Shake, Rock and Roll
Thunder Bay's Bobby Curtola was a highly successful pop singer in the 1960's, with hits like Hand In Hand With You (1960) and Fortune Teller (1962) already under his belt while he was still in his teens. In 1964 he became a spokesman for Coca Cola, and co-wrote the hit jingle The Real Thing. He starred in CFTO-TV's After Four in 1965 and 1966, and then in 1973 he became host of CTV's prime time half-hour series Shake, Rock and Roll.
But by this time the Rock and Roll era was fading. Bill Haley guested on the show, and the only hit the public really wanted to hear (and in truth the only real hit he had ever had) was Rock Around The Clock, which was by then nineteen years old. Though lively and fast-paced, this was a program whose time had passed.
Shake, Rock and Roll was produced at CTV's Toronto affiliate CFTO-TV. It premiered in September 1973, on Saturdays at 7:00pm, and was gone a twelve-month later. Curtola himself, however, continued to be a major draw in Las Vegas and internationally, and as the 21st century unfolded, he was still in demand for tours and cruise line work.
Written by Pip Wedge - February, 2003