Local Music Tap: Bobby Vee Records Final Album After Alzheimer’s Diagnosis
Albums are more than just song collections by musicians, they’re memories recorded in time. These musical recordings are memories for history, cultures, fans, friends and families. Bobby Vee just completed his last collection of musical memories.
Vee, whose successful career began amid the Buddy Holly tragedy, is celebrating his 55th music anniversary with the new album. The project was spurred after Vee was diagnosed with early-stages Alzheimer’s in 2011.
At 15 years old, Vee and his band, The Shadows, filled in for Holly, who had just died in a plane crash outside Clear Lake, Iowa on Feb. 3, 1959. They performed at Holly’s next scheduled date in Fargo-Moorhead, Minn.
Since then, Vee’s career includes 38 Top 100 Hits, seven gold records and a number of ties to numerous famous musicians, including a friendship with Bob Dylan and bands like The Beatles covering his tunes.
Now, Vee will be releasing his new 18-song album of both original and covers (i.e. Carole King, Hank Willians, Fats Waller and more) on Feb. 3 on iTunes and later on CD Baby and select music stores.
The album, “The Adobe Sessions,” was recorded primarily in Tucson, Ariz. and served as a way for Vee and his family to “hunker down and make music and memories while still able.”
“Making the album was really like therapy for all of us,” said Vee, who was born Robert Velline in Fargo in 1943 and now resides outside St. Cloud, Minn. “If they feel a bit like campfire songs, done one more time, for us and for the ages, I think that’s what we were after. It’s our family’s time capsule record.”
Vee’s son, Tommy Vee, says the family is realistic about the album.
“We’re not looking to hit the charts again with these songs. But we think people will enjoy and appreciate this record. So much music is tied to the making and keeping of memories,” Tommy said. “This music really contains powerful memories for us and dad and our whole family. These are songs that we love to play and sing, but now they’re taking on even more meaning.”
Vee officially retired in 2011 at a farewell concert in his hometown of St. Joseph, Minn. Between 15,000 and 18,000 people attended.
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