A number of months ago, one of our Blog Fans commented about Rick or Ricky Nelson. Since then we have exchanged emails and discussed Life and Music and I think we have become friends. She had tickets to see Bobby Vinton, so I asked her if she would be interested in writing about her experience and also about Bobby Vinton. After a little bit of coaxing, she finally agreed. So with a little help from yours truly, here is my friend, Marilyn Stuart’s look at Bobby Vinton.
My name is Marilyn and I’m a regular reader of Russ and Gary’s The Best Years of Music blog. If you’re like me, I suspect you love the music and recording artists they feature because they take you back to another time. The people you knew and the places you were when the music was originally playing, come alive again in your mind’s eye.
I’ve been fortunate enough to see a few of the artists featured in this blog Live concert. Bobby Vinton was one of them, so Gary asked me to write this entry.
I had the opportunity to see Bobby Vinton again in concert a short time ago. The beautiful tenor voice is a bit different now but it is still very enjoyable and he sings his hits and plays a variety of instruments. He also interacts with his audience and signs albums. If you attend one of his shows, take along some of his albums. Chances are he might sign them for you.
Video: Roses are Red
Video: Mr. Lonely
1. Roses Are Red (My Love)/ Epic 9509/ June 1962/ #1(4)
2. Rain Rain Go Away/ Epic 9532/ September 1962/ #12
3. Over The Mountain (Across the Sea)/ Epic 9577/March 1963/ #21
4. Blue on Blue/ Epic 9593/ June 1963/ #3
5. Blue Velvet/ Epic 9614/ August 1963/ #1 (3)
6. There! I’ve Said it Again/ Epic 9638/ December 1963
7. My Heart Belongs to Only You/ Epic 9662/ March 1964/ #9
8. Please Love Me Forever/ Epic 10228/ October 1967/ #6
9. I Love How You Love Me/ Epic 10397/ November 1968/ #9
10. To Know Him is to Love Him (Phil Spector)/ Epic 10461/ May 1969/ #34
11. My Melody of Love/ ABC 12022/ October 1974/ #3
I am aware that there are many more songs, so to you the Blog readers and Marilyn, I apologize ahead of time, but I believe this is a good representation of who Bobby is. – Gary
Known as a singer of romantic love songs, he had four #1 hits between 1962-1964, more than any other solo artist of the time, beating Elvis, Ricky, and Pat Boone. He also had 30 top 40 songs in the 60’s and 70’s and 24 of his albums made Billboards top 200.
Stanley Robert Vinton, was born April 16, 1935, in Canonburg, PA , the hometown of Perry Como. His father, Stan Vinton, led a locally popular band. By age ten, young Bobby was already playing clarinet with the band. He learned to play a number of instruments and by 16 had formed his own high school band. He attended Duquesne University, earning a degree in musical composition, which he financed by playing college functions and dances in and around Pittsburgh.
In the late 1950’s he was drafted into the U.S. Army, an experience which he would later turn into a #1 song, “Mr. Lonely.”
In 1960-61 he toured with Bobby Vee and Dick Clark’s musical tour and made several vocal demo tapes that he took to disk jockeys. One DJ, Dick Lawrence, brought the demos to the attention of record companies. Bobby signed with Epic Records, but the first releases were as a musician rather than a vocalist and these records received little attention. His contract was due to lapse when Vinton noticed that he still had two recordings left that allowed him to sing. Epic was lukewarm to the idea that but finally allowed him to record the vocals. The first of those recordings, “Roses are Red,” went to #1 and stayed there for four weeks.
He followed that hit with three additional #1 songs in the next two years: “Blue Velvet,” “There I’ve Said it Again” and “Mr. Lonely.”
He had quickly become a solo artist. Early in his vocal career he was managed by Allen Klein who also managed The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
He was initially offered the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree” which he turned down and suggested instead that Tony Orlando record. The rest is history. That song went to #1 for four weeks in the US and Uk and for seven weeks in Australia.
His last major hit in 1974 was “My Melody of Love” reaching #3 in the US and #1 in Australia. It included Polish lyrics and earned him the title of the Polish Prince.
Vinton had a successful television show between 1975-78 and in 1993 opened a theater in Branson where he starred for several years before selling and where he still appears yearly.
He still tours regularly in a show that showcases both his vocals and instrumental solos. The show also features his daughter Jennifer (Hannah) on vocals and son Robbie, who portrayed Vinton in the movie, Goodfellas, on guitar. (Marilyn Stuart)