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'Remembering Bobby Vee' to be staged Jan. 25

The Killer Vees perform.

The life and music of Bobby Vee will be onstage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Tornstrom Auditorium in Brainerd when "Remembering Bobby Vee" hits the stage as part of the Central Lakes College Community Performing Arts Center's season.

"The band performing this show, the Killer Vees, is made up of Bobby Vee's sons, nephews and grandchildren," presenter Patrick Spradlin said in a news release.

The Killer Vees features Jeff, Tommy, Matt and Bennett Vee. They put this show together as a way to say goodbye to their father, uncle, grandfather, mentor and bandleader Bobby Vee. Complete with Bobby's touring string section, the show also features cast members from the hit musical "Teen Idol: The Bobby Vee Story" helping out on background vocals.

"This is not a show we ever wanted to do," Tommy Vee said in the news release. "We only planned on doing this in a handful of venues, but the show has become really popular. My dad loved his Midwest roots. This is where it all started for him and the fans meant the world to him so this feels important to us. I know it would make Dad smile."

The show will feature video and stories from Bobby's career along with all the hits. Bobby's nephew, Matt Vee (son of founding Shadows member Bill Velline), will cover the lead vocals.

Vee's career began in the midst of tragedy. On Feb. 3, 1959, three of the four headline acts in the lineup of the traveling Winter Dance Party - Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper - were killed in a plane crash, en route to the next show on the tour itinerary in Moorhead.

Velline, then 15, and a hastily assembled band of Fargo schoolboys (including his older brother, Bill) calling themselves the Shadows volunteered for and were given the unenviable job of filling in for Holly and his band at the Moorhead engagement.

"My dad always remembered that night as kind of surreal," said Tommy. "He said it was kind of like a rock and roll wake. ... Everybody was in shock."

Their performance there was a success, and began an international career that spanned 52 years and saw Bobby tour the world and land 38 songs in the Hot 100. Billboard Magazine described Vee as "one of the top 10 most consistent chart-makers of all time."

Bobby Vee is known for smash hits including "Take Good Care of My Baby," "Devil or Angel," "Rubber Ball," "Run to Him" and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes."

Bobby Vee passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Oct. 24, 2016.

The Killer Vees are made up of Jeff Vee on drums, Tommy Vee on bass and vocals, Matt Vee on vocals and guitar, Bennett Vee on guitar, George Maurer on keyboards, and Julie Velline on vocals. Emily Scinto and Lynnea Doublette, cast members from "Teen Idol-The Bobby Vee Story," appear as special guests. And Bobby Vee's touring string section will be part of the show: John Johnson, Rhonda Johnson, Derek Johnson and Stephanie Swearingen.

Tickets for "Remembering Bobby Vee" are available from the CLC Theatre Box Office at 218-855-8199 or online at www.clcperformingarts.com.

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