Session musicians kind of respected me because what I was talking about made sense. That all came from an education. Believe me, education does you more good. Maybe that's the reason I've been around so long.
Sammy Davis, I backed him up. I used to study him every night. I saw how great performers worked and was able to incorporate a little bit from the best.
I would sell 2 million records, a million went to teenagers and a million went to the adults. So, when The Beatles became so popular, I lost a million to the teenagers, but I was still selling a million to the adults.
I was able to stay on because in those days I was selling songs like 'Blue Velvet' and 'There I Said It Again'. But they were kind of adult hits.
I saw an Elvis Presley movie Jailhouse Rock, where he gets out of jail and makes his own records and takes them to the radio stations himself. And then, he puts records in the store. After seeing that, I made records an put them in stores.
I had been on tour with people like Roy Orbison. I knew Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke. So many great performers.
Hey, we've all been to high school We've seen the in-crowds. Most of us have been in the outer crowds, the people who weren't in. Although I was never in, I was selling records and was very happy.
As far as critics, I'm not a hip guy. I was never on drugs. Nobody ever felt sorry for me 'cause I went straight or found God. I always had God. I've always like, played by the rules.
All my songs were solo voices. Just me singing. In fact, that was the gimmick - no gimmick. Just singing straight with not too much background.
When I owned the theater, I had the Glen Miller Orchestra. I had 20 girls singing and dancing. I had a cast of characters. It was a big group production, as well as ushers, ticket takers.
Nobody really thought I was going to make it, because I was a musician. I really wasn't a singer.
Today, you're either very big or you're playing stadiums or you're not playing anymore. You're either popular where everybody will go to a 20,000 seat arena to see you or they won't go to see you at all.
It's just different today. Nobody seems to last too long these days. I wouldn't know how to get started today.
In my show today I sing the song a little bit in everybody's language, because talking about the hits, I'm traveling around the world.
I must tell you, to get started today must be very difficult 'cause whatever it takes today is very tough. They have to invest a million dollars in a video just to see if you have a hit record.
Everything they say about Elvis today is true. He was just one great guy. He wasn't jealous of anyone. I would say Elvis was really someone special when you add it all up.
All around as a person, on right decisions, on holding your money, on doing your trade, a good education is a must. I don't think I would've done as good without an education.
I was smart, to tell you the truth. I'm not really bright, but I'm not stupid.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are stupid. They take drugs. They get drunk and do all the wrong things in life. I just played it straight.
I wrote that song 'Melody Of Love', the one with the Polish lyrics, because over the years I had gone to Italy, Germany, South America.
I did have a big following in the upper New York area. I was at the New York State Fair a few times over the years. I have areas that I say are my areas.
They said hey look, The Beatles deserve to be number one, not Bobby Vinton. We're gonna cut your tires. Change that listing. They were dedicated at the time.
I was a schooled musician. When I made 'Blue Velvet', I told everyone what to do. I was an arranger. I learned music in school I told the band to play this. I told the guitar to do that.
I played Big Band jazz music. I wasn't into rock and roll. I was just there because it was a living. I surprised everyone. I'm still surprising people.
To me, there is nothing better than me going into the studio with a live band and hearing those violins and that echo and that sound. I mean I loved it.