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.
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.
The whole format of entertainment that I did seems to be fading away. The music business of today is completely different when you see the videos and the music.
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.
I had a big troupe, a big army and it was a lot of fun. And, after 10 years of that, I just decided that I wanted to travel and do special dates. I go to Las Vegas these days.
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.
Times were changing. Clothes were changing. Morals were changing. We went from romantic loves songs like I used to do to rock 'n roll. Now that has changed to rap. So, there's always a new generation with new music.
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.
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.
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.
Most of those takes were one take. I made those records in three minutes. I didn't have time to get nervous or scared the first time I sang it. It was all 'live' and I enjoyed it so much.
I remember Mick Jagger asking me 'hey, how do you guys feel about us coming over here and taking all the play from you guys?' I said 'Well, in a way, you have eliminated all my competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.