land & Hildebrand. Today[when?], the twosome get together from time to time to sing as Paul & Paula for special events.
In 2002, Hildebrand and Jackson returned to Howard Payne University to be the homecoming guests of honor and Grand Marshals.
Dodie Stevens was a singing prodigy at the age of four. By the time she was seven she began making local television appearances, and in 1959, at age thirteen, she had the #1 hit, gold record “Pink Shoe Laces”. She followed with “Yes, I’m Lonesome Tonight”, “No” and “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby”, which all hit the Billboard charts in the early 60’s. While still in high school, Dodie’s career skyrocketed. She appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and starred with Fabian in her first film, “Hound Dog Man”, followed by “Convicts Four”, starring Ben Gazzara. She also co-starred with Frankie Avalon in “Alakazam The Great”, an animated feature film. She continued to record a string of singles and albums, and more television guest appearances followed, including The Bob Hope Show, and Pat Boone’s Chevy Showroom. Dodie also toured worldwide with Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Paul Anka, Bobby Rydell and many more teen idols from that era.
In the early 70’s she joined Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’77 touring internationally and recording three albums for A&M Records until 1973. She continued to perform in concert with artists such as Harry Belafonte, Boz Scaggs and Loretta Lynn, including numerous appearances on The Tonight Show, Midnight Special, and Solid Gold. For twelve years she worked exclusively with Mac Davis in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and every major music theater worldwide. During this time, she also appeared in television specials with Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, and Luther Vandross. In addition, in the ’80s, you would have heard Dodie’s voice on television commercials including Sprint and Dole Pineapple.
By 1990 she was starring in, as well as co-producing her Doo Wop Revue, “Bop”, a high energy show full of some of the most memorable songs from the early years of rock & roll, including her own hit, “Pink Shoe Laces”. For the next few years, they worked casinos in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Reno to standing ovations.
Shortly thereafter, Dodie began touring with other recording artists from the ’50s and ’60s and included her talented daughter Stephanie in her shows. They later formed a southern-rock band, “a.k.a. Stevens”, singing classic rock & roll and country and co-writing all their originals. They recorded only one album “Outlaw of the Heart”, was the opening act for Toby Keith and worked a variety of venues across the country.
During Dodie’s career, she has performed in every major city in the United States and internationally, including Canada, Mexico, Australia, Japan, China, Philippines, France, Monaco, Saudi Arabia, Caribbean, United Kingdom, (command performance for the Queen), and a special performance at The Kennedy Center for former President George H. W. Bush.
Today, Dodie continues to sing with her daughter, making personal appearances in Doo Wop concerts nationwide. She recently appeared on the PBS television special “At The Drive-In”, hosted by her earlier co-star, Fabian, and the TNN special, “Rock & Roll Graffiti”. In February 2009, she joined her peers in Clear Lake, Iowa at the Surf Ballroom to perform in a 5-day memorial concert, “Fifty Winters Later” (in memory of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper). When Dodie is not performing, she teaches singing and is a performance coach in San Diego, California, which gives her the opportunity to share her expertise and experience in the music industry with the new generation of talent.
In 2018, Dodie and Stephanie developed a unique, motivational concert, “Affirmasong”, using musical affirmations (written by Dodie) to inspire change in the world.
Very special guests known as the singers behind Franki Valli for 12 yrs & featured group seen on PBS special “Doo Wop Generations”…. The Modern Gentlemen Backed by our live Big Band sound!
Individually, Landon Beard, Todd Fournier, and brothers Brian and Brandon Brigham were all in-demand singers prior to being brought together as a quartet by the legendary Frankie Valli. For well over a decade, they’ve wowed audiences as the four voices alongside the rock & roll icon! During their long tenure, they developed their own identity. Valli heard something in them that he never found in any of the configurations of singers he’d worked with. Together in the studio, they finely tuned their “signature sound” to iconic Frank Sinatra hits, blending the classic sounds of yesterday with today’s modern style. This discovery led to a cool new take on the popular hits of Pop, Rock, Jazz, and Doo Wop!
They’ve performed with Valli on the world’s biggest stages, from multiple sold-out concerts at Royal Albert Hall with the London Symphony Orchestra, to the BBC Proms in Hyde Park for over 40,000 people. They’ve represented their country on, “A Capitol 4th” in Washington D.C. with Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle, John Williams, and others, and appeared twice on the Broadway stage. They’ve toured the U.K., Asia, Israel, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. They were recently featured in a special concert, “Doo Wop Generations,” which aired on PBS stations across the country and have appeared as headliners in Las Vegas and their own residency in Atlantic City.
They’ve had the pleasure to share the stage with The Beach Boys, The Manhattan Transfer, and so many other notable groups. They have performed for presidents of the United States and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge at the esteemed Arts Club in London.
This dynamic quartet feels very fortunate to be curators of this timeless songbook having worked alongside many of the artists they celebrate. When THE MODERN GENTLEMEN take the stage, they bring their charm, high energy, and spot-on vocals with harmonic perfection!
Special Celebrity Emcee- Wink Martindale
Whether it was listening to “Stella Dallas” and other soaps with his Mom after school, pretending to be Gene Autry’s Sunday sidekick on “Melody Ranch”, or getting lost in the prosecutions of “Mr. District Attorney” on Wednesday nights, Wink Martindale’s fascination with radio began during childhood. Playmates may have aspired to be doctors, firemen or policemen. Wink just wanted to be a radio announcer. His journey from Jackson Sun paper carrier to soda jerk at Baker’s Drug Store to legendary status in radio and television began in his small hometown, Jackson, Tennessee – then, population 25,000.
Following graduation from high school in 1951 Wink’s former Sunday school teacher managed a 250 Watt radio station. He gave Wink his first on-air job at $25 a week. With persistence, he advanced to the town’s two larger stations and in short order, he found himself on Memphis’ number one station WHBQ where Wink soon became one of the Bluff City’s most popular radio and television personalities. Work never hindered Wink. While hosting the morning show on radio, a TV show in the afternoon and beginning to raise a family, he still found time to complete his college education at the University of Memphis – majoring in Speech and English, minoring in Journalism. A shining example of what happens when one envisions a goal and acts upon it.
In 1959 Wink ventured west to Los Angeles where he was alternately featured on KHJ, KRLA, KFWB and KGIL. His radio dream was fully realized in 1971 when he began a 12 year run as the midday personality on Gene Autry’s flagship “Station of the Stars”, KMPC. Along the way there was his teen oriented “Dance Party” from Pacific Ocean Park, a gold record, the narrative “Deck of Cards”, an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, and 21 game shows that Wink either hosted or produced including “Trivial Pursuit”, “Can You Top This”, “High Rollers”, “Debt”, “Gambit”, and the long-running “Tic-Tac-Dough”.
To whom much is given, much is expected. Wink has always followed his Mom’s admonition to “give back”. Among his fondest memories are the 12 years he co-hosted and helped produce the local Cerebral Palsy Telethon in his hometown. In recognition of this he was given the 2009 Tigrett Award by the West Tennessee Healthcare Foundation.
For years Wink and his wife Sandy were on the Los Angeles Board of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Currently, Wink is a spokesperson for Dream Factory, a volunteer organization which grants dreams to children diagnosed with critical or chronic illnesses – 3 to 18 years of age. He has also been affiliated with Ted Baher’s Movie Guide Awards both as host and contributor.
When fortitude is evident fame and fortune are sure to follow. In 2006, Wink received his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2012, he was a career inductee into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. In 2015, the University of Memphis presented him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Every holiday season Wink co-produces and narrates for radio syndication the “100 Greatest Christmas Hits of All Time”.
Wink even has his name and likeness on a soda pop bottled by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shops!
Social media is a part of Wink’s daily agenda as well – Twitter and Facebook.
Wink is the father of 4 children, Lisa, Lyn, Laura and Wink Jr., 7 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
He and Sandy, his wife of 41 years live in Calabasas, CA.
When asked about retirement, his answer never wavers, “Why retire? I’m not tired!”