News Archive
Volume II
.Hilites from a great year:

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Renowned Sculptor Visits Bobby Curtola
Queen's County Times ~ Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada 
By Mary Mouzar ~ November 18, 2005

Renowned Sculptor Lea Vivot (right) of Kleinburg, Ontario, with long-time friend, Canada's rock and roll legend Bobby Curtola of Liverpool, in Bobby's home on Tuesday. The Czechoslovakian-born artist, on a three-day visit, was seeking inspiration for a possible bronze sculpture for Brooklyn Waterfront Park. Park benches are often the setting for her works. Lea leaves soon for Acapulco, Mexico, where she lives from January to April. She loves the ocean and has been contemplating a move to Nova Scotia as the result of travels throughout this province several years ago. 

Bobby and Lea Vivot holding a miniature Lea Vivot sculpture
that is owned by Bobby. (Photo by Mary Mouzar)

Curtola gets real in Liverpool 
Ex-teen idol, Coca-Cola pitchman has big plans for new hometown 
By Beverley Ware ~ Halifax Herald ~ August 26, 2005

LIVERPOOL - Bobby Curtola thinks it's kind of cool that he changed the ballast in the light of the dining room ceiling by himself the other day, and that he washed his own van in the driveway. 

"That's not normal for me to do. It's a treat to do that stuff," says the rocker who in 1962 shot to fame as Canada's first homegrown teen idol. "I've got to get grounded. I live in a very surreal world." 

That's no overstatement. 

Hundreds of sequined and velvet jackets hang neatly on a mammoth clothes rack in the basement that runs pretty much the length of his house in Liverpool. They're covered in bubble wrap to protect them. 

Just about every wall in his house displays photographs of him with people like Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Danny Thomas and Wayne Newton. 

There are framed magazine covers, newspaper articles, record album sleeves and golden 45s that tell the story of an astonishing life. 

Bobby Curtola wears a chunky gold ring on his right hand that once belonged to his friend, Elvis Presley. "He was a hell of a guy, a great guy." 

The ring, of poured gold studded with two large diamonds and a hefty black diamond, belonged to the King's father. Mr. Presley's estate gave it to Mr. Curtola after the King's death in 1977. 

"Imagine where my mind flashes back to when I look at that," Mr. Curtola says. "It captures a moment in my life forever." 

Mr. Curtola is 62 now and, in his words, "still going strong." He said he has lived a blessed life. "Everything from now on is a bonus." 

It hasn't been without its ups and downs - some of them quite recently. He moved to Liverpool (he has other homes in Las Vegas, Edmonton and Vancouver) with his girlfriend and her two young children a year ago. Before that, he had been married for 29 years. Now he's single again, but he's not singing the blues. 

"It's disappointing," he says, and he's clearly saddened at the end of his relationship, but he takes great pride in his sons Bob, 42, Chris, 26, and Michael, 24. And the phone has already started ringing. 

As always, work will carry him through. Mr. Curtola still performs, though these days instead of on a Dick Clark show or at a Howard Hughes hotel in Las Vegas, it's smaller casinos and conventions and a lot of work for charity. He helps raise about $7 million a year for disadvantaged children and those with disabilities. 

"We are our brother's keeper," he says. 

Mr. Curtola likes to keep his work and home life separate, but this weekend he's breaking his own rule by giving a free concert tonight at 7 o'clock at the Queens County Sea Fest in Brooklyn, just outside Liverpool. 

He's doing it because he wants to give something back to a community where so many people give of themselves to help others. 

"It's all about volunteers. To me, they're the stars; we're just the vehicle to get people to stop, look and listen." 

Each year, all the money raised at Sea Fest goes to help people in the community - kids who can't afford to play organized sports, seniors and the disabled. 

"That's the real story," Mr. Curtola says. "The more people I can bring out, the more the community benefits." 

Mr. Curtola was appointed to the Order of Canada in October 1997 for his tireless charity work for muscular dystrophy and service clubs across Canada. Now, the first man to turn a jingle into a Top 40 hit with Coca Cola's The Real Thing, has what he hopes is another hit in the works. 

He wants to bankroll a multi-purpose complex and waterfront condominiums in Liverpool. Mr. Curtola said he's already spent $100,000 developing the concept. He met with municipal council to explain the concept and is taking the polished plans before the Region of Queens next week. 

His plan is to set up a Maritimes headquarters for the children's charity Variety Club and use that as a base upon which to build a community recreation complex. "It would have a rink, a pool, seniors residence, medical wing. It'll be a world-class facility but it's designed specifically for here." 

He praised municipal council and Mayor John Leefe for having the initiative to enhance their community without impinging upon its seafaring history. "John wants to get something done," Mr. Curtola said, adding that he wants to help him. 

And it seems when Bobby Curtola wants to do something, he does. 

His standout career began with performances for his Italian family in front of the fridge. As a schoolboy, he took shortcuts home from school through alleys where the acoustics were far better than on the main road. 

"My neighbour used to say to my mother, 'Mary, here comes Bobby!'" as he wound his way home with a tune on his lips. 

Once he hit his teens, he went to the rink in his hometown of Thunder Bay every Saturday night with his friends. It closed at 9 p.m., so just before that they'd form a chain and whip around in a circle as he sang the rock 'n' roll hits of the day. 

Next it was noontime sock hops. Then he was loaned out to other high schools where another student told his father about Bobby. That man became Mr. Curtola's manager. 

He recorded his first record, Hand in Hand With You, in the fall of 1959 when he was 15 and pumping gas at his father's station. "That first record changed my life," he says. 

By the time he turned 16 a few months later, he was opening the Bob Hope Show. Throngs of teenage girls screamed his name as he became the first Canadian singer to do a coast-to-coast tour. Within two years, he recorded his first gold seller, Fortune Teller. 

Mr. Curtola went on tour with Dick Clark and his Cavalcade of Stars and in 1964 became the first pop singer to record a jingle that sounded like a hit single with Things Go Better with Coke, then the spinoff, Coke's The Real Thing. 

Coke is still the real thing for Mr. Curtola, although today the inductee into the Coca Cola Hall of Fame says he only drinks Diet Coke. 

Mr. Curtola made the transition from teen idol to Canada's highest paid night club entertainer in the early '70s, eventually signing a five-year multimillion-dollar contract with a hotel chain owned by Howard Hughes, a relationship that lasted for 15 years. 

Today, Mr. Curtola does about 20 shows a year and manager Robert Hubbard says there are two special projects in the works for next year. 

First, he says, "Bobby will go back out on tour." 

Second, he said, is to hit the big screen. He has been approached to do a $15-million movie about his life and the rock 'n' roll era, which would be made in the style of the Kevin Spacey film, Beyond the Sea, about the life of Bobby Darin. 

But first, he has tonight's concert to get under his belt, and he says he can't wait. Music from the '60s is all about letting your hair down and having fun with your family and friends. 

"It's not wrong to have a good time," he says. 

Copyright © 2005 The Halifax Herald Limited

For Better, For Worse by Lynn Johnston ~ August 3, 2005

Click for full-size image
My sincere thanks to 
the thousands of fans
who made this a great party:

Brooklyn Marina ~ Brooklyn, NS
August 26 - 28, 2005
Click Poster for Details


Announcement on the
Winnipeg McPhillips Street Station Casino Website

Bobby's Valentine Weekend Concert
McPhillips Street Station Casino
Canada's Rock 'n' Roll Legend 
Bobby Curtola
The Sensational Hot Rods

February 11 & 12, 2005
Tickets $25* On Sale January 21st

In 1963 Bobby Curtola recorded the international hit Fortune Teller and made ‘Curtolamania’ a household word. 

With 25 Canadian Gold singles and 12 Canadian Gold Albums to his credit, Bobby Curtola was truly Canada’s first ‘Teen Idol’. 

The charismatic Bobby Curtola and his show band The Sensational Hot Rods, bring their energetic Sock Hop to McPhillips Street Station Casino for this special Valentines weekend show

Happy Holidays


Marketing Project Management: 
The Citadel Theatre ~ Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
(Bobby Curtola Excerpts)
As the Marketing Coordinator for the Citadel Theatre, I was brought in after the Season Launch, inheriting a number of decisions about the graphic presentation of Grease. . . .A surprise announcement had legendary recording artist Bobby Curtola joining the cast as Teen Angel. This brought terrific local media coverage and even some national attention, which I supported with Edmonton Journal advertisements and contests.

We made efforts to convert attendees of the first few shows of the season into subscribers, and then built excitement in the weeks leading up to November 2. Bobby Curtola went on radio and television to promote the "Single Tickets on Sale" date, supported by radio and print advertising.

A version of the above advertisement ran in full colour on a half page the Friday before tickets went on sale, driving huge numbers to our Box Office when it opened on Monday. The advertisement itself was rendered into a huge lobby sign and followed us to our two Christmas booths. 

The Held Over announcement was made in late April, with a photo op and the above advertisement announcing the fact to the world. We received great media coverage on the announcement, and saw huge response at our Box Office.

Examples of our Grease poster, mounted all over the city. I chose relevant media for our advertising, such as the Powerama Car Show, the Kiwanis Music Festival program and the Nightlife Poster to promote the show. Every ad featured our key points: Pam and John (young, sexy and fun), Bobby Curtola and our held over message.

As we opened Grease, the production didn't need much more fanfare. I ran half-banner ads in the Journal next to those for other productions, and promoted the production in ed - the Journal's weekly publication targeted at a younger demographic. I ran one of the small ads below every second day to maintain presence and keep the show's momentum - not that it was necessary to increase sales, but it did help maintain top-of-mind in our target audience.

We ended up with a 97% sellout over a five week run, making Grease the most successful production in the history of the Citadel Theatre.


From Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.

Bobby Curtola, born April 17, 1944, in Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada, is an early Rock and Roll singer and former teen idol.

Born Robert Allen Curtola, he had several songs on the Canadian music charts beginning with "Hand In Hand With You" in 1960 and his biggest chart-topper came in 1962 with the song, "Fortune Teller."

In 1966 he won a RPM Gold Leaf Award for becoming the first Canadian to have an album go "Gold." Curtola went on to a successful singing career at Las Vegas casino venues and still performs at various clubs today.

In 1998, in recognition of his long service to the Canadian music industry as well as his humanitarian work around the world, he was made a member of the Order of Canada.

Some of Bobby Curtola's hit singles:

    * Hand in Hand With You
    * Fortune Teller
    * Johnny Take Your Time
    * Don't Sweetheart Me
    * Aladdin
    * Three Rows Over
    * Hitchhiker
    * Makin' Love


The TV Tome Website

When you look up "The History of Rock and Roll" at any library, a very familiar face will be found — it's Canada's Mr. Personality, Bobby Curtola! At the tender age of just 16, Thunder Bay's pride and joy set out on a rock and roll adventure that would take him around the world with more than 30 hit records, countless television appearances, and hours and hours of community involvement 

Bobby Curtola's list of #1 hit records includes "Hand in Hand With You," "Fortune Teller," "Don't Sweetheart Me," "Aladdin," "Three Rows Over," "Hitchhiker," "Makin' Love," "Corina Corina," and a host of others. Bobby has the distinction of being the first Canadian to earn a coveted Gold album. These great hits continue to be heard today on "oldies" radio around the world. Bobby was the man who opened the doors for many future Canadian stars — in an era well before Canadian content rules were dictated to radio stations! 

The Howard Hughes Hotels of Las Vegas, Nevada, featured Bobby as a headliner for more than 20 years in their resorts with great success. He was the first performer to sign a multi-million dollar contract for a lounge performer in Las Vegas. 

In January of 1998, Mr. Curtola was honoured with the Order of Canada for his commitment to being an ambassador for care around the world, for his humanitarian work, and for his pioneering success in Canadian Pop Music. 

During the '90s Bobby traveleed internationally to South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. He has been recognized for his charitable work in Ecuador, where the Bobby Curtola Centre of the World Children's Foundation was formed in his honour. He will soon be receiving the Gold Medal of Merit for his charitable work in that country. 

There are countless Bobby Curtola references in 
Canada's official music magazine"
Curtola fans and researchers will find this long-running 
publication to be an invaluable reference source:
Enter the keyword "Curtola" into the site's Search feature.

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Click for full-screen image
Thanks to the thousands of fans 
who partied with me at:
Canada Classics
Remember When . . . 
Canada Day Family Festival
July 1, 2004

Bobby Curtola
Kew Gardens, Toronto
10 A.M. - 7 P.M.
Admission Free

See the official 
CHUM Radio Poster 

Bobby Fans Are Forever

Bobby Curtola Fan Club President, Linda Thomas,
showing off her creative talents in 1961.

Bobby Curtola 
Canada's Greatest Rock & Roller!
Friday, February 20 th and 
Saturday, February 21st 9:00 p.m.

Club Regent Casino

Website Information

February 13 and 14, 2004
Tickets $20
Canada's Rock n Roll Legend
Bobby Curtola & The Sensational Hot Rods
A Sock Hop Reunion Party!

In 1963 Bobby Curtola recorded the international hit Fortune Teller and made ‘Curtolamania' a household word. With 25 Canadian Gold singles and 12 Canadian Gold Albums to his credit, Bobby Curtola was truly Canada 's first ‘Teen Idol'. The charismatic Bobby Curtola and his show band The Sensational Hot Rods, bring their energetic Sock Hop to Club Regent Casino for this special Valentines weekend show. 

Personal Appearances
from 2004

Feb. 13-14, 2004 
Regent Casino ~ Winnipeg, MB Canada 
Performing with The Sensational Hotrods

Feb. 20-21, 2004
Regina Casino ~ Regina, SK Canada
Performing with The Sensational Hotrods

Seasons Greetings Gallery
Happy Holidays from Bobby
Season's Greetings from Home Farms Technologies
Open Your Holiday Card From Bobby

Bobby Curtola Day Photos I

Bobby Curtola Day Photos II

Bobby Curtola Day Photos III

Bobby Curtola Day Photos IV

Kudos to Bobby
By Chen Chekki - The Chronicle-Journal
September 28, 2003
A pop legend who has a chunk of the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame now has a chunk of Thunder Bay pavement.

“I tell you, this is a choker,” Thunder Bay original Bobby Curtola said yesterday at Marina Park.

Thunder Bay gave the 59-year-old’s name to a road north of the Camelot Street entrance to the park.

Set to Curtola’s tunes Fortune Teller and Move Over, the street-naming ceremony began with the arrival of a procession of vintage cars.

Travelling with Mayor Ken Boshcoff in a flashy red 1950 Mercury Custom Coupe that led the series of cars, Curtola was greeted by throngs of fans and curious onlookers.

The crowd gathered around the Mercury as the procession stopped beside the playground portion of the park.

After a brief introduction by Boshcoff, who called Curtola one of the city’s finest ambassadors, the street naming forged ahead in dramatic style.

As dozens took pictures, Curtola pulled a blue drape cloth to unveil the new street sign for Bobby Curtola Drive.

“I’ve never forgotten where I’ve come from,” Curtola told the crowd of more than 100 who braved the cool wind. “I’m sort of shook up about today.”

Flanked by local band The Sensational Hot Rods, as well as his brother, business manager and dozens of other friends and family, he talked about never growing up and learning all about camaraderie and respect in Thunder Bay.

“When you make a friend in Thunder Bay, you make a friend for life,” he said to the cheering crowd.

Asked about whether he will visit the road during future visits to the city, he replied: “Are you kidding? You’re damn right.”

Italian by heritage, Curtola also received a plaque from the Thunder Bay Italian community that recognizes his career in the music industry and his charity work around the world.

Now living in Edmonton, he quietly slips into the Lakehead about twice a year to visit relatives and friends.

Curtola played in a basement band, Bobby and the Bobcats, in the late 1950s. His first hit single Hand in Hand With You was released in January 1960.

He started his first tour in the fall of 1960. By the next year, he started recording in Nashville.

His hit song, Fortune Teller, went Gold in Canada soon after being released in Canada. It became a 2.5-million seller around the world.

He later recorded the song, Things Go Better with Coke, which led to The Real Thing, a song that was modified to be used for Coke commercials.

His success in the sixties included 25 Canadian Gold singles and 12 Canadian Gold albums.

Several more decades of success led to a European tour in 2001.

But that’s not all.

Charities all over the world have benefited by Curtola’s work, including the Bobby Curtola Foundation for Children in Ecuador.

His efforts and success culminated in being inducted into the Order of Canada in 1998.

Curtola said yesterday’s street-naming is now one of the biggest highlights of his life.

“Thank you for this incredible moment in my life,” he told the crowd.

Bobby Curtola Returns
to hometown Thunder Bay on
the last weekend of September
for a gala celebration.

Bobby Joins Forces With
Thunder Bay's Very Own
'50s and '60s Show Band
The Sensational Hot Rods
To Celebrate The
Official Opening of
The Sensational Hot Rods

Marina Park roadway to be renamed next month
By Jim Kelly - The Chronicle-Journal
August 20, 2003
Street signs will be going up for another former Thunder Bay resident who made a name for himself in the entertainment industry.

Bobby Curtola, who went from pumping gas at his father’s service station in the former city of Port Arthur to the life of a teenage idol, will have a short roadway in Marina Park named after him.

City council this week approved naming the roadway Bobby Curtola Drive. The official ceremony will take place September 27th, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. at Marina Park with Curtola in attendance.

This comes after last September’s dedication of the roadway leading to the front door of the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium named after Paul Shaffer, band leader on Late Show with David Letterman.

A group of local supporters and fans wanted to rename part of Gibson Avenue in front of the former Lakeview High School (now St. Ignatius High School).

However, city staff said it would be easier to bestow the honour using one of the unnamed laneways within Marina Park.

Curtola, now 60, got his start in the late 1950s playing at sock hops at the former Lakeview High School (now St. Ignatius High School) with his basement band the "Bobby and the Bobcats."

Guided in initially by his managers Basil and Dyer Hurdon, Curtola shot to international prominence with such hits as Fortune Teller, Hand in Hand With You, Aladdin, Three Rows Over, Hitchhiker and Don’t You Sweetheart Me.

Incidentally, Fortune Teller sold 2.5 million records internationally. In total, Curtola had 25 gold records.

He toured with Dick Clark and his Cavalcade of Stars, opened for Bob Hope and achieved near-legendary status in an industry that was dominated by U.S. pop stars.

His recording career took him to all parts of Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States and eventually Las Vegas, where he had a seven-figure contract as a headliner at the Sands Hotel for 12 years beginning in the early 1970s.

Bobby Curtola Drive is that portion of Marina Park Drive south of the Marina Park Overpass and north of the Camelot Street entrance.



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