Bobby Vee, 1960's Pop Singer, Has Died At 73
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:15:32
Bobby Vee, best known for hits including "Rubber Ball", "Take Good Care of My Baby", and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes", has died at the age of 73.
Vee released more than 25 albums during his career, retiring from touring in 2011 after being diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Through his career, Vee managed to place 38 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1959 to 1970, notably "Take Good Care of My Baby," written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, which reached No. 1 in 1961. He continued recording until 2014, when his last album, The Adobe Sessions, was released.
Vee's son Jeff Velline said the singer died peacefully surrounded by family on Monday. It was "the end of a long hard road", describing his father as "a person who brought joy all over the world, that was his job."
Famed for being sweet and sincere as well as an accomplished guitarist and songwriter as well as a singer, Mr. Vee secured a place in his older brother's band as the lead vocalist simply because he was the only one who remembered the lyrics to their songs.
Vee's break into the music industry happened in 1959, when the singer was just 15 years old; he filled in for Buddy Holly after the singer's death in a plane crash. A call went out for local acts to replace Holly at his scheduled show at the Moorhead National Guard Armory. Vee and his band, which had only formed two weeks previously, volunteered.
Vee, born Robert Velline, was responsible for offering Bob Dylan his start in music. Dylan played briefly with Vee's band, and he was the one who suggested Velline change his last name to Vee.
Bobby Vee and the Shadows were signed in autumn 1959 and Vee had his first hit in the Billboard charts in 1960 with "Devil or Angel". A string of hits followed, including "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes", "Come Back When You Grow Up", "Please Don't Ask about Barbara", and "Punish Her".
Vee and his wife Karen were married for more than 50 years and had four children. She died of kidney failure in 2015, aged 71.
Vee had been in a care home near Minneapolis for just over a year and had been receiving hospice care before his death, Mr. Velline said.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff