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Blue Velvet

by

Bobby Vinton



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

After the success of his song "Blue on Blue" (#3 in mid-1963), Vinton decided to record an album of "Blue" songs ("Blue Moon," "Blue Hawaii," "Am I Blue," etc). As he was picking up sheet music in Nashville, Vinton received a gift from publisher Al Gallico: a copy of "Blue Velvet," which in 1951 was the last major hit for Tony Bennett. The song fit very well with Vinton's project, as every song on the album had "Blue" in the title.
This was considered a throwaway, recorded in only two takes. Vinton was not impressed with the recording, but Epic Records released it as a single in response to popular demand. His recording caught on and is considered the definitive version.
Written by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris, the song had also been recorded by The Clovers in 1955. Other artists to record the song include Sammy Davis, Jr., The Countdown Singers, Jackie Gleason, Brenda Lee, The Lettermen, Barry Manilow, The Moonglows, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 1986, a movie called Blue Velvet, directed by David Lynch, was released. This song had a prominent role - it was used in a gruesome scene where we discover a human ear that had been cut off someone's head. The song completely contradicted the mood of the scene, which apparently was the point. The movie brought the song to a new audience, although it was now associated with a severed ear.
Vinton's version stalled at #33 in the UK in 1963 - however, on reissue in 1990 it peaked at #2, and, by some amazing coincidence, at one point it occupied at chart slot adjacent to a near-namesake: Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet." (thanks, Dave - Cardiff, Wales)
A cover by Lana Del Rey soundtracked a commercial for clothing company H&M. Del Rey's version also featured on the re-release of her 2012 debut album, Born To Die.
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Comments (5):

On January 19th 1964, Bobby Vinton performed a medley of three of his #1 records; "Blue Velvet," "Roses Are Red (My Love)," and "There! I've Said It Again" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
He had one other #1, "Mr. Lonely", which peaked for one week later in 1964...
At the time of his appearance on 'Sullivan' he was in his 4th and final week at #1 with the "There!" record, the very next week the Beatles started their run of 14 consecutive weeks in the top spot with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (7 weeks), "She Loves You" (2 weeks), and "Can't Buy Me Love" (5 weeks).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Love Vinton's vocals on this hit. When he sings, "She wore blooooooooo vel--vet," it really sounds awesome. A top-notch MOR hit.
- Matthew, Toronto, ON
Tony Bennett's version peaked at #16 in 1951, while the Clovers reached #14 on the R&B chart. A group by the name The Statues peaked at #84 on the Pop chart in 1960...
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
I have an instrumental version of the song performed by Willis Jackson and Pat Martino from Jazz For When You're Alone.
- Melissa, Fairborn, OH
Actually, The song was used at the beginning of the film 'Blue Velvet,' where we see what seems to be a perfect little town, with all sorts of happy imagery to make you feel at ease. It eventually gets to a house where a man who is watering his lawn suddenly suffers a massive heart attack. As everything in the scene turns chaotic, the music goes away, and there's a scene of ants under the lawn fighting and clawing around, symbolizing the seemy underground of this seemingly perfect little town. If you don't get it, just watch the movie. It'll make sense then.
- Jacquie, Sparks, NV
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