Artist News Obituaries

Bobby Vee dies

By | Published on Tuesday 25 October 2016

Bobby Vee

1960s popstar Bobby Vee has died, aged 73. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.

Born Robert Velline in Fargo, North Dakota in 1943, his career ascension began in 1959 when he was drafted into perform at a concert in Moorhead, Minnesota after Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper were all killed in a plane crash en route to the show.

Vee and his band, The Shadows, had only been together for around two weeks at that time, but their performance was a success, helping the frontman’s career get started. Bob Dylan was also briefly a member of the band, and was responsible for suggesting that Vee shorten his name from Velline.

Soon after that first show, Vee scored a local hit with his song ‘Suzie Baby’, going on to sign with Liberty Records, which later became part of EMI and is now owned by Warner Music. In 1961, he released what is possibly his best known song, ‘Take Good Care Of My Baby’, written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

He scored numerous other hits along the way – including ‘Rubber Ball’, ‘Run To Him’, and ‘The Night Has A Thousand Eyes’ – and continued to perform up until 2011, when he announced his retirement and played a farewell show after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He also recorded one final album, ‘The Adobe Sessions’, which was released in 2014.

Announcing his father’s death yesterday, Vee’s son Jeff Velline said that it was “the end of a long hard road”.