Submitted by Sandy Graham
We have not published for a few months now and the story needs to be told.
For those of you close to Cashbox Canada as well as me personally, you know we have lost our mentor, our friend our Canadian Legend, Bobby Curtola. I am not one to write anything personal but this story needs to be told.
My history with Bobby started in 1990, when I was a dancer/choreographer in the Route 66 Dancers. We were booked to open for Chubby Checker at a fundraiser for the March of Dimes called ‘Back to the Five & Dime’. My youngest boy, Graham, was a few months old and my babysitter cancelled at the last minute and I had to take him to the show. I was standing backstage, in a white skirt, holding Graham a foot away from me, hoping I could stay ‘intact’ long enough to perform my segment of the show. There was a man rolling wires and helping organize the performers so I asked him to hold my son for 15 minutes while I went on stage. He did – and when I came back he handed Graham back to me and said with that big dimpled smile ‘You are welcome. I'm Bobby Curtola and I'm on next.’
This was the beginning of close to a thirty year friendship.
Years later, when Graham was a wee lad, Bobby sang ‘Fortune Teller’ to him. Graham, with the honesty of a child, told him he hated that song. Somehow I still kept him as a client. Graham loved Bobby like family and as the years went by they became friends as well.
He was there when my second son, Ian, was born. We brought Ian home and when we were outside on the front lawn, with Bobby holding him in his arms, a leaf floated down and stopped mid-air by Ian’s head. Bobby said he was destined to be something special. What was to be Bobby's last radio interview was at AM 740 with Robbie Lane and that same boy, Ian, was the operator that night. (Ian works at the station and to him Bobby was Uncle Bobby.) Following Bobby was Sam Taylor, accompanied by Pat Kelly. Bobby insisted on going to Sam Taylor's next performance and...