Born into a musical family, Robert Thomas Velline entered the world at Fargo, North Dakota on April 30, 1943. Family members would introduce Bobby to various musical instruments including the saxophone that he would play in the high school band.
On February 3, 1959, a light plane bound for an appearance at Moorhead, Minnesota, with rock stars Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson, known as the Big Bopper, crashed in a snowy Iowa field, killing all aboard. As other performers on tour with them arrived, the promoters decided to go ahead with the show and sent out an urgent call for local talent to fill in for the headliners. Thus, a fifteen year old Bobby Vee began a career that would have made the missing stars proud.
A few months would pass before Bobby’s “Susie Baby” would hit the charts, followed by his million selling top ten hits “Devil or Angel” and “Rubber Ball”. In the summer of 1961 his “Take Good Care of My Baby” would top the Hit Parade and before the year ended “Run to Him” gave Bobby Vee his fourth gold record. The following year, “The Night Has A Thousand Eyes” landed inside the top five for another million seller, and in 1967 “Come Back When You Grow Up” would also reach the top five. With 38 trips to the Hit Parade, Bobby Vee’s popularity is international with hits in Japan, Australia, Germany, England and Europe.
Bobby announced on 29 April 2012 that he was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. While he still returns to his home in Minnesota and enjoys being involved in the production of various musical projects at his Rockhouse Recording Studio located near St. Cloud, he spends most of his time in Tucson, Arizona on his ranch.
Bobby Vee was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 20o9 and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2011.
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