Before becoming America’s infamous “Polish Prince,” Bobby Vinton, the teen idol got an early start in music when his parents encouraged their son to pursue his interest in music. By the age of sixteen years old, Bobby first put together his own band which consisted of members from the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Vinton was born and raised in Canonsburg, a community just a short distance from the city. While playing in different venues in the Pittsburgh area, Vinton used the money he raised to enroll himself into a Catholic university in Pittsburgh. While there, he took up music composition where he learned how to operate a wide variety of musical instruments. Whenever performing in the university’s band, which is the same as his father’s, the confusion of two Stanley Vinton names performing resulted in the younger of the Vinton’s adopting his middle name, Robert, as his first. This is where the official beginning of Bobby Vinton begins.
Bobby Vinton Discography
In 1958, at the age of twenty-three years old, Bobby Vinton started up his own record label company where he would record and produce his first commercial release of music. The two songs featured on the record were “Twilight Time” and “Hallelujah.” Neither song realized any chart success. In 1959, as Bobby Vinton and his Orchestra, he recorded with two other record labels, both out of Philadelphia. Through the label, Alpine is where Vinton would have his name and music start appearing on the US Billboard publications.
In 1960, Bobby Vinton signed with Epic Records. After appearing on the TV Talent Scouts show, hosted by Guy Lombardo, the roadmap for Vinton to become an American teen idol that swooned the female audience over shifted into high gear. In addition to his music career spanning an impressive run from 1959 until 2015, Vinton also appeared in a number of big and small screen productions as an actor. His role in the 1964 classic, “Surf Party,” is where his name would be clustered with the rest of the original teen heartthrobs such as Paul Anka, Bobby Sherman, and Warren Beatty.
In 2015, after contending with a serious medical condition, shingles, Bobby Vinton officially retired from touring and recording music. Bobby Vinton’s career has a total of thirty-eight studio albums, sixty-seven compilation albums, a live album, and two video albums. A total of eighty-eight single are also credited to Bobby Vinton with four of them having reached the very top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100.
Top 10 Bobby Vinton Songs
#10 – Coming Home Soldier
On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Coming Home Soldier” peaked at number eleven while on the US Cash Box at number eight. The single was released in 1966, which revolved around a soldier returning home after spending time overseas while performing his tour of duty. The song remained on the music charts for approximately three months and its timing was during the height of the Vietnam War, one which saw a divided American nation clashing their differences of opinion regarding its role in the overseas conflict.
#9 – My Heart Belongs to Only You
The song, “My Heart Belongs to Only You,” was first released twice in 1952 by two different artists, namely Bette McLaurin and June Christy. However, it was Bobby Vinton’s 1964 version that would give this song the best charting success overall as it reached number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening charts. On the US Cash Box chart, it peaked at number eight.
#8 – I Love How You Love Me
For The Paris Sisters, their 1961 version of the single, “I Love How You Love Me,” was a top ten hit for them. Bobby Vinton’s 1968 cover version was also a top ten hit for him as it reached number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100, number four on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening chart, and at number eight on the US Cash Box chart.
#7 – Please Love Me Forever
The song, “Please Love Me Forever,” was originally recorded and released by Tommy Edwards in 1958. In 1960, it was covered by Cally Jean and the Roommates before Bobby Vinton would release his version in 1967. On Canada’s RPM 100, the song topped its chart at number one. On a worldwide scale, the song was a hit for Vinton as it appeared as high as number four in the Philippines and number eight in Venezuela. On the US Billboard Hot 100, the song peaked at number six. On the US Cash Box chart, it peaked at number nine.
#6 – Blue on Blue
“Blue on Blue” was released in 1963 by Bobby Vinton and it reached number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and on the US Cash Box chart. The US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening chart peaked the song at number two. This song was also a major hit among the global nations as well. It even peaked at number one on Israel’s Kol Yisrael chart. The album, “Blue on Blue,” came about after an inspired Bobby Vinton recorded this song and realized it became a worldwide hit.
#5 – My Melody of Love
On the US Cash Box in 1974, “My Melody of Love” topped its chart as a single while on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening it placed second and on the US Billboard Hot 100 in third. The song is Vinton’s adaptation of Herman Mayer’s composition of “Herzen Haben Keine Fenster,” which is a German version of its folk music. In English, Herzen Haben Keine Fenster means hearts have no windows. During the 1975 to 1978 time frame when The Bobby Vinton Show was aired on Canadian television, My Melody of Love was the show’s opening theme.
#4 – Mr. Lonely
The single, “Mr. Lonely,” was originally recorded for the 1962 album, “Roses Are Red.” Despite Bobby Vinton already proving to be a successful chart-hitting star, Epic Records did not have enough confidence in him to trust his judgment. Mr. Lonely was written by Vinton while he was still within the United States Army. Instead of allowing Vinton to the song as a single, they handed it over to Epic’s hope of a superstar, Buddy Greco. Greco’s version did chart, but not very well. When Vinton was finally able to release Mr. Lonely as a single, it charted number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. It would be the fourth time Vinton would top that specific music chart. The song also charted on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening at number two and on the US Cash Box at number three. On a global scale, Vinton’s version of Mr. Lonely also earned high chart rankings, including reaching number two on New Zealand’s Official Music Chart.
#3 – There! I’ve Said It Again
1963 single, “There! I’ve Said It Again,” became the third occasion Bobby Vinton would realize a number one hit with the US Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number one on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening chart and the US Cash Box chart. Originally written, performed, and popularized in 1945 by Vaughn Monroe, this song was recorded and released twice by Vinton. The first, which was in 1963, is the single that was played on the radio stations. The second, which was in 1964, was recorded as a lengthier track for its own album.
#2 – Roses are Red (My Love)
Released as a non-album track, “Roses are Red (My Love)” was the song that would officially put Bobby Vinton’s name on the map of music charts, not just locally, but worldwide. Vinton admitted while with Epic Records, he found the song sitting with the label’s rejection pile and since took it upon himself to record it with his orchestral band as an R&B single. It became a worldwide hit when it was released in 1962. On the music charts, it peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100, US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening, US Cash Box, and among the nations of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and South Africa.
#1 – Blue Velvet
The most recognized song from Bobby Vinton’s discography is “Blue Velvet.” When it was released in 1963 by him, it topped the music charts of the US Billboard Hot 100, US Billboard Adult Contemporary/Easy Listening chart, and the US Cash Box. Vinton covered the originally written and composed song from 1950 song differently than Tony Bennett, who sang it in 1951. Like Vinton, Blue Velvet was also a number one hit for Tony Bennett.
Feature Photo: CBS Television, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons