The Three Tenors? Mere copycat crooners. Those American Idol tours? Idle pretenders to the throne. One Direction? Take a number, because when the Boys come back to town, the gold standard of idol-dom will never be more clear.
It’s approaching 30 years since a trio of 1950s-early 60s era teen idol sensations — Frankie Avalon, Fabian Forte and Bobby Rydell — first joined forces as the Golden Boys of Bandstand, for a package tour that went on to extend their pop moment well into the new millennium. Having each emerged from the same South Philly hotbed of homegrown talent, the Brylcreemed contemporaries — onetime competitors for the amorous attentions of your great-aunt Judy — put aside their jukebox rivalry and keyed into a good thing that’s brought them to worldwide audiences, a White House command performance, and a top-rated PBS special. When the apparently ageless Boys return to the stage of the Count Basie Theatre on Friday night, October 10, they’ll be working a streetcorner that continues to attract new fans.
Produced by Dick Fox, the triple-header show promises and delivers on a cache of transistor-radio treasures — including the hits of Fabian, whose forte remains the swaggering stomp of “Tiger” and “Turn Me Loose.” Avalon — in the middle of his first major road jaunt since the passing of his former Beach Party movie co-star Annette Funicello — offers up the sweeter stuff of “Bobby Sox to Stockings,” “Why,” and maybe even the disco-fied version of his vintage hit “Venus.”
Last but certainly not least is Rydell, whose back-in-the-day Billboard toppers (“Swingin’ School,” “Kissin’ Time,” “Wild One,” the teenybopped “Volare,” and Jersey Shore perennial “Wildwood Days“) were among the swingin’est signifiers of the much-maligned teen idol genre. He’s also the best singer of the Bandstand bunch by a long shot — and maybe just maybe if you call out for it enough times, he’ll perform his thoroughly bizarre vocal version of the space-age Tornados instrumental “Telstar.”
Tickets for the 8 pm show ($39 – $250) can be reserved right here.