Roses Are Red (My Love)

Album: Roses Are Red (1962)
Charted: 15 1
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  • Paul Evans, who had novelty hits as a singer with "Seven Little Girls" and "Happy-Go-Lucky Me," wrote the music for this song. He told us: "Sometimes you write a song, and you write it for months, until you say to yourself, 'I've got the world's first perfect song.' And nobody likes it. I was at a recording session doing some of my own material, doing some demonstration records for some new songs, and Al Byron, the lyricist in this case, came into the session and said he'd like to show me a lyric. So as a total joke, I said to the musicians, 'Okay, guys, take a 5, I'm going to write a hit song now, ha ha ha ha ha.' And Al handed me the lyric and I put it on the piano, and it was the lyric as you hear it on the Bobby Vinton record, word for word. I started to write the melody, I wrote it in 3 minutes, I wrote the melody just as you hear it, I turned around laughing, I thought this was funny to write a song in 3 minutes. Al looked at me and said, 'That's very good. It's exactly what I had in mind.' I tried for weeks after that to make changes, because I didn't believe it. I mean, you can't write a hit song in 3 minutes, but that's what happened: my biggest song - 3 minutes. The music business is a strange business, because nobody knows. I think the people who do the best just have a feel for the music. Donnie Kirshner was a guy, no musical sound, I don't think he was a talented music guy at all, but he knew a hit record when he heard it, and he treated his writers terrifically. He was always there for them." (Check out our interview with Paul Evans.)
  • Vinton was signed by CBS (Epic) Records in 1960 as a bandleader. Two years and two failed LPs later, he was called to a meeting with label executives who wanted to drop him from Epic Records. In the meeting, Vinton pointed out that his contract called for him to record and release two more songs. The executives quickly exited the meeting room to confer with the label's lawyers - who were attending - and consider the situation. While everybody but the bandleader was out of the room, Vinton listened to rejected demo records and found a recording that stopped him cold: "Roses Are Red (My Love)." After the executives returned to the meeting, Vinton persuaded them to allow him to sing on the next, and in their eyes final, single - the song that he found literally on the trash heap.
  • Vinton also recorded "Mr. Lonely," a song he co-wrote, in the same session. "Mr. Lonely" was mothballed by Epic Records for 2 years until Vinton engineered its release - then it went to #1 at the height of Beatlemania.
  • When he first recorded this, Vinton didn't like the results because it was the wrong tempo, so he tried again. The second version was released and hit #1 in the US - successful enough to earn him a new recording contract, this time as a solo recording act.
  • This was used in the movie Goodfellas in a scene where Ray Liotta's character brings a date to see Vinton perform, and Vinton sends them a bottle of wine - out of respect. Vinton's son Robbie portrayed the singer.

Comments: 8

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 21st 1962, Bobby Vinton performed "Rose Are Red (My Love)" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #16 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; a little of two weeks later on July 8th it would peak at #1 for four weeks...
    {See the second post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 16th 1974, Bobby Vinton performed "My Melody of Love" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time it was in its first of two weeks at #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, it was also its peak position on the chart...
    It was the last of his nine Top 10 records; his first was "Roses Are Red (My Love)", which peaked at #1 for four weeks...
    He just missed having a tenth Top 10 record when "Coming Home Soldier" peaked at #11 in 1967.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 3rd 1962, "Roses Are Red (My Love)" by Bobby Vinton entered Billboard's Top Hop 100 chart at position #68; and on July 8th it peaked at #1 (for 4 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100 (and for 10 of those 15 weeks it was on the Top 10)...
    Was ranked at #4 on Billboard's Year-End Hot Singles chart of 1962...
    Between 1962 and 1980 he had forty-four records make the Top 100 chart; nine made the Top 10 with four reaching #1, the three others were "Blue Velvet" (for 3 weeks in 1963), "There! I've Said It Again" (for 4 weeks in 1964), and "Mr. Lonely" (for 1 week in 1964)...
    The 'You Know Who' group covered it in 1965; their version reached #43...
    In the U.K. in 1962 it was covered by Ronnie Carroll, it peaked at #3...
    Mr. Vinton, born Stanley Robert Vinton, Jr., celebrated his 79th birthday two months ago April 16th, 2014.
  • 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).
  • Raunchy from Tulsa, OkThis is one of my favorites from 1962. I even bought the LP. The song connected with a wide range of music fans back then, even if it was sentimental & sweet. It was smack-dab in the middle of the giant dance craze hits being so popular. There on the charts was the "Wah-Watusi," "Gravy (for my Mashed Potatoes)", and "Party Lights." Haaaa! But 1962 was like that, ya know. It was a year of a wide variety of music (surf, hot rod, dance crazes, ballads, instrumentals, and novelty hits like "Ahab The Arab!"). And Bobby hit big with this one and became a superstar in time. What an entertainer!
  • Marshall from Whittier, CaWonder who played that great rhythm guitar part? Sounds like an unamplified archback. Another great uncredited backup player?
  • Sara from New York, NyI own a restaurant where Al Byron the lyricist of "Roses Are Red" always comes in to eat. When he told me about this song I was honored to meet such a person. He is such a very nice man!! Always has a smile on his face.
  • Wayne from Fort Atkinson, WiWas also covered by country artist Jim Reeves.
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