Legendary Bobby Vinton comes to the Rialto
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media April 26, 2012 10:52AM
Bobby Vinton will perform at the Rialto Square Theatre on May 5. | File Photo
♦ 8 p.m. May 5
♦ Rialto Square Theatre, 102 N. Chicago St., Joliet
♦ Tickets, $32-$69
♦ (815) 726-6600
Perhaps legendary performer Bobby Vinton knows better than anyone that you should always do what your mother tells you to do. At least that is the case with “My Melody of Love,” a song that Vinton wrote and recorded in the mid-1970s and which is sung partially in Polish. The song hit No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts in 1974.
“I was performing in Chicago and Chicago radio host Eddie Schwartz was interviewing me and he mentioned in the interview that I sang an Italian song,” said Vinton of how “My Melody of Love” came to be.
“Eddie said, ‘You’re Polish. You should sing a Polish song.’ So, I started goofing around with it. Then my mom said, ‘You should sing in Polish. That is your heritage.’ So, I wrote and recorded ‘My Melody of Love.’ It sat in a drawer for about six months. I just made it as one song for my mother. Then a guy I knew at a record label said he needed a song, so I brought it out and it was a hit.”
Bobby Vinton will perform on May 5 at the Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet.
Vinton started his musical career with his own band in the 1960s and played in clubs around the Pittsburgh, Pa., area, where he was born and raised. With the money he earned, Vinton helped finance his college education at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He graduated with a degree in musical composition. While at Duquesne, he became proficient on all of the instruments in the band: piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums and the oboe.
After a short stint in the army, Vinton signed with Epic Records as a bandleader. Two big band albums and several singles failed to catch on and the record company was ready to pull the plug on the young entertainer.
“Epic Records was going to drop me, but they owed me two recordings,” said Vinton in a 2007 interview. “So I said, ‘Let me record something as a singer and hopefully it will make some money so we can make more big band records.’”
The song Vinton recorded was “Roses Are Red.” It was released in 1962 and spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold more than four million copies.
Other hits soon followed, including “Blue On Blue,” “Blue Velvet,” “Mr. Lonely,” “There, I’ve Said It Again,” “I Love How You Love Me” and “My Melody Of Love.”
A multi-talented musician, singer and actor, Vinton has sold more than 75 million albums during his career. Vinton also had a successful half-hour TV variety show, “The Bobby Vinton Show” (which aired from 1975 to 1978), and he appeared in two John Wayne movies: “Big Jake” and “The Train Robbers.”
“My show is personality and energy,” Vinton said about his Rialto appearance. “It’s not about the hits. It’s the energy on stage. I play several instruments, I tell jokes. I think that over the years I have probably been underrated as an entertainer. But my nature is ‘If you play the game, play it as hard as you can.’”
And the 77-year-old entertainer shows no real signs of slowing down.
“For me, it’s easy and it’s enjoyable,” Vinton said about performing. “If I thought that I would not give the best show that the people have ever seen, I would not do it.”