Bobby Vinton performs Valentine show at Paramount
By Randall G. Mielke For Sun-Times Media February 7, 2013 2:00PM
Bobby Vinton will perform at the Paramount Theatre on Feb. 14.| AP file photo
♦ 1:30 and 7 p.m. Feb. 14
♦ Paramount Theatre, 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora
♦ Tickets, $49-$64
♦ (630) 896-6666;
Updated: February 7, 2013 2:00PM
Legendary performer Bobby Vinton believes he has lasted so long in show business partly due to his versatility.
“I think some people are surprised when they see my show,” said Vinton, who performs on Feb. 14 at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. “They know my songs and my records, but they are surprised by the energy. In the show I sing, I dance, I play several instruments, I tell jokes. That’s probably the reason I’ve been in the business so long.”
And although most people will know Vinton from such hit songs as “Blue Velvet,” “Mr. Lonely” and “My Melody of Love,” he also is a musician, a songwriter, a television performer, an actor and a music arranger.
“I got a voice,” Vinton said, “but I am also the composer of ‘My Melody of Love.’ But I also wrote all of the arrangements and background music for the show.
“We do a tribute to the Big Bands in the show,” he continued. “So when we pay tribute to Benny Goodman, I play the clarinet. Things like that are always a surprise to people. No one else can really do that.”
Vinton started his musical career with his own band in the 1960s and played in clubs around the Pittsburgh area, where he was born and raised. He graduated from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh with a degree in musical composition, and it was while at Duquesne that Vinton 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. After two big band albums and several singles failed, he recorded a song as a singer. 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, selling 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 what became his signature song, “My Melody Of Love,” which is partially sung in Polish. Vinton wrote and recorded “My Melody of Love” in the mid-1970s. The song hit No. 1 on the adult contemporary charts in 1974.
Vinton has sold more than 75 million albums during his career and also had a successful half-hour TV variety show, “The Bobby Vinton Show” (which aired from 1975 to 1978). He also appeared in two John Wayne movies: “Big Jake” and “The Train Robbers.”
As an entertainer, Vinton makes a point of being accessible to his fans, even going into the audience during a performance.
“When I had my No. 1 record ‘Roses Are Red’ I was performing at a rock ‘n’ roll show in New York City,” said Vinton about how the tradition started. “So I followed all these rock ‘n’ roll acts and the place was rockin’. The audience was restless and my performance did not go over so well.
So I went to my dressing room after the show, and we all had fan clubs at that time, so a girl from one of my fan clubs was there and she said, ‘Try walking into the audience.’ So the next show I went into the audience and it was like another form of entertainment. It worked. I’ve been doing it ever since.”