Stanley Robert “Bobby” Vinton, Jr. (born April 16, 1935, age 81) is an American singer and songwriter. In pop music circles, he became known as “The Polish Prince of Poch,” as his music pays tribute to his Polish heritage. Known for his angelic vocals in love songs, his most popular song, Blue Velvet peaked at number one on the now renamed Billboard Pop Singles Chart, and also served as inspiration for a film of the same name.
At sixteen, Vinton formed his first band, which played clubs around the Pittsburgh area. With the money he earned, he helped finance his college education at Duquesne University, where he graduated with a degree in musical composition. While at Duquesne, he became proficient on all of the instruments in the band: piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums, and oboe.
After two years of service in the United States Army, serving as a chaplain’s assistant, Vinton was signed to Epic Records in 1960 as the bandleader of “A Young Man with a Big Band.” However, two albums and several singles were not successful, and with Epic ready to pull the plug, Vinton found his first hit single literally sitting in a reject pile. The song was titled Roses Are Red (My Love). Vinton had to do his own promotion for the song; he bought one thousand copies and hired a young woman to deliver a copy of the record and a dozen red roses to every local DJ. It spent four weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. Arguably, his most famous song is Blue Velvet.
Vinton wrote Mr. Lonely during his chaplain’s assistant service in the U.S. Army. The song was recorded during the same 1962 session that produced Roses Are Red and launched Vinton’s singing career. It was released as an album track on the 1962 Roses Are Red LP. Despite pressure from Vinton to release it as a single, Epic instead had Buddy Greco release it and it flopped. Two years and millions of records sold later, Bobby prevailed on Epic to include Mr. Lonely on his Bobby Vinton’s Greatest Hits LP. Soon DJs picked up on the song and airplay resulted in demand for a single release. Mr. Lonely shot up the charts in the late fall of 1964 to reach number one on the Hot 100. Epic then released the LP Bobby Vinton Mr. Lonely, giving the song a unique claim to fame since it now appeared on three Bobby Vinton albums released within two years. The song has continued to spin gold for its composer in the forty-five years since it hit number one.
Bobby Vinton owned, and performed at the Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet Theatre in Branson from 1993 until 2002, when the theater was sold. Billboard Magazine called Bobby Vinton “the all-time most successful love singer of the Rock-Era.” From 1962 through 1972, Vinton had more Billboard number one hits than any other male vocalist, including Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. In recognition of his recording career, Bobby Vinton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd.
Vinton and his wife, Dolores “Dolly” Dobbins, have been married since 1962.
A quick check of Bobby’s Website, www.BobbyVinton.com, showed no scheduled performance dates since 2015. I was unable to find out what Bobby is doing these days. (SMN)
Bobby Vinton publicity 1965.
Bobby Vinton performing on the Ed Sullivan Show 1969.
Bobby Vinton publicity 1977.
Bobby Vinton “Live” in Branson.
Bobby Vinton 20 All-Time Greatest Hits.
Bobby Vinton Live, Songs From My Heart DVD.
Click on this image to read an extensive article about Bobby Vinton from Wikipedia.