Bobby Vee’s acclaimed music career complex a who’s who of bedrock ‘n’ cycle heroes, including Buddy Holly, Bob Dylan and the Beatles. Alike afterwards his own teen-idol acclaim and Billboard blueprint success, though, he abundantly remained a humble, accomplished Midwesterner who acclimatized into a quiet activity in St. Joseph, Minn., with his wife of added than 50 years, Karen.
Vee, 73, died aboriginal Monday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He had been in auberge affliction at a ability in Rogers, according to family.
Born Robert Thomas Velline on April 30, 1943, and aloft in Fargo, Vee got his big breach beneath adverse affairs at age 15 in 1959. He and his band, the Shadows, were recruited to ample in for Buddy Holly at the Moorhead stop of the Winter Dance Party bout the night afterwards Holly died in a alike blast alfresco Clear Lake, Iowa.
Vee’s career anon rocketed as he landed 38 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 amid 1959-1970, including “Suzie Baby,” “Devil or Angel,” “Rubber Ball,” “Take Good Affliction of My Baby,” “Run To Him” and “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”
A ascent on Holly’s “Peggy Sue” that he recorded for Minneapolis’ Soma Records, “Suzie Baby” became Vee’s aboriginal hit and landed him a civic accord with Liberty Records in 1959.
“That was a game-changer for Minnesota,” said columnist Rick Shefchik, whose book “Everybody’s Heard About the Bird: The True Story of 1960s Bedrock ‘n’ Cycle in Minnesota” actual Vee’s aboriginal years. “There were bedrock bands about boondocks arena shows, but cipher was actually cerebration about authoritative a almanac that would wind up on the radio and on the charts. Bobby opened that door.”
Vee again denticulate his aboriginal No. 1 in Billboard in 1961 with “Take Good Affliction of My Baby,” accounting by allegorical Brill Building songwriting duo Carole King and Gerry Goffin.
The Beatles recorded both “Take Good Care” and “Devil or Angel” during their bootless auditions for Decca Records in 1961, ceremony with George Harrison singing advance vocals. Decades later, Paul McCartney arrive Vee over to England to accomplish in tributes to Buddy Holly, whose song publishing McCartney co-owns. Vee additionally sometimes performed and recorded with Holly’s actual bandmates, the Crickets.
In a 2004 Star Tribune interview, Vee said, “There are so abounding synchronicities to the Buddy Holly affiliation that advance out all over my career. That has been actually enjoyable, because I was and still am such a fan.”
As for the night he had to ample Holly’s shoes in Moorhead, Feb. 3, 1959, he remembered, “It was actual abundant a show-must-go-on situation. It actually was an exercise in alloyed emotions. But we had to put that a and get out there and perform, which was alarming and blood-tingling at once.”
A few months afterwards the Winter Dance Party gig, the beginning boyhood idol active an appropriately adolescent Robert Zimmerman from Hibbing as the piano amateur in the Shadows, alike admitting the approaching Bob Dylan could alone comedy in the key of C. Dylan lasted alone a brace of gigs but never forgot Vee’s affection and influence.
In his 2004 memoir, “Chronicles, Vol. 1,” Dylan wrote of Vee, “I’d consistently anticipation of him as a brother.” In 2013, a year afterwards Vee was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Dylan paid accolade to him during a concert at Midway Stadium in St. Paul, area he performed “Suzie Baby” and reconnected with Vee backstage.
“I lived actuality awhile back, and aback that time I’ve played all over the world, with all kinds of people. Everybody from Mick Jagger to Madonna and everybody in between,” said Dylan, usually a man of few words in concert. “But the best allusive being I’ve anytime been on the date with was a man who’s actuality tonight, who acclimated to sing a song alleged ‘Suzie Baby.’ “
Just aftermost month, a agreeable about Vee’s activity debuted at the History Theatre in St. Paul. “Teen Idol: The Bobby Vee Story” showcases his hit songs and highlights his move aback to Minnesota from California to alive a counterbalanced activity with his wife and their four accouchement in 1980. The agreeable is appointed to run through Oct. 30.
Vee connected to accomplish 75-plus shows per year and accomplish albums able-bodied into his 60s. He adapted a acclaimed coffer in St. Joseph into a recording studio, dubbed Rockhouse Production, which he ran with his artist sons Jeff, Tommy and Robby Velline, who generally served as his abetment musicians.
“He’s such a laid-back, bashful Fargo affectionate of guy, he never had the ego/career problems that a lot of added singers had to appear to agreement with,” Jeff Velline said in 2004 of his dad.
The Velline kids and Bobby faced the afterlife of Karen in August 2015 from branch abortion several years afterwards she endured a lung transplant.
A amusing artisan and analyst who helped begin the Rape Crisis Center for Women in St. Cloud, she and her bedmate breach their aureate years amid their home on Watab Lake and addition in Tucson, Ariz.
“We accurate ceremony added in what we were doing,” Karen said in a 2014 Star Tribune account as she and Bobby acclaimed their 50th ceremony while adverse their own bloom crises. “We both had careers, and we both enjoyed the other’s career. We were advantageous to accept abundant kids. Now that we’ve been through boxy times and we’ve actually looked at life, I feel a lot of gratitude.”
Summing up his own career in 2004, Bobby acicular to a adolescence hero who was an amateur instead of a musician, Walter Brennan, accepted from John Ford westerns and the TV alternation “The Real McCoys.”
Brennan “was a appearance amateur for best of his career,” Vee said. “He was in a lot of movies, but he still maintained a assertive bulk of anonymity. I see myself, happily, as addition like that.”
Funeral arrange for Vee accept not yet been confirmed.
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