Bobby Curtola, former Canadian teen idol, has died at his home Edmonton, Alberta. He was 73.
The singer passed away on Saturday, June 4, reported Billboard.
“It is with heavy hearts that we confirm the passing of our father, Bobby Curtola. He was an amazing man who did so much for the people in this world, but even more as a father, uncle, godfather and Nono.
“His entire family requests privacy at this time while they grieve their loss,” confirmed his sons, Chris and Michael Curtola, in a statement posted to their father’s social media accounts.
Born in Port Arthur, Ontario, Curtola recorded his first hit, “Hand in Hand With You”, in 1960 and appeared on The Bob Hope Show that year.
He soon found himself recording in Nashville with Bill Porter for the first of many sessions at RCA Studios and enjoyed top 10 Canadian hits with “Don’t You Sweetheart Me”, “I’ll Never Be Alone Again” and “Hitchhiker” all in 1961.
In 1962, “Fortune Teller” was released, which went gold in Canada.
He went on to tour with Dick Clark and his Cavalcade of Stars and headed to the UK, where he appeared on the top-rated TV variety show Thank Your Lucky Stars.
In 1964, he recorded two jingles for Coca-Cola, “Things Go Better With Coke” and “The Real Thing” (which he co-wrote), and became their spokesperson.
In Canada, 30 of his songs entered the top 10 or top 40, including “Aladdin”, “Indian Giver”, “Three Rows Over” and “Corrina Corrina”.
He also hosted two network television shows, “The After Four Show” and “The Shake, Rock and Roll Show”. Twelve of his albums and 25 of his singles were certified gold.
He was instrumental in helping to establish the Canadian Content requirements for broadcasters and was one of the first Canadian musicians to be a partner in his own publishing, recording and concert promotion companies.