Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Book: Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances by Bobby Rydell (2016)

Legendary singer Bobby Rydell stopped by our very own Library Express on Saturday, August 26th, 2017 to meet fans and sign copies of his 2016 autobiography Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second ChancesRydell includes a reference to Scranton in the book.

Bobby Rydell had a string of hit songs in the late 1950s-early 1960s (including Volare, We Got Love, Wild One, and Forget Him).  He also starred with Ann-Margret in the 1963 film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Bye Bye Birdie.  He continues to tour all over the world.  He was also memorialized in the 1978 movie Grease with the high school's name, Rydell High.

Rydell mentions Scranton on page 178 of his autobiography, discussing his change in management:

"Besides, I had some other big challenges that were complicating my life.  One was small; the other would take three decades to work out.

The small one was fixed in a day.  Stan Seidenberg was out.  In 1986, I performed a benefit concert in Scranton, Pennsylvania for a close friend, a priest named Father Joseph Sica.  I didn't like the way Stan handled the finances and we had a falling out.  When I fell, it was right into the arms of Dick Fox, who has been my manager for the last thirty years.  If only he knew back then what he was getting into."

Teen Idol on the Rocks: A Tale of Second Chances by Bobby Rydell is available to borrow from the Lackawanna County Library System.  Click here to place a hold.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Book: Theft By Finding: Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris (2017)


October 20, 2001
Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

"Where do I start with Wilkes-Barre?My hotel is located on the town square, which is bedecked with hanging electric flags, those interspersed with regular cloth versions  the size of beach towels.  They hang from wires, lampposts, and a huge metal armature built to support the dozens of speakers used to broadcast a looped tape of patriotic songs and marches.  I arrived to 'The Battle Hymn of the republic,' which was followed by 'God Bless America,' 'America the Beautiful,' and, strangely enough, 'Dixie.'  After these came a number of marches, including the song played when the president enters the room and something I recall hearing once on a coffee commercial.  When finished, the tape returned to 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' and started all over again.  The hotel feels like a indoctrination center.

'Our mayor is crazy,' everyone says.  'He's completely lost his mind.'  Wilkes-Barre is shut tight by six o'clock, but still the music blares, playing for an audience of no one."

Click here to place a hold.