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Bobby Vinton was a pop singer who generated 30 Top 40 songs in the 1960s and 1970s, and 24 of his albums made the Billboard Top 200.
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During service in the army Vinton continued playing trumpet in a military band. As soon as he was out of uniform he got together another band that was later selected to perform on a variety show for NBC. Dick Lawrence, a popular disc jockey in Pittsburgh, was impressed by Vinton's voice and made some demo tapes of the singer's work. Eventually, the tapes made their way to CBS Records, and Vinton was offered a contract with the company's Epic label in 1960. Vinton was managed in his early career by Allen Klein, who later took the helm for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Vinton had an uneventful start with Epic, recording two albums of band music that generated minimal interest. Seeing no future in the young performer, Epic was about to let him go when Vinton noticed that his contract allowed him to record two more songs. When he told Epic that he wanted to sing the songs, the company was skeptical at first, but finally gave him the okay.
Young fans made up the core of Vinton's audience, and they eagerly bought up his recordings of heartrending love ballads.
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They make music with instruments they were born with - their voices. Gifted vocalists have entertained audiences across musical genres from the tour de force arias of Luciano Pavarotti to the classic crooning of Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett to the soulful vocals of artists like Aretha Franklin and Mahalia Jackson. With their powerful lyricism, singers like Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen became poet laureates of American music while artists including Joan Baez and Joe Strummer used their voices to prompt social change while they entertained. Rockers from Elvis Presley to The Beatles to Kurt Cobain helped define their generations through their songs while icons like Michael Jackson, Cher and Whitney Houston shaped pop culture with their larger-than-life voices and personas. See these and more famous singers who have struck a chord in musical history.
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