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Bobby Curtola (Robert Allen Curtola)

Bobby Curtola

Bobby Curtola began performing at age 15 with a band called Bobby and the Bobcats, singing at high school assemblies. Over the subsequent years, the singer had many songs on the Canadian music charts beginning with “Hand In Hand With You” in 1960. He was backed by the Corvettes, a group who changed their name to theThe Martels (named after Curtola’s manager, Maria Martell), Bobby Curtola went on to record hits such as “Indian Giver”, “Aladdin” and his biggest chart topper, “Fortune Teller” in 1962, which was also successful internationally, selling 2.5 million copies. Between 1960 and 1968 he had continual single and album releases on the Tartan label in Canada. The managers and main songwriters were brothers Dyer and Basil Hurdon. The Del-Fi label released some of those singles in the US. He wrote and performed the song “Things go better with Coca-Cola” in 1964 for advertising and was a pitchman for the company. In 1966 he won a RPM Gold Leaf Award for becoming the first Canadian to have an album go gold. In the early 1970s, Curtola hosted a CTV musical series entitled, Shake, Rock and Roll and Curtola went on to a successful singing career at Las Vegas, Nevada casino venues. In the 1980s, in an attempt at updating his image, Curtola briefly adopted the billing Boby Curtola and released one album under this name before reverting to his original spelling. During his career, the singer achieved 25 Canadian gold singles and 12 Canadian gold albums. In 1998, in recognition of his long service to the Canadian music industry as well as his humanitarian work, particularly with children’s charities, he was made a member of the Order of Canada. His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Curtola also performed on some Princess Cruises ships in the 1990s but also more recently, in 2014, for example.

In addition to his musical work, Bobby Curtola was a business entrepreneur, marketing a brand of Caesar cocktail called SeaCzar for three years. Curtola founded companies that acquired hotel and truck stops throughout Canada, and in 1991 bid for ownership of the Ottawa Roughriders. He was chief executive officer of Home Farms Technologies, a Canadian-based company which was attempting to develop an environmentally friendly waste management system for hog waste. It was a development stage company and has been inactive since 2005 according to Government of Canada records. In 2011, he received a star on the Italian Walk of Fame in Toronto. Curtola’s partner, Karyn Rochford, died in a car accident in Nova Scotia on December 15, 2015. Bobby Curtola had been living in Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, but moved to Edmonton, Alberta in early 2016 after Rochford’s death. He died on June 4, 2016, at his home in this city.

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Born

  • April, 17, 1943
  • Port Arthur, Canada

Died

  • June, 04, 2016
  • Edmonton, Canada

Cause of Death

  • natural causes

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