Blue Velvet

Album: Blue on Blue (1963)
Charted: 2 1
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Songfacts®:

  • 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." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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.

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 8th 1963, Bobby Vinton appeared as one of the acts* on the 'Biggest Show of Stars for 1963' tour at the Wichita Forum in Wichita, Kansas...
    At the time his "Blue Velvet" was in its first of two weeks at #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the three previous weeks it was at #1 and it stayed on the chart for 15 weeks...
    And on September 1st it also reached #1 {for 7 weeks} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    His next release, "There! I've Said It Again" would also peak at #1 on both the Hot Top 100 and the Adult chart...
    Stanley Robert 'Bobby' Vinton, Jr. will celebrate his 81st birthday this coming April 16th {2016}...
    * Some of other acts on the tour were Fabian, Brenda Lee, Duane Eddy, Freddy Cannon, Chubby Checker, & Bill Black's Combo.
  • Rotunda from Tulsa, OkI always loved Vinton's version of Blue Velvet (1963) & still do even though I don't hear it much on the oldies radio stations now. Back in '63, I still remember hearing a DJ say that the song had been recorded by several artists already, but he never said who. Now, thanks to Songfacts, I know the background of the song better. And thanks to Barry of Sauquoit, NY for all the great info. Barry, if you come back to this site & read my post, I was wondering about Tony Bennett too. The Songfacts comments add that Tony Bennett's version of Blue Velvet was his LAST major hit (in '51). Well, I seem to recall Tony had a huge monster hit in '62 or '63 with "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." I would like to know.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn 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).
  • Matthew from Toronto, OnLove Vinton's vocals on this hit. When he sings, "She wore blooooooooo vel--vet," it really sounds awesome. A top-notch MOR hit.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyTony 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...
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhI have an instrumental version of the song performed by Willis Jackson and Pat Martino from Jazz For When You're Alone.
  • Jacquie from Sparks, NvActually, 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.
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