“Blue Velvet” is a popular song written in 1950 by Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris. The song was originally recorded and performed by Tony Bennett, who charted with it in 1951. It was remade four years later by the traditional R&B group the Clovers. Many other artists have recorded the song, most notably Bobby Vinton. The original recording by Bennett was a top twenty hit, while Vinton’s version soared to the number one position on the Billboard Hot 100.
While visiting friends in Richmond VA songwriter Bernie Wayne stayed at the Jefferson Hotel, and it was the sight of a woman at a party held at the Jefferson which inspired Wayne to write the lyric for “Blue Velvet”. When Wayne pitched “Blue Velvet” to Columbia Records head a&r man Mitch Miller he’d only played the opening line: “She wore blue velvet…”, when Miller interrupted saying: “How about [my giving the song to] Tony Bennett?” Wayne’s response: “Don’t you want to hear the rest of the song”, drew this advice from Miller: “Quit while you’re ahead!”