Vee stepped into the spotlight after the "day the music died," when he and his band, the Shadows, were asked to fill in for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper, for a concert in Moorhead, Minn., after the three rock 'n' roll stars were killed in an airplane crash on Feb. 3, 1959.
Vee, only 15 at the time, already had a recording ("Suzie Baby" under his belt. He scored his first Top 10 single in 1960 with "Devil or Angel," which reached No. 6 on the Billboard chart.
The native of Fargo, N.D., went on to record nine more Top 10 songs including "Take Good Care of My Baby," a No. 1 tune in 1961. His other big hits were No. 2 "Run to Him" and No. 6 "Rubber Ball" in 1961, No. 3 "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" in 1962, and No. 3 "Come Back When You Grow Up" in 1967. In all, Vee had 38 songs in the Top 100.
One of the musicians who played in Vee's band for a brief time in the early years was Robert Allen Zimmerman, better known as Bob Dylan.
Vee, who is 71, announced on his website in 2012 that he is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. He and his wife, Karen, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on Dec. 28, 2014.
Vee was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2011, and the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in 2014.
No surprise but he's been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with other worthy artists of that era including Neil Sedaka, Bobby Rydell, Chubby Checker, Bobby Vinton, and Paul Anka.
Here are few Vee's hits to enjoy: