Bobby Curtola achieved something unique in Canada in an era before Canadian content, in a time of Happy Days when a slew of American pop stars with the same name, Bobby, were piling on the then all-important US teen Hit Parade. Bobby Curtola in his day sold the equivalent of 25 Gold singles, 12 Gold albums, had a couple of US hits—and his biggest hit, "Fortune Teller," topped the charts in 1962, selling 2.5 million copies.
And yet Curtola’s legacy has been overlooked by our Music and Radio Industry Halls of Fame, the Junos, the Walk of Fame – nothing – and this must be corrected.
On Tuesday night family and friends came out to celebrate his career at Ranch Roadhouse in Edmonton, to share stories and listen back to the songs of the day that were numerous and, oddly, stand the test of time.
The same is true tonight, at the Phoenix in Toronto, where his sons Mike and Chris will be on hand, as too Duff Roman and Roger Ashby who can recall the persuasive influence Curtola had in giving Canada’s music biz a shot in the arm at a time when it itself very much in its teenage years.
You can read about the Edmonton gathering here, and for $10 it is possible to attend the Phoenix memorial tonight. The show starts at 6:30 pm. All proceeds from the door are to be donated to Curtola’s charities supporting children.
Curtola died on June 4 of natural causes at the age of 73.