Bobby Vee: One of the earliest Rock and Roll Stars, c. 1959

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Bobby Vee was born  (1943) in North Dakota.  He started his career when he was fourteen and he modeled his style after Buddy Holly. In 1959, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Richie Valens died in a plane crash while en route to a concert.   Bobby Vee was summoned to Moorhead, Minnesota to fill in for Holly at that concert.  The 16 year old Vee assembled a band and had an acclaimed appearance.

After that he had a successful career which included 38 “top 100″ hits .   In the Martin Scorsese film*  (2005) about Bob Dylan’s life, “No Direction Home,” Dylan mentioned that he was an admirer of Vee during the time when Dylan was finding his musical way as a performer and songwriter.

This song, “Take Good Care of My Baby” was an early hit  (no, he wasn’t singing  about a pregnant girlfriend,) along with “Devil or Angel,”  ”The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,”  and the mega-hit “Rubber Ball.”  And don’t confuse Bobby Vee with Bobby Vinton, another singer from that era.

*Incidentally, if  you like Dylan’s music, ” No Direction Home” is a superb documentary which is not only about music but also it is set during a turbulent time in America, 1961-1966.  If you, like me and many in the music business, weren’t sure at first if Dylan was terrible or wonderful, this film is a revelation.

—Paul Goldfinger