1961 Bobby Vee – Stayin’ In
Bobby Vee was born in Fargo, North Dakota, and was almost 16 when Buddy Holly was killed in a plane crash. Bobby and several other friends in Fargo filled in for Buddy’s band at the next scheduled stop on their tour in Moorhead, Minnesota. The performance led to Liberty Records signing Bobby to a recording contract.
Bobby wrote his first single, Suzie Baby, crediting Buddy as an inspiration for the music. The record peaked at only #77 on the Hot 100 in 1959. Bobby’s backup band called itself The Shadows until complaints arrived from a group with that name in England, after which they became The Strangers. One of the members of that band that toured with Bobby was Elston Gunn, who later began using a different name for his solo career: Bob Dylan.
Bobby left the Strangers behind in 1960 and became a solo act. He had two top ten singles that year, Devil Or Angel and Rubber Ball.
In 1961, Bobby’s first single was Stayin’ In. The record barely reached the top forty on the Hot 100, peaking at #33. I didn’t remember hearing the song until I bought his first greatest hits album in 1962.
The b-side of the single also charted, making the record a double-sided hit. Two of the Crickets, Sonny Curtis and Jerry Allison, wrote the song. The Crickets recorded and released the song as the b-side of a single in 1960 a few months after Buddy’s death. It did not chart in the US, but peaked at #26 in the UK.
Bobby’s version only reached #61 on the Hot 100.
Perhaps the two sides of the record competing for airplay prevented either side from becoming a big hit. Bobby didn’t get hurt too badly by the poor showing since later that year he topped the charts with Take Good Care Of My Baby.
Leo Sayer had the biggest hit with More Than I Can Say when his version reached #2 on the Hot 100 in 1980.
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