Gene Vincent Introduces Be Bop A Lula

Another one of the early Rock and Roll Stars was a guy named, GENE VINCENT, (born Vincent Eugene Craddock) and his band was called, THE BLUE CAPS.

He was in the Navy and planned to make it a career. While on Shore Leave in 1955 he bought a Triumph Motorcycle with saved money, and rode around Norfolk as a cool dude. Then, he had an accident and crushed his left leg, cutting short his Naval plans. At the Navy Hospital in Portsmouth, the Docs told him they were going to take off his leg, but he refused and instead had it encased in a steel sheath that he kind of dragged when walking. As awful as that was, it enhanced his image as a Bad Boy, and became his trade mark.

Gene formed a band and cut a hit in 1956, BE BOP A LULA, that went Top 5 and sold over two million records, making him a Star. Then in 1960 on Tour in the U.K. he and Eddie Cochran were involved in a terrible accident in a Taxi; Gene's buddy Eddie was dead, and he was broken up pretty bad, but able to recover and return to the U.S.

Over the years Gene Vincent had several more significant records, including BLUE JEAN BOP, but never was able to equal the success of Be Bop A Lula. He and the Blue Caps were featured in the Jane Mansfield Movie, "The Girl Can't Help It," from which this color clip came, doing his biggest hit. Gene Vincent died from a Ruptured Ulcer in 1971 at age 36. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1997, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next year. @therealdonrocks

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