The Bobby Vinton Show

(ended 1978)


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The Bobby Vinton Show

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The Bobby Vinton Show was a syndicated 30 minute musical variety show hosted by singer Bobby Vinton that ran from September 1975 until September 1978 and produced 52 episodes. Though really it was 53 episodes because Bobby Vinton tried reprising the show again when he did a pilot for The Bobby Vinton Show in 1983 and the pilot aired as a special in syndication though no series came about.
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  • The Bobby Vinton Show was a television trendsetter because it was the first half hour show in the variety genre.

    The Bobby Vinton Show,which ran in over 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada between 1975 and 1978 was produced by Alan Blye and Chris Bearde of Sonny and Cher fame. Chuck Barris counted the show as his biggest success to date, and would become a household name himself with the 1976 launch of his next project, "The Gong Show". Alan Thicke was involved in the direction of the show, and these were all top level TV talent working on this one show at the same time. John Candy appears uncredited as a Polka dancer and accordian player. He "auditioned" some of his comedy material for Bobby Vinton and later found fame on SCTV, and of course with his movie career. The guests on the first season included Ruth Buzzi, Ted Knight, Clifton Davis, Don Rickles (a longtime close friend of Vinton's the two worked Vegas together) Ann Murray, Tanya Tucker, Arte Johnson and Loretta Swit. Regulars included Murray Langston, Freeman King and the band was led by Jimmy Dale. The show aired on many ABC affiliates although it was syndicated, and also on the CTV Canadian network. Bobby and company would produce as many as 4 shows with one audience, with Bobby doing a lot of his popular high energy nightclub act. The "Polish Prince" was red hot on the charts and on the TV that first season. There was a very definate ethnic flavor to the show. Blye and Bearde used animation in a very clever way as quick snippets with guest stars between segments. The Bobby Vinton Show was much copied, with the format and half hour length imitated by the likes of Andy Williams and the Muppets. The entire 3 year run is unavailable commercially, although a collector owns the original Alan Blye tapes of the first season. An excellent show by an excellent performer, cast and crew.moreless
  • This show represents the epitome of Variety show excellence!

    The Bobby Vinton Show acheived great ratings success and successful market penetration acrosss the Canadian and U.S. Television markets. The show was the highest achievement of Alan Blye and Chris Beard, who together were also responsible for "The Smothers Brothers", "Sonny and Cher",and the Elivis "68 Comeback Special". Vinton, a natural entertainer and host was the showcase and his unique talents and charm kept viewers coming back every week. The key to the success of the show was how fast paced the format was. This was the first half hour variety show, and that is historically important since others who followed were copying the Bobby Vinton Show's successful format. The show is a classic and a true outstanding gem of the variety format!moreless
  • The Bobby Vinton Show premiered during the Fall 1975 season and proved to be a big hit with audiences in the U.S. and Canada.

    Bobby Vinton Show

    In the fall of 1974 Bobby Vinton was riding high on a new wave of popularity thanks to his #1 hit million selling record \\\"My Melody of Love\\\". The hit for Vinton a veteran sixties crooner and bandleader had come seemingly out of nowhere, after a year (1973) of terrible career news. In 1972 Bobby Vinton had wrapped up a 10 year deal with Epic Records. He had sold somewhere between 30 million and 50 million record for Epic and his success had made the company. He had been Epic\\\'s premier artist and selling machine for the entire 10 years of his deal.

    As the contract was ending, Vinton scored two back to back top twenty hits \\\"Every Day of My Life\\\" and Sealed With A Kiss\\\". Despite this success Epic chose to drop Vinton from the label saying his record selling days were over. Without a record contract for the first time since 1960, Vinton was dropped as a headliner by the Vegas hotels and Johnnie Carson stopped booking him. Things looked bleak. Then Vinton\\\'s mother Dorothy, a vibrant bandleader\\\'s wife and never say die supporter of her only son\\\'s, made a fateful suggestion. \\\"Write a song for the Polish people and they will love you forever, Bobby!\\\" she told him. That song, \\\"My Melody of Love\\\", sung with partial Polish lyrics swept the nation in the fall of 1974 and was the #1 record in the nation in the winter of \\\'74-75.

    Vinton was approached by the team of Alan Blye and Chris Beard who had produced successful variety shows for Sonny Bono among others about a TV show. He was delighted, having always coveted his own television program.

    In September 1975 while he was selling out concerts across North America, the slick, fast paced \\\"Bobby Vinton Show\\\" premiered in major markets everywhere. The format was tight and geared to Vinton\\\'s newfound ethnic appeal. \\\"The Polish Prince\\\" came out to a huge reception by a studio audience after a snappy instrumental version of his new theme.

    He sang an up tempo current number, then stopped to bring out his special guest of the week. That guest was wildly swung onstage by \\\"The Polka Lady\\\" an ethnically dressed Polish dancer and witty repartee would follow. Then Bobby and guest would reprise the opening number and go to break. This was a hugely popular opener and some very big names were \\\"Polka-ed\\\" onstage during the first season.

    A supporting cast of regular comedians included Freeman King, Billy Van and Murray Langston and inoffensive ethnic humor was featured. Bobby\\\'s appeal was highlighted with a second musical number, a frequent duet with the musical guest and his own unique mixing with the audience. The show proved a ratings winner and was the first of its kind in the variety world as a half hour show. The short format kept the show fast paced and the end featuring guests with Bobby attempting to sing the Polish lyrics to \\\"My Melody of Love\\\" never failed to please.

    The first season spawned a best selling album on ABC Records featuring songs performed on the show. The material was studio produced, not live TV show recording.

    Season two was more successful in terms of markets sold, (more TV markets now carried the show) but a format change proved trickier to sell. Bobby\\\'s ethnic theme was gone in the 1976-77 season, replaced by a more upscale set and selection of comedy material. The Polka lady was gone and much of the energy of the first season was too. The guest list continued to dazzle, but the unique feel seemed to be missing. A great new three girl backup group \\\"The Peaches\\\" was added. By this time Bobby had signed new record setting money deals with the newer bigger Las Vegas Casinos and was also recording new product again. His more polished act was reflected on the show as well. \\\"The Polish Prince\\\" would now rather be called \\\"The Prince of Entertainment\\\" Bobby explained that Sinatra would always be King. Privately, he expressed dissatisfaction with the show\\\'s direction but came back for a third season.

    The Bobby Vinton Show

    Starring Bobby Vinton

    Executive Producers Alan Blye and Chris Beard

    Producer Alan Thicke

    Director: Mike Steele

    Musical Director: Jimmy Dale

    A Chuck Barris Production


    Ran US Nationwide and Canada 1975-1978

    The 1977-78 season had its highs and lows. A definite high was the addition of Foster Brooks as a regular. His \\\"drunk\\\" comedy was a hit with the viewing audience. The low point was a ridiculous association with Sid and Marty Kroftt of puppet fame. Their creation, a giant St. Bernard puppet was featured in a series of awful skits with Bobby that were painful to watch.

    The Peaches who has brighted the second season were gone, and missed. A new \\\"Bobby\\\'s Place\\\" segment had the host in a tacky den style set chatting with guests. It was not a good idea. By the end of season three Bobby Vinton had had enough of weekly television. He said in interviews that the show could have continued if it had kept the original format, but he had lost enthusiasm with the changes and felt it just wasn\\\'t his show anymore. Of course times change and what was great in the fall of 1975 may not have been so in 78.

    The truly amazing guest list of the show includes: Ethel Merman, Ted Knight, George Gobel, Don Rickles, Phyllis Diller, O.J. Simpson, The Spinners, Peaches and Herb, Donna Summer (in her 1st US national TV appearance), Petula Clark, Teresa Brewer, Dion, Laine Kazan, Foster Brooks, Anne Murray, John Byner.