Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Here’s to pop idol Bobby Vee, who’s earned the right to slow down a bit

Now, after a pop music career that produced 38 Billboard hits, the adopted Minnesotan has decided to dial life back a notch or two. Check out a few of my favorites of his forgotten hits.

Let’s hear it for the region’s Bobby Vee, who got his big musical break 52 years ago filling in after the Clear Lake, Iowa, crash that took the lives of the legendary Buddy Holly as well as Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.

Now, after a pop music career that produced 38 Billboard Hot 100 hits, he’s decided to dial life back a notch or two and ease into more of a retirement mode at age 68. He recently talked about what’s ahead and about his career in this recent St. Cloud Times article.

A Fargo native, Robert Velline and his family have lived in the St. Cloud area for many years, becoming an active part of the local community.

He’s not been selected for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — one of ithe institution’s many unfortunate omissions of ’60s hit-makers — but he is a member of two other musical halls of fame.

Article continues after advertisement

He was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2009 and, earlier this year, into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

His fans still follow him through a Facebook site and news site.

His musical credentials include one No. 1 song: 1961’s “Take Good Care of My Baby,” one of many Carole King-Gerry Goffin hit creations.

And five other Top 10 hits:

“Run to Him” (1961, No. 2). Bobby rose to fame at the height of TV’s lip-synching era, as you’ll see in these videos.

“The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” (1963, No. 3).

“Come Back When You Grow Up” (1967, No. 3).

“Devil or Angel” (1960, No. 6).

“Rubber Ball” (1961, No. 6).

Article continues after advertisement

All classic hits (most of which seldom get air play any more — even on Oldies-format radio stations — but there are bunch more charting songs of his that are all but forgotten.

Here are nine of my forgotten favorites in chronological order:

“More Than I Can Say” (1961) — my favorite but a minor hit (No. 61) that, 19 years later, became a No. 2 hit for Leo Sayer.

“How Many Tears” (1961).

“Walkin’ With My Angel” (1961-62).

“Please Don’t Ask About Barbara” (1962).

“Sharing You” (1962).

“Punish Her” (1962).

“Charms” (1963).

Article continues after advertisement

“Be True to Yourself” (1963).

“Beautiful People” (1967).