It occurs to me that a sub-theme of my posts this month is writing about lesser known artists. Some of these artists though lesser known made a significant impact upon the music scene.
Today's artist is Stanley Robert Vinton, Bobby Vinton. Bobby was an only child born on April 16, 1935, in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a popular bandleader, Stanley Vinton. His mother was Dorothy Vinton. Stanley Sr. changed his real surname, Vintula, to Vinton. Bobby's parents encouraged his interest in music by paying him his 25 cent allowance after he practiced the clarinet.
Bobby formed his first band at age 16 years. He would play at clubs around the Pittsburgh, PA, area. The money he earned helped pay his way through college. Bobby attended Duquesne University and earned a degree in Music Composition. While at Duquesne U. Bobby became proficient in all the band instruments, Piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums and oboe. Another thing, Bobby, at his father's suggestion, began using his middle name to avoid his band being confused with his dad's band.
Bobby's band recorded two albums and several singles for Epic Records. These records did not sell well. Epic was about to drop Bobby's contract when he found a song in the company's reject pile. The song became Bobby's first number one hit, Roses Are Red. Bobby promoted the song himself by having a copy of the record along with a dozen roses delivered to every local DJ.
Song hits kept coming for Bobby. In 1963 another number one song, Blue Velvet was released. Twenty years David Lynch used the song's title for his cult-hit movie of the same name. In 1964 there were two more number one hits, Mr. Lonely and There I've Said it Again. "Mr. Lonely" was written years before while Bobby was a chaplains assistant in the U.S. Army. "There I've Said it Again" became the last U.S. number one song before the British Invasion.
The hits stopped coming until the 1970's. Three songs were in the Top 40's, Every Day of My Life, My Melody of Love and Sealed with a Kiss.
Bobby hosted a half hour variety show on Canadian T.V. called "The Bobby Vinton Show". The show ran from 1975 through 1978. Bobby also co-starred in two John Wayne movies, Big Jake and The Train Robbers.
Bobby married Dolores Dobbins on December 12, 1962. They have five children and make their home in Englewood, FL.