Bobby Vee Part One
I’m in a new year, but Bobby Vee Part One, is worth doing. I have heard “Rubber Ball” all my life, so I’m happy to have him here on my website.
Robert Thomas Velline (April 30, 1943 — October 24, 2016), known professionally as Bobby Vee, was an American singer, songwriter and musician who was a teen idol in the early 1960s and also appeared in films. According to Billboard magazine, he had thirty-eight Hot 100 chart hits, ten of which reached the Top 20. He had six gold singles in his career.
Vee in 1962
Robert Thomas Velline
April 30, 1943
Fargo, North Dakota, U.S.
October 24, 2016 (aged 73).
Rogers, Minnesota, U.S.
Pop rock and roll soft rock.
Vocals, rhythm guitar, bass, piano.
Vee was born in Fargo, North Dakota, to Sydney Ronald Velline (a chef, pianist and fiddle player) and Saima Cecelia Tapanila, in a family of Norwegian and Finnish heritage. His first single, “Suzie Baby,“ was written by Vee with a nod to Buddy Holly‘s “Peggy Sue“ and recorded for the Soma label, based in Minneapolis, in 1959; it was a hit in Minnesota and drew enough national attention to be purchased by Liberty Records, which signed him later that year. His follow-upsingle, a cover of Adam Faith‘s UK number-one “What Do You Want?“, charted in thelower reaches of the Billboard pop chart in early 1960. His fourth release, a revival of the Clovers‘ doo-wop ballad “Devil or Angel“ (U.S. number six), brought him into the big time with U.S. buyers. His next single, “Rubber Ball“ (1961, U.S.number six, Australia number one), made him an international star. He has cited as influences, producer Snuff Garrett and his personal manager, Arnold Mills.
Vee‘s recording of “Take Good Care of My Baby“ in the summer of 1961 went to number one on Billboard magazine‘s U.S. pop chart and number three in the UK Singles Chart. Known primarily as a performer of Brill Building pop material, he went on to record a string of international hits in the 1960s, including“More Than I Can Say“ (1961, UK number 4), “Run to Him“ (1961, US number 2; UKnumber 6), “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes“ (1963, US number 3; UK number 3) and“Come Back When You Grow Up“ (1967, US number 3). On the recording of “Come Back When You Grow Up“ Bobby Vee and The Strangers are credited. However, that was merely the record label giving a name to the studio musicians working that day. Bobby‘s original band, The Shadows, backed him on the road, but changed their name to The Strangers upon learning of the UK band The Shadows who backed Cliff Richard. They had not backed him since 1963. He also recorded, in 1961, a version of the song “Lollipop“, originally by Ronald & Ruby, which also became a success. Vee had a total of ten hit singles in the UK, ending with “Bobby Tomorrow“ (UK number 21) in 1963.
In 1963, American Bandstand signed Vee to headline Dick Clark‘s Caravan of Stars national U.S. tour which was scheduled to perform its 15th show on the night of November 22, 1963 at the Memorial Auditorium in Dallas, Texas until suddenly the Friday evening event had to be cancelled moments after U.S. President John F.Kennedy was assassinated that afternoon while touring Dallas in an open car caravan.
Vee was also a pioneer in the music video genre, appearing in several musical films and in the Scopitone series of early film-and-music jukebox recordings.
Awards and Honors
He received the North Dakota Roughrider Award in 1999.
He is mentioned in the film No Direction Home regarding his brief musical association with Bob Dylan and Dylan‘s suggestion that he was “Bobby Vee“ after Vee‘s regional hit.
The Very Best of Bobby Vee, released by EMI/UK on May 12, 2008, charted in the UK top five. On January 17, 2011, EMI/UK released Rarities, a double-CD package with 61 tracks, many of which were previously unreleased. Others included were alternate takes and first-time stereo releases as well as tracks from the album Bobby Vee Live on Tour, without the “canned“ audience.
On March 28, 2011, he became the 235th inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
An active live performer into 2011, Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer‘s disease at which time he completed his scheduled tour obligations and recorded his final CD, which was released three years later. In 2014 he was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame.