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Every era needs its crooner, and in the early '60s, it was
's sentimental balladeering and orchestral, middle-of-the-road arrangements were a throwback to a decade earlier, before rock & roll had found its mass market. If
is sometimes identified with a rock & roll audience, it's only because his music was bought by young listeners for a time, and because he still catches some airplay on oldies stations. What he sang was vocal pop, landing some of the biggest hits of the early '60s with "Roses Are Red (My Love)," "Blue on Blue," "There! I've Said It Again," "Mr. Lonely," and "Blue Velvet," the last of which has become his signature song in the wake of its notorious prominence in David Lynch's Blue Velvet.
originally aspired to lead a big band, and made big band versions of contemporary hits on his first recordings in the early '60s. When he began singing, however, he was quickly successful, reaching number one with "Roses Are Red (My Love)" in mid-1962. The syrupy, saccharine arrangements set the mold for his emotional, occasionally mournful hits throughout the early '60s. 1963 was his banner year, as he hit number three with "Blue on Blue," and then topped the charts with "Blue Velvet" and "There! I've Said It Again."
"There! I've Said It Again" was knocked out of the number one spot by
' "I Want to Hold Your Hand." But the British Invasion, surprisingly, didn't spell commercial death for
, as it did for so many other balladeers and teen idols. Indeed, he had one of his biggest hits (and his final number one), the sobbing "Mr. Lonely," in late 1964. Although he didn't maintain quite the same superstar ranking, he was consistently popular throughout the next decade; between 1962 and 1972, in fact, he had an astonishing 28 Top 40 entries. Often he updated quaint 1960-era pop tunes such as "Halfway to Paradise," "Take Good Care of My Baby," and "Sealed With a Kiss." A couple of these, "Please Love Me Forever" and "I Love How You Love Me," made the Top Ten, which was quite an anachronism in 1967 and 1968.
seemed to have launched a major comeback in 1974 with "Melody of Love," which made number three, and enjoys the distinction of being the only major American hit single sung partially in Polish. Only one more Top 40 hit was in the offing, though. This probably didn't particularly bother
, who had his own TV series for a few years in the late '70s, and could always count on lucrative gigs on the cabaret circuit.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi
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More Bobby Vinton
Roses Are Red [Sony Special Products]
Because of You: The Love Songs Collection
The Great Bobby Vinton
The Best of Bobby Vinton [Epic]
Greatest Hits [Hi Horse]
Blue Velvet [Live On the Ed Sullivan Show]
Coming Home Soldier [Live On the Ed Sullivan Show]
There! I've Said It Again [Live On the Ed Sullivan Show]
My Heart Belongs To Only You [Performed Live On the Ed Sullivan Show]
Star Box: Bobby Vinton
All-Time Greatest Hits
20 All-Time Greatest Hits
Take Good Care of My Baby/I Love How You Love Me
Please Love Me Forever/My Elusive Dreams
Ev'ry Day of My Life/Satin Pillows and Careless
Live at the Copa/Drive-In Movie Time
Bobby Vinton [Madacy]
Mr. Lonely/Country Boy
Tell Me Why/Sings for Lonely Nights
Sealed with a Kiss/With Love
Blue on Blue [Madacy]
Branson City Limits
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