Tuesday, June 29, 2010

(empo-caallii) California music? Bobby Vinton

When you think of Bobby Vinton, you think of the east coast, or perhaps a Milwaukee bingo casino. But this June 1983 newspaper article states that Vinton lived in California at the time. (Wikipedia says that Vinton now lives in Florida, but MySpace says that he still lives in California. Are you going to trust a bunch of crowd-sourcers, or the esteemed journalist Rupert Murdoch?)

Regardless, I'll call him a California musician, and I'll declare that Vinton released a concept album before the Beatles and the Moody Blues even thought about such a thing.

The Moody Blues, as you may know, released the album Days of Future Passed, an album in which each song progressed through the day. (The album's hit, "Nights in White Satin," was the closer.) And the Beatles, of course, released an entire album with the concept that it was created by another band - a band called Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Both albums are somewhat popular.

But way back in 1963, Vinton released a concept album. The album had two titles in its life - "Blue on Blue" and "Blue Velvet" - and that should give you a hint about the concept. The album consisted entirely of "blue" songs, some reflecting a blue emotional state, and some reflecting a musical style.

The songs:

"Blue on Blue" (Hal David, Burt Bacharach)
"Am I Blue" (Harry Akst, Grant Clark)
"Blue, Blue Day" (Don Gibson)
"Mr. Blue" (DeWayne Blackwell)
"Blue Velvet" (Bernie Wayne, Lee Morris)
"St. Louis Blues" (W.C. Handy)
"Blue Skies" (Irving Berlin)
"Blue Hawaii" (Leo Robin, Ralph Rainger)
"Blue Moon" (Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers)
"Little Miss Blue" (Bobby Vinton, Shirley Formosa)
"Blueberry Hill" (Al Lewis, Larry Stock, Vincent Rose)
"My Blue Heaven" (Walter Donaldson, George Whiting)

The album was released too early to include the Beatles' "Blue Jay Way," ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky," New Order's "Blue Monday," Eiffel 65's "Blue (Da Ba Dee)," or anything by the Blues Brothers.

But it had "Blue on Blue," and that's good enough for me.
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