MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — 1960’s singer Bobby Vee died at the age of 73 this morning after complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Born in Fargo, North Dakota, Vee was just 15 when he took the stage in nearby Moorhead, Minnesota. He and his band were filling in after the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper” who were supposed to play that night.
“When they were talking about going on with the show I thought there is no show the three acts are dead.” Bobby said in a 2009 interview with WCCO.
In just a matter of months, Bobby Vee was a household name and he went on to record 38 top 100 hits.
Robby and Jenny Vee remember their father who was talented, but modest.
“He wasn’t an ego kind of person, but he was one of the first to rise out of the Midwest, and out of Minnesota,” said Robby.
The brother and sister spoke today in a venue where Bobby Vee played his last song, which was the first song he ever recorded: “Suzie Baby.”
Before that last performance in 2015, Vee kept his fan base in the Midwest, playing at smaller venues. His career meant so much to him, but his family meant so much more.
“I think he had a pretty legendary relationship with my mom,” Jenny said. “He made that the forefront in his life and she was his rock.”
After being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011, Vee’s children continued to care for him as the disease took over.
“He presented himself with such grace and he was so strong and loving with his disease I think that’s what gave us strength to support him so well.”
Robby and Jenny volunteer to raise awareness for the deadly disease. If you would like to donate to their team in “The Walk to end Alzheimer’s” click here.