b. Stanley Robert Vinton, 16 April 1935, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Born of Polish extraction, Vinton was one of the more enduring boy-next-door pop idols who sprang up in the early 60s. He began as a trumpeter before agreeing to front his high school band as featured vocalist. A tape of one such performance reached Epic Records, who signed him in 1960. Composed by Al Byron and Paul Evans, 'Roses Are Red (My Love)' was Vinton's first national smash but it was overtaken in Britain by Ronnie Carroll's Top 10 cover version. Despite a much-publicized arrival in London for his cameo in the teen-exploitation movie, Just For Fun, a second US number 1, 'Blue Velvet', was initially ignored in the UK, although another American smash, a revival of Vaughn Monroe's 'There! I've Said It Again', made number 34 in 1963.
Vinton continued playing in supper clubs until 1968, when a policy of revamping hits by old rivals put his arrangements of Jimmy Crawford's 'I Love How You Love Me', Bobby Vee's 'Take Good Care Of My Baby and the Teddy Bears' retitled 'To Know Her Is To Love Her' high up the Hot 100. This formula worked again in 1972 with Brian Hyland's 'Sealed With A Kiss', but it was 1974's 'My Melody Of Love', a new song co-written by Vinton himself, that gave him one more US chart-topper. He also hosted his own television series during the mid-70s.
Vinton's version of 'Blue Moon' was heard on the soundtrack of Jon Landis' An American Werewolf In London in 1981 but it was the use of 'Blue Velvet' in both the 1989 movie of the same name and a television commercial that brought about a huge 1991 windfall in Britain. Vinton became omnipresent until the song's fall from the charts and the failure of 'Roses Are Red', which was reissued as the follow-up. Nevertheless, the singer remained a popular draw on the cabaret circuit into the 21st century. A further windfall appeared in 2005 when Akon recorded his 1965 song 'Lonely' and had a smash hit.
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