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The. Phone has a special presentation of w e d u Tampa-St. Petersburg Sarasota. How many kids back in school got asked what did you do on your summer vacation and how many of them could answer. Went to the theatre and learned how to. Read. A man who's been in theatres and recording studios all his adult life and is still going strong is a man we figured you'd like to meet.
And what is it that draws so many of the world's greatest artists. To the Gulf Coast. This is a Gulf Coast. Journal. This w edu production is exclusively brought to you through a generous grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation of Venice envisioning a region known for in doubt philanthropy vital nonprofit community and the ability to address emerging issues. Dear Journal. Outside or inside there is excitement on the Gulf Coast these days. This is Venice a little theater and we'll tell you about the excitement here in
just a bit. But first a trivia quiz in the first decade of the rock n roll era. What male singer had more gold records than anyone else. Elvis Buddy Roy Chowdhury. Answer. Me years ago he was a teen idol. Today he still going strong still popular. In an industry filled with one hit wonders. BOBBY. An anomaly. Tonight. Tonight. Won't be this. Tonight. I asked smugly. His melodies are catchy lyrics simple and for Bobby Vinton that is a recipe that has lasted through even his own surprise. Sung in. The.
Sunlight. I can't believe there's good as they are. I mean today they really sound good to me. When I recorded these songs I had no idea that they would last for 40 years and that they would still sound good to me. You know what strikes me is he is watching you in performance. Your eyes are gleaming as though you were the first time you ever sang roses or the happiness. I'm still happy person even though you've sung a two hundred fifty thousand times in your life but when I see an audience and I see that look in their eyes that I'm giving them a song that they remember and I grew up to lose part of the life that it makes me feel good and I just I never get tired of my for this. So. Just magic some people on the floor and their hands and I hand. Although the stage might seem like home for Bobby. His real home is here on
the Gulf Coast. He fell in love with the area years ago when he came to Sarasota to perform at the van ways will. Call my wife and he says. You won't believe the weather down here I think it was January February and says I can smell that Gulf Breeze. It's warm down here the people are wonderful I says. I really love it down. Bobby was born in Canon's burg Pennsylvania. Son of a local bandleaders Dan Benton and mother Dorothy who paid him a quarter of an hour to practice his clarinet. I went to church every week. I was a Boy Scout was an altar boy and went to college I did my homework I mean I did everything that I thought you were supposed to do. We done big. Man sounds young Bobby was groomed to become a serious musician not a love song balladeer. I play the saxophone the trumpet the clarinet the piano. The
guitar. I want to do King University studied music majored in music. After college he landed a contract with Epic Records and was determined to become the young Blen Miller. But the record label had other ideas. Nobody wanted big bands anymore they wanted curly haired Teenage idols so her record company was dropping me and he says it's over with are you going to be 20 some years old and it's my my career is over with. As he sat in an office waiting to be fired he found a stack of reject records one song there caught his ear and gave him an idea that would change his life. I said Look at me as a singer. I says there's a song a throwaway To me it sounds like a number one record. Roses are red my love. Song. He recorded Roses are red and Mr Lonely a song he had written during a brief stint in the army. For.
Me. I recorded both of them back to back in about 15 minutes. I mean no Today Michael Jackson takes like six years to make an album or something like that. I sang a one time each song one time and that was it. As Roses are red climbed the charts to number one in one thousand sixty two. Bobby quickly shifted roles from band leader to teenage heartthrob. He is sweet good guy popularity remained constant throughout the 60s despite some bad guy competition. Radio stations can play what they want to play. So did everybody an opportunity. That's why in the 60s so many great artists came along with so many great records because the record spoke for itself. Today the videos kind of sell the music rather than the music. Then in 1074 he captivated an entirely new audience and he made a bit of
history but releasing a single song partially in Polish. I. Got. My mellow d of love that was a happening that was even a hit record. That was a happening for the Polish people ethnic pride. The idea for the song came from his mother Dorothy and my mother came to the show she says you're singing in every language. If you see all the other nationalities people like that you want to sing one of the own nationality. I says Ma There are no Polish songs out of people if I sing people are going to clap and sing along too she said Peace I think would be a piece I write about something that happens with you how you feel toward people. And that's what he did. So I wrote it at the request of my mother my melody a love Noir my mellow DVD of love. Number one million seller. The song opened doors to other areas of entertainment he was asked to host a TV variety show.
He starred in two John Wayne movies will do him all the same. You mean like talk enough for me to say. They were wrong. I don't find all the things you think I am not a fact turn and run you on. You're going to spend the rest your life getting up one more time in your knockdown. So you're going to start getting used to it. I never met a finer man a John Wayne. I have nothing but the biggest respect for him. In 1986 the so-called Polish Prince was once again on Vogue when David Lynch prominently featured his signature song in a disturbing film Blue Velvet the now it became the very hit movie and then I became very hip because a blues album. The single was resuscitated by a generation barely born when it came out the first time since they thought I was somebody new and somebody different which goes to show you that's a
hit record. It can stay around for a long time and be accepted by many generations. Bobby loves arranging and writes fresh arrangements for his old familiar hits to him that keeps him ever new. I'm going over better today than I did 20 years ago so I think in my case I stayed around so long that I've kind of come back into being different and and special. They grow to be such beauty. The road to the sun. One thing is different he is no longer Mr Lonely on stage with his three daughters oldest son Robbie and mother Dorothy proudly by his side. The closer they.
Are South. That's. Right. Yes that's the same mama used to bribe him to practice his plan out. There. I was such families are Square especially when you think of Bobby. He's got to be a square and not stay in guy and so for the SO. I'm delighted to see that there are still other America out there that likes wholesome. Family entertainment. That's not bad. And. There's a shot we still may make it this order tyrant mean anything to you. Well I've retired many times and every time I go to retire I'll go out and do a show and the people tell me it's the best show they seem. So I say how can I retire when there's still an audience out there that once my form of entertainment. You. Know. If I thought it was over with and I wasn't pleased anyone I would want to force myself on anyone. But like I say it's better today than it's ever been when I
was a bit it. Was a long way back in his 20s he was a young pop star now in his 60s he is maybe better than ever. Bobby even. You wringing his. Hands. Move. To. A and.
We thought that story might be a nice way to escape for a few minutes those dual inundations we have all been in during this quadrennial immersions in the lim pics and politics strange bedfellows those are both our competitions. But. In one competitors try to ennoble themselves in the other to slander and demean the opponent. In one we are mere spectators. In the other. We are the judges. One is basically amateur. The other is strictly a game for professionals. One requires stamina and talent. The other stamina and. Money. Winner In one may someday adorn a cereal box. Winner in the other may one day eat that cereal at 16 under Pennsylvania Avenue.
One of the competitions is almost over. And don't we all wish the other would. Well from politics to play acting. No comment. Lol. In an age when the word community has lost some of it you bluster. There's a summer camp on the Gulf Coast where that word take Shandor strange were former students become teachers and help nurture a new generation of green. One two three four five six seven day. Yeah I don't want to be very fair like this is. Not a. Crime. I want to tell people about. So you go on a summer program they're divided into age ranges and they rotate into acting singing dancing to theater. There's a group of kids that come and they're there to have fun on stage and then there's another group of students that.
We have a hundred seventy three kids every day and that's a lot of kids a lot of hours. But I enjoy it. I wouldn't trade it over. There. And cowing have evolved into these incredible young women that. Are ready to take on the world. Both of them attended the theatre fest summer camp when they were I think Linda was as young as 7 years old and I think Kelly came on board when she was eight and this was before my time. My mom thought it be a good place for me to go I can't just turn out and I didn't really know what I was getting into and so I showed up and I did everything and I really liked it so I kept on coming back for nine summers and then I started interning. But the teachers now and. There's nothing in my cousin Megan who's. My younger sister's
age did a player called Red Bull not so silk skin. It's a very long time ago and I watched the show and I was like oh my goodness I just fell in love and so then I want to take classes and so he told us about the theater fest. And so we did that and then I started taking the spring in the winter classes. Theater fest. Classes. What was. That. Thing. I teach practical class here which we try and show them a little bit about the lights and the sound and costume and stuff. Also we try and do some projects like the marionettes this year. Right. For you very. Carefully. Where they tell you she's really cool or she's really artistic and creative because. Like she find out new ways to do things you know like not because like it's kind of boring the old fashioned way sometimes. So she finds out like cool ways to do stuff and she always helps us nurse she always takes just one step with. Our supplies. There were sit ups was.
The first. Time. My guidance counselor. I was in a talent show and he said you know I can't missionary and I think you had fun there until you get handed me a brochure and I pull my pants about it and they showed me up for. Just half an. Hour. I am actually going to be a dancer. Probably either hip hop or. Jazz or ballet. The second set loved to act I act always at my house it's really cool. My mom always gets annoyed by it but I still like to act. Why do. I ask. I'm kind of sad over because this is my summer like.
That since I was 10 my summers theater followed all summer. I'm. Very proud of kids like you said a phenomenal job. And in three weeks but it's really hard to put anything together in three weeks. And so the kids just pulled together in that wonderful way.
Do something. Like. Let's stick with the arts. This is a collector's gallery in the town of Venice Florida. Now you might think there's no reason the little town of Venice should be considered one of the wildlife capitals of the world.
But in fact there are two reasons. And we'll tell you about them. But first meet some of the wildlife. Venice is home to a wildlife preserve like no other. Here. Bison graze. Wolves how. Well their polar bears reveal their tender sides. This special place is an ark publishing company called millpond press founders Bob and Katie Lewin had a vision to help preserve the environment with ink canvas and artists. Now Pine press has been one of the most important things in my life which I. Kind of surprises me since I had no idea it was going to exist when I started being an artist. What color you think you fall out of having worked with in every division of the company over her 17 years of service. Linda Shaner now leads the company.
It's nice. We work with the best artists in the world and there is honor as in their style of art. They're artists that are known throughout the world and they're not you know known and just now in Indiana and Florida they're known in England and Germany and and they're followed throughout the world and they're great human beings. Beyond being just great artist. Robert Bateman grew up exploring the lakes of Canada. His artwork reflects his fascination with animals especially those native Jewish homeland. I've always been an artist and a naturalist but that's nothing special because all little kids love art and they all love nature they all love the animals and wildlife but most normal human beings grow up around the age of 12 or 13 I guess. And I just have not yet reached that stage I haven't grown up yet I'm still doing the kid stuff the art in nature. When Bateman first signed up with millpond back in one thousand seventy eight the idea of limited edition prints that could match the quality of a original artwork
was just a dream. They worked hard to perfect the printing process by gaining the respect of world renowned artists millpond could make artwork more accessible and affordable to more people. For example this original Robert Bateman painting called the mating game would fetch forty thousand dollars a print would cost 100 or so. That's the good think about the prints that you get each. Many people and bring that message of conservation and chav beautiful to the animal world is a Belgian painter Karl Brander's has never met an animal he didn't love. Piercing eyes for so realistic you feel you could. Actually get. At his distinct attention to texture and detail that make you feel like you're standing right in front of the animal. I go there's just a painting of a stick you know you want to have everything in focus.
It's in the past. I would like to make it all vague and out the focus. Yes it's fun to do. Every object in the painting is important. Local artists are also with millpond John Syrie Leicester has a home studio and aspirate Tom Cross creates magical images of wizards and wonder on key she key in 1095 millpond added to its traditional wildlife line a dramatic new collection called Visions of Faith this bold new line promoted the glorious imagery of inspirational artists like Greg Olsen. That's such a personal image for people who have a belief in Christ that you can step on some delicate territory if your vision or image of him doesn't quite match up with someone else as it can kind of be disturbing and so Im very conscious of that and it's a
daunting task for me. Reg Olsen it's old Jerusalem the most popular piece of artwork millpond has ever published. In his constant care is a thoughtful and powerful image of the Son of The Creator admiring his creation. Gregg says he wants his art to remind people where to look for strength and comfort. M. Pons founders the loons sold the company and retired a few years ago but the feeling they created here remains that ownership I had would be uploading like a son would discount evil so generous he did everything for you and he wanted to spoil the artists. He just seemed to be a generous human being with just exactly the right instincts and I think he became kind of a father figure for all of us. So it was like we belong to the millpond family and there is generosity in other ways millpond pressure has long demonstrated its commitment to wildlife
conservation with proceeds from prints benefiting local national and international organizations on an annual basis. This effort began when Bob Lew and Robert Bateman collaborated to raise half a million dollars for the World Wildlife Fund back in 1985. I am told by countless people that my artwork and others have affected them in their hearts and and made them care more about nature. And this is a very touching thing to be told of course. It's because we don't have a hope of making the world a better place for our grandchildren if it isn't felt in the heart. Maybe Venice is a. Well-kept secret. But. Among wildlife lovers and artists who create captivating. Provoking images. It is a place where Creatures Great And Small live in picture perfect.
Peach. And so we close this month's volume of the Gulf Coast Journal thanking you and noting that by the time we open next month's volume it will be just about the peak of the turtle hatching season on the Gulf Coast. And so we will be celebrating sea turtles and in fact we can't wait. OK. OK. So let's. Say.
You're. Going to go down. You can order this or any other volume of a Gulf Coast journal with Jack Perkins on a high
Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins
Episode Number
Bobby Vinton, Venice Little Theater, Mill Pond Press
Producing Organization
Contributing Organization
WEDU (Tampa, Florida)
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The first segment looks at the career of singer Bobby Vinton, whose career singing pop music began in the 1960s. The second segment features the Venice Little Theatre and their summer camp programs. The third segment is about the art publishing company Mill Pond Press, whose work features landscape and wildlife of the Gulf Coast.
"Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins is an Emmy award-winning monthly magazine, which highlights the communities of Florida's west central coast. "
Asset type
Local Communities
Copyright 2004 Florida West Coast Public Broadasting, Inc.
Media type
Moving Image
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Executive Producer: Grove, Paul
Host: Perkins, Jack
Interviewee: Vinton, Bobby
Interviewee: Davisson, Sandy
Producer: Hiel, Jen
Producing Organization: WEDU
AAPB Contributor Holdings
WEDU Florida Public Media
Identifier: GCJ000108 (unknown)
Format: Digital Betacam
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:28:13
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Chicago: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 108; Bobby Vinton, Venice Little Theater, Mill Pond Press,” 2004-08-26, WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed September 19, 2020,
MLA: “Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 108; Bobby Vinton, Venice Little Theater, Mill Pond Press.” 2004-08-26. WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. September 19, 2020. <>.
APA: Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins; 108; Bobby Vinton, Venice Little Theater, Mill Pond Press. Boston, MA: WEDU, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from