Bobby Curtola Passes

Obituaries for folks in the entertainment world that have come to the end of the road.

Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby jon » Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:35 pm

Former Canadian teen idol Bobby Curtola dies, family says
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Former Canadian teen idol and singer Bobby Curtola has died. He was 73.

His death was announced Sunday in a statement from his children, who called Curtola "an amazing man who did so much for the people in this world."

A teen idol in Canada during the early '60s, Curtola also made his mark internationally in 1962 with the singles "Fortune Teller" and "Aladdin."

Curtola, who was born in what is now Thunder Bay, Ont., was named to the Order of Canada in 1997.

He was also known for his charity work, particularly for children.

In a statement issued through Curtola's Facebook and Twitter pages, Chris Curtola and Michael Curtola said their father loved his fans.

"He loved each and every one of you more than you will know, and never took for granted the life you gave him. He would want you to do something kind for one another today and each day," the statement said. "He would also want you to know he loves you, and that you have another angel watching over you."

A number of those fans took to social media upon hearing of Curtola's death to remember the singer.

"I'm shocked and heartbroken, the man was an icon," tweeted one man.

"You were such a big piece of my early years. You were my first big crush," a woman said on Curtola's Facebook page.

Curtola's career began at 16, after he recorded his first hit single "Hand in Hand With You."

He went on to establish the first coast to coast tour circuit in Canada, his website said. He released one of his biggest hits, "Fortune Teller" in 1962.

Curtola's work in the 1960s yielded 25 Canadian Gold singles and 12 Canadian Gold albums, according to a biography on his website.

In 1972 he was signed to a five-year contract in Las Vegas, making him the first Canadian entertainer to receive a long term deal in the city, according to his website.

Later in his career he began a relationship with The Princess Cruises, performing on ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean for twelve years.

Curtola received a Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and a Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.
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Re: Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby Jim Walters » Sun Jun 05, 2016 5:19 pm

In the early 1960s, there was nothing bigger than Port Arthur's Bobby Curtola in the Canadian music biz.

After I heard the news of Bobby's death this afternoon, I tuned into CISL 650 hoping Red Robinson might be doing some kind of a tribute to one of his longtime friends.

Not a mention. I was actually shocked to learn that Red pre records his show sometimes a week or two ahead of the airdate. Funny when you think about, Red has always been a crusader against voice tracking and what is going on in radio these day, and know I find out he's just as guilty when it comes to laying down voice tracks into a computer.

In these days of social media, the story is news right now. In a week or two there is no relevance. Sorry you missed the train Red.

Rather than wait for something on the radio, I'll fire up the iPod and listen to the very politically incorrect Indian Giver by Bobby Curtola.

RIP Bobby!
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Re: Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby radiofan » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:27 pm

Vancouver Sun ad for a 1962 Bobby Curtola appearance at Danceland ...


Thanks to Larry "Firedog" Morton for sharing this!
Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who couldn't hear the music.
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Re: Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby jon » Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:59 pm

Canadian singer Bobby Curtola dies during Edmonton visit
Janet French
Published on: June 5, 2016
Last Updated: June 5, 2016 9:38 PM MDT

Don Clarke had planned to spend Sunday afternoon hosting dinner for his longtime friend, singer Bobby Curtola.

Instead, Clarke was mourning the business partner he met 46 years ago when he caught the singer falling off an Edmonton stage.

“When he sang, he gave it his all. You know why? He enjoyed it. He enjoyed the reaction from the people,” said Clarke, 83.

Curtola, a 1960s heartthrob and longtime Edmonton resident, died Saturday while visiting Edmonton, Clarke said. He was 73. The cause of his death was not immediately known.

Curtola’s son Chris posted the news on Facebook Sunday afternoon.

“To his fans … he loved each and every one of you more than you will know, and never took for granted the life you gave him. He would want you to do something kind for one another today and each day,” Chris wrote.

Born in Thunder Bay, Curtola was discovered during a radio station’s singing contest in 1959, Clarke said. He played his first professional show in Winnipeg in 1960, and, his hit Fortune Teller topped the charts in 1962.

August 1965, screaming Curtola fans clamouring for an autograph in downtown Edmonton forced the singer’s managers to shelter him in a car’s passenger seat, where he slipped the signed papers in and out through a partially open window.

The writer and performer of the 1964 advertisement claiming “Things go better with Coca-Cola” ultimately racked up 25 Canadian gold singles and 12 Canadian gold albums.

It was at a 1970 concert at the Hotel Macdonald when former Canadian Football League player Clarke caught Curtola when he accidentally tipped backward off the stage during a performance of When the Saints Go Marching In.

“He never stopped singing,” Clarke said, as he described pushing the singer and his microphone back upright.

After the show, Curtola sought the man who came to his rescue. It was the beginning of a four-decade friendship that would lead to myriad fundraising events, business partnerships and good times.

Curtola, who became Bob Hope’s opening act and spent years performing in Las Vegas showrooms, settled in the Edmonton area in 1975 when his teen idol days had waned.

A regular performer at Klondike Days and countless charitable events, Curtola composed an election jingle for his friend Ralph Klein when the then-Calgary mayor took his first crack at provincial politics.

The entrepreneur and Order of Canada honouree founded companies that bought a hotel and truck stops across Canada, and made an unsuccessful bid for ownership of the Ottawa Roughriders in 1991.

In 1997, Curtola and Clarke tried to take on Mott’s Clamato juice with a competing tomato drink called SeaCzar. They produced the drink in Edmonton for about three years before the business ran into trouble.

Curtola moved to Nova Scotia about a decade ago after falling in love with a woman there, Clarke said.

Curtola was staying at his son’s house in Edmonton when he met with Clarke on Thursday and Friday to plan future business ventures.

“We were all talking like a bunch of old guys that were talking about tomorrow. Tomorrow didn’t come for Bobby,” Clarke said.
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Re: Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby 45 RPM » Mon Jun 06, 2016 7:46 pm

Wasn't Curtola involved with the studio that was doing the karaoke singing and recordings at Expo 86?

Prior to Expo, I recall him and Chuck Chandler doing the Shopping Centre circuit around Alberta with their karaoke recording studio.

Also, for some legal reason, Bobby had to change his name to Boby.

I'm quite shocked to hear that never never made it to the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.
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Re: Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby jon » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:04 pm

Celebrating the life of Bobby Curtola
Sandra Sperounes
July 29, 2016
Edmonton Journal

Fans are invited to celebrate the life of late Canadian pop star Bobby Curtola on Aug. 2 at The Ranch Roadhouse.

The 73-year-old died in June while visiting his son in Edmonton.

Curtola was a teen idol in the ’60s with hits such as I’ll Never Be Alone Again, Don’t You Sweetheart Me and Fortune Teller.

He moved to Edmonton in the ’70s and spent the last decade living in Nova Scotia.

The celebration, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., will feature his family members, stories about Curtola, memorabilia, and concert footage.

Tickets for the event are $10 via Money will be donated to a charity foundation to be created in Curtola’s name.

The Ranch is located at 6107 104 St. [Edmonton]
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Re: Bobby Curtola Passes

Postby jon » Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:18 am

'He lived 10 lifetimes': Edmonton fans, friends, family remember entertainer Bobby Curtola
Liane Faulder
Edmonton Journal
August 3, 2016

On stage, Bobby Curtola was a showman, an entertainer, a heart-throb. But once he walked off stage, and tossed aside his sequin-covered jacket, he was just dad.

“He lived 10 lifetimes in his life,” said Curtola’s son, Chris, reflecting on his famous father. “But for us, it was about being together, and being a family, and enjoying life.”

Chris, 39, and his brother, Mike, 37, shared memories with friends and family Tuesday evening as hundreds of guests celebrated the life of Bobby Curtola, who died of natural causes while visiting Edmonton in June. He was 73.

The event, a fundraiser for a new charitable foundation to be created in Curtola’s name, was held at The Ranch and featured tributes, video clips and music by the 1960s’ teen idol, who was one of the first Canadians to sign a multimillion-dollar deal to appear in Las Vegas.

Top names in the local entertainment business, including musician and retired senator Tommy Banks and radio personality Marty Forbes, took part in the tribute, along with many die-hard fans of the gifted performer.

“He instilled self-confidence in us, because he was just full of love,” said Linda Thomas, a family friend and one-time fan club president who flew in from Toronto for the event. “He made us feel like we could take on the world.”

Thomas, who met Curtola when he was 17 and she was 14, said there were some 100,000 fans in the club from across Canada in the 1960s. Devotees spent their after-school hours writing fan bulletins and jamming the lines at radio stations, demanding they play Curtola records.

Banks called Curtola “a lovely guy.”

“His charitable work was very considerable. He was indefatigable — always going 200 miles an hour.”

Banks said Curtola’s sincere love of the audience shone through.

“When you are able to affect audiences the way he did, there can’t be anything phoney about it because the audience picks it out in two seconds,” said Banks. “He loved being on the stage and entertaining people.”

Born in Thunder Bay, Ont., Curtola was discovered during a radio singing contest in 1959. His hit, Fortune Teller, topped the charts in 1962, selling 2.5 million copies in the days before FM radio, Canadian content regulations, satellite or streaming audio. He collected 25 Canadian gold singles and 12 Canadian gold albums.

Curtola travelled widely, and had many famous friends (Elvis Presley left him a ring in his will). But when it came time to create a permanent home in 1975, Curtola picked Edmonton, said Chris, because he liked the Edmonton fans who came to Vegas to see his shows.

It was here that he married his wife, Ava — a nurse and one of his back-up singers. Both his children were born here and Curtola spent some 30 years in the area before moving to Nova Scotia about 10 years ago.

Forbes, a friend and fan, said Curtola’s his biggest hits happened before the Canadian music industry took off. As a result, Curtola has not been acknowledged in the same way as other prominent musicians, through a star on the Walk of Fame or a Juno award. Forbes said industry insiders are working on that.

Chris Curtola said his dad’s legacy extends beyond music.

“He always took the time to make somebody’s day. Somebody on the street that stopped him, someone sitting by him on the plane …

“He knew he had the power to touch people, and to change their lives, and he never took that for granted. It was never a chore for him to sign an autograph. He would stay for hours to sign every last one.”
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