Sixties Hitmaker Bobby Vee Dies
October 24, 2016 at 9:30 AM (PT)
BOBBY VEE, whose singing career included 10 Top 20 hits, died TODAY (10/24) after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease at 73. VEE, born ROBERT VELLINE in FARGO, ND, died in hospice care at a facility in ROGERS, MN.
VEE's career began in 1959 on "The Day The Music Died," when the 15-year-old singer was enlisted along with other teens to perform at a concert in MOORHEAD, MN held in place of the originally-scheduled concert to which BUDDY HOLLY, RITCHIE VALENS, and THE BIG BOPPER were headed when their plane crashed in CLEAR LAKE, IA. VEE recorded his first single for MINNEAPOLIS-based SOMA RECORDS that same year, and it drew the attention of LIBERTY RECORDS, which bought the rights and signed VEE to a contract.
In 1960, "Devil or Angel" reached number 6 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100, as did "Rubber Ball." But VEE's biggest hit came the next year, when "Take Good Care Of My Baby" went all the way to number one, followed by "Run To Him" reaching number 2. Several hits followed, but after a chart lull in the face of the British Invasion, VEE returned to the Top 10 with "Come Back When You Grow Up," which hit number 3 in 1967. VEE appeared in four movies, and a young BOB DYLAN briefly toured with DEE in the early years as well.
VEE was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2011 and retired in 2012.