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Bobby Vinton

Stanley Robert "Bobby" Vinton, Jr. (born April 16, 1935) is an American pop music singer of Polish and Lithuanian ethnic background. In pop music circles, he became known as "The Polish Prince of Poch", as his music plays tribute to his Polish heritage. Known of this angelic vocals and his best love songs, his most popular song, "Blue Velvet" (a cover of Tony Bennett's 1951 song), peaked at No. 1 on the now renamed Billboard Pop Singles Chart. It also served as inspiration for the film of the same name.

Vinton is the only child of a locally popular bandleader, Stan Vinton and Dorothy Studzinski Vinton. The family surname was originally Vintula, and was changed by the senior Vinton. Vinton's parents encouraged their son's interest in music by giving him his daily 25 cent allowance after he had practiced the clarinet. At 16, 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. When Vinton became an active musician, it was common for people to become confused with the bands of father and son, as both were named Stanley. Vinton's father suggested his son use his middle name of Robert professionally to clear up the confusion.

Vinton's birthplace of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, is also the birthplace of Perry Como[6] and Joey Powers (of 1963-1964 "Midnight Mary" fame). His hometown named two streets, Bobby Vinton Boulevard and the shorter adjoining Bobby Vinton Drive, in his honor. These streets were built in the late 1970s; prior attempts to name a residential street after him failed. The residents did not care for the singer always using Pittsburgh as his home town on TV interviews. Como always claimed Canonsburg as his hometown, so hundreds of people changed their address when the town renamed a street in the east end after Perry Como. The Canonsburg town fathers had plans to erect a statue in Vinton's honor, but Vinton himself vetoed the idea, noting that the $100,000 planned cost could go to far more important town needs.

He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in music from Duquesne University.
A Monday night TV special Bobby did for CBS drew higher ratings than Monday Night Football.
He is proficient at many of the instruments in big-band movie and plays them in his shows, including piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums and oboe.
The David Lynch movie Blue Velvet is inspired by and named after Bobby’s 1963 #1 hit of the same name.
He discovered his first hit single “Roses Are Red (My Love)” in a record label reject pile. The song spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100.
His number one hit “Mr. Lonely” is the basis for the Akron hit song “Lonely”.
His father, Stan Vinton, was a popular bandleader in the Pittsburgh area.
He served in the US Army
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of fame, at 6916 Hollywood Blvd.
He formed his first band at 16 and earned enough money for college playing in Pittsburgh area clubs.
He co-starred in two of John Wayne’s movies, Big Jake and The Train Robbers.
He has a bachelor’s degree in Musical Composition
He has his own theater in Branson, Missouri called “The Bobby Vinton Blue Velvet Theatre
Throughout his career he has sold more than 75 million records.
He attended, and graduated from, Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
His son Robbie portrayed his father in the movie Goodfellas.

 

50s, 60s Hits

Blue On Blue
Blue Velvet
Mr Lonely
Roses Are Red
There I've Said It Again

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