The return of Philly’s Golden Boys

The Golden Boys will return, Frankie Avalon told me Wednesday during an interview session jointly sponsored by the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia and the Delaware County Press Club.

Frankie Avalon on a Zoom interview with Tom Lamaine (standing, far right) (Photo: Stu Bykofsky)

The long-running touring act of Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell was suspended after the untimely death of Rydell on April 5, 2022.

Was there any chance of the act returning, I asked, possibly using today’s technology to utilize Bobby’s video images and recordings?

Avalon, 83, said he didn’t know about technology, but “the loss of Bobby Rydell from the Golden Boys, oh, what a talent…. He was just magnificent. We had 38 years together.” 

As for what’s next, “We decided to just let it settle for a little bit, until [singer] Joey Montello came to me with Tommy C, who does a tribute to Bobby Rydell.”

Avalon was impressed, and that led to discussions that resulted in Golden Boys 2.0, you might say, with Tommy Cono not replacing Bobby Rydell, but in place of Bobby Rydell.

Cono will be doing a tribute to his friend, said Avalon, not an impersonation.

As a matter of fact, Cono — who is now Avalon’s protege — did a video duet with Rydell on his hit “Sway,” shortly before the South Philly crooner’s death.

This was among the last things Rydell did, Montello said. And the voice on the video was recorded in 2022, to replace the voice recorded in 1960.

As part of Avalon’s mentorship of Tommy Cono, the pair did a “fun duet” (Avalon’s words)  video of his hit, “Beauty School Dropout.”

Of all Avalon’s hits, why this one, I wondered?

The answer, provided by Avalon, was simple. That tune was in the movie “Grease,” which was a global hit, and is still a hit with fresh generations of kids.

One final note, per protege.

Frankie Avalon’s show biz angel was another South Philly crooner, Al Martino, who got Avalon — then an 11-year-old trumpet player — a shot on the Jackie Gleason TV show. And Rydell fans know he started playing nightclubs as a drummer when he was just a kid.

These two Golden Boys had a lot in common.

15 thoughts on “The return of Philly’s Golden Boys”

  1. I would love to hear the music again, maybe in Wildwood. A special Philly place for these guy’s .

      1. Aww. I’ll miss Lou too. I’ve seen videos of Tommy C. He will be a great addition to the show. 👏

  2. Good story, thanks, the beat goes on! Watched the “video” link, Tony will be good at keeping Bobby’s memory alive but not Bobby’s voice yet …. BTW suggest he button up the shirt. Came across a good interview on YT w Bobby and Steve Adubato.

  3. With the advent of AI, it won’t be long before we’ll be able to see the trio ‘live’ once again.

  4. Hi Stu…
    I was there on Wednesday, and it was a super program! Tommy Cono is terrific and I’m sure he’ll go far.
    I’d never met you but have been a fan of yours, always thinking you were a ‘little guy’. Very surprised as you stood next to me, at how tall you are!!

    Enjoying your blog…

    1. As I always tell people, that picture than ran with my column was not actual size.
      I always hear people think I am about 5-9.
      Once I was.
      Glad you are enjoying the blog. Tell your friends. 😘

  5. The age of the Golden Boys is in the 80 plus year old bracket ,not a lot of fans around anymore. Maybe they could do shows at Nursing Homes and for Senior Condo Associations. Not saying anything bad about them, they are just not my cup of tea.

    1. I have taken my two daughters, ages 33 & 41 to their shows for a number of years. They love the performances. Take a look at the audiences and you will see many younger people.

    2. I’ve been to see the Golden Boys many times, and have taken my son with me (28) many times as well. Always a sold out crowd, so apparently there are a lot more fans than you realize.I really miss Bobby, and am looking forward to hearing his songs again.
      I went to see them in Sept 2022 with Lou Christie. I must have been asleep, because when did they stop perfoming, and why did Lou leave the group?

  6. I would love to see & hear the Golden Boys with the new addition. Can’t give an honest opinion on what it will be like without Bobby, but Chris Ruggerio did some of his songs at a performance I was at & he did a fine job! I considered it an act of respect & not letting Bobby’s memory go away. Bobby was my teenage crush since I saw him in concer.t for the first time when I was 12 & now he is my senior crush, & that will never change, I would be honored to see the Golden Boys with Tommy , I believe it would be a great pleasure to see someone carry on his great music with Frankie& Fabian. Come to Pittsburgh! We’re a great loyal fans for the oldies!

  7. I can’t wait to see the new show with Tommy C. It should be fabulous. 👏

  8. I haven’t heard Tom Lamaine’s name in many years. How is he doing these days?

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