Wednesday, February 4, 2009


From paper route earnings Bobby bought a guitar. When twenty year old Billy joined with to other nineteen year olds, Dick Dunkirk and Bob Korum to form a combo, Bobby was left out. After much persistence, Bobby was allowed to join as the lead vocalist as he was the only one that knew the words to all the songs. On February 3rd, they had been practicing regularly for two weeks.

After the crash, which killed Buddy Holly, Bib Bopper, and Ritchie Valens, They called the Armory and asked if they could open the show. Asked if they had experience, without hesitation Sillman replied yes and got the job.

The boys had three hours to come up with an act. They knew six songs maybe. After he quick rehearsal, on the way to the armory, they stopped at J.C. Penney's and bought black peg pants with tight cuffs and sleeveless sweaters accented with angora ties. They didn't even have a name, but when asked said they were the Shadows.

Contrary to popular belief the Shadows did not open the show, and their act that night wasn't a tribute to Buddy Holly. They came on after two or three other acts and played a few instrumentals and vocals. When the evening ended, the band wasn't even paid. The next day the tour moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota with Jimmy Clanton and Frankie Avalon as fill ins. The Shadows were left in Fargo.

In the audience that night was Bing Bingtssen, who owned Fargo's drive-in. He also booked bands at high schools and offered the boys a Valentine Day's job. They drove south to Breckenridge in a 1951 Oldsmobile and were payed $60. Most likely, Janet, Tom's wife was in the audience.

In the next few months they decided to hire a pianist Bill knew from the local record store. He had recently toured with Conway Twitty. However there were two problems; He could only play in one key and he didn't have his own piano. After a few dates, he and the band parted. The piano player fell under the spell of folk music, picked up guitar, moved to New York and changed his professional name to Bob Dylan.

Four months and two dozen shows later, on June 1, 1959, with $500 they had earned, the Shadows went to Minneapolis for their first recording session. They rented the studio from nine in the morning to twelve noon. They cut four instrumentals and added Bobby's vocals to two of them before the money/time ran out. The records were credited to Bobby Vee and the Shadows. The A-side of the single was "Suzie Baby," which was a direct descendant of Holly's "Peggy Sue." Loma had local ties with the local record distributor and the record quickly began receiving air play in the upper Midwest becoming a best selling single in the area.

Suzie baby, where are you?

Have you left me for someone new?

Is your lovelight shinin' bright?

Will you love me or leave me tonight?

Suzie baby, don't you know That I love you

Vee's only listed number one hit: Take Good Care of My Baby

My tears are fallin' 'cause you've taken her away

And though it really hurts me so

There's something that I've gotta say

Take good care of my ba-a-a-by

Please don't ever make her blu-u-u-ue

Just tell her that you love her

Make sure you're thinking of her

In everything you say and do-o-o-o

Aww, take good care of my ba-a-a-by

Now don't you ever make her cry-y-y-y

Just let your love surround her

Paint a rainbow all around her

Don't let her see a cloudy sky

Once upon a time that little girl was mine

If I'd been true, I know she'd never be with you

So, take good care of my ba-a-a-by

Be just as kind as you can be-e-e-e

And if you should discover

That you don't really love her

Just send my baby back home to me

Well, take good care of my ba-a-a-by

Be just as kind as you can be-e-e-e

And if you should discover

That you don't really love her

Just send my baby back home to me

Aww, take good care of my ba-a-a-by

Well, take good care of my ba-a-a-by
And of course, there was Rubber Ball!
Bouncy, Bouncy!

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