Any real fan of 1950s rock 'n' roll recognizes the brilliance of Gene Vincent, also noting how horribly underrated and overlooked he is. Capitol Records signed Vincent in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat Elvis Presley as the king of rock 'n' roll. Compared to Vincent, Presley was like Wonder Bread -- an easy sell across race and class boundaries. With his pock-marked face, greasy hair, lanky stance, and limping walk -- not to mention his haunting, trembling voice -- it's a wonder Vincent made it as far as he did. However, his strident Rockabilly songs with his backing band the Blue Caps have always stood out. Shaped by Cliff Gallup's remarkably brisk guitar work, a wobbly echoing bass, and snappy snare action, the Blue Caps' songs could send listeners into a frenzy just as easily as they could sedate them into a close slow dance. Vincent's music stands well on its own, without overused Presley comparisons. He still doesn't receive as much credit as he's due, but his impact has left an undeniable impression on rock 'n' roll.
Gene Vincent Concert Films
Legends in Concert
Gene Vincent And Eddie Cochran
Runtime: 1 hr 1 minVincent Eugene Craddock, known as Gene Vincent, was an American musician who pioneered the styles of rock and roll and rockabilly. His 1956 top ten hit with his Blue Caps, ""Be-Bop-A-Lula"", featured here, is considered a significant early example of rockabilly. He is a member of the Rock and Roll and Rockabilly Halls of Fame.
In 1956 he wrote ""Be-Bop-A-Lula"", No. 102 on Rolling Stone magazine's ""500 Greatest Rock and Roll Songs of All Time"" list. ""Be-Bop-A-Lula"" was not on Vincent's first album and was picked by Capitol producer Ken Nelson as the B side of his first single. By the time Capitol released the single, ""Be-Bop-A-Lula"" had already gained attention from the public and radio DJs. The song was picked up and played by other U.S. radio stations (obscuring the original ""A-side"" song), and became a hit and launched Vincent as a rock 'n' roll star.
Ray Edward 'Eddie' Cochran was an American rock and roll pioneer who, in his brief career, had a small but lasting influence on rock music through his guitar playing. Cochran's rockabilly songs, such as ""C'mon Everybody"", ""Somethin' Else"", and ""Summertime Blues"", captured teenage frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He experimented with multitrack recording and overdubbing even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums.
Cochran was born in Minnesota and moved with his family to California in the early 1950s. He was involved with music from an early age, playing in the school band and teaching himself to play blues guitar. His first success came when he performed the song ""Twenty Flight Rock"" in the movie The Girl Can't Help It, starring Jayne Mansfield. Soon afterward, Liberty Records signed him to a recording contract.
Cochran died aged 21 after a road accident in the town of Chippenham, Wiltshire, during his British tour in April 1960. Though his best-known songs were released during his lifetime, more of his songs were released posthumously. In 1987, Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His songs have been much covered by bands such as The Who, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Dick Dale & his Del-Tones, Blue Cheer, Led Zeppelin, Rush, Humble Pie, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Teenage Head, Tiger Army, UFO, The White Stripes, Stray Cats, and the Sex Pistols."
Classic Albums: Elvis Presley
Runtime: 50 min"It was like the world went from black & white to Technicolor," says Keith Richards of the emergence of Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, and this look at the King's first official album (the legendary Sun Sessions weren't issued in album form until well after the fact) backs up that claim. The one-hour program (plus 40 minutes of bonus interview material on the program) combines performance footage (the early TV shows are not to be missed), photos, and more to limn Presley's early days, when he combined country, blues, and R&B to forge a unique, galvanizing style. Sun producer Sam Phillips, author Peter Guralnick, Presley's musicians, and others are on hand to provide insight and background. But in the end, of course, it comes down to the music--and when you're talking about the likes of "Blue Suede Shoes," "Tutti Frutti," "Money Honey," and "Heartbreak Hotel" (a single that actually wasn't on the album), "classic" hardly begins to cover it.
Live At Rockpalast: Cologne 1981
Runtime: 1 hr 11 minWhen the Stray Cats entered the scene in the 80s, rockabilly was hot. Grease quiffs and tattoos were the outside badges; upright drums and bass the characteristic instruments. Includes two performances in Germany: one in 1981 in Cologne and one in 1983 at the Loreley that were recorded by WDR. These are genuine recordings that make the trio's sound still accessible today.
Brian Setzer's Rockabillity Riot! Osaka Rocka Live in Japan 2016
Runtime: 1 hr 33 minThree-time Grammy-award-winner BRIAN SETZER's new concert experience ROCKABILLY RIOT: OSAKA ROCKA! - LIVE IN JAPAN was filmed on February 18 at Namba Hatch in Osaka, Japan. Live and loud, the concert encompasses songs from SETZER's acclaimed 2014 studio album Rockabilly Riot! All Original a sizzling rockabilly album from start to finish featuring SETZER's trademark twang and fretboard fire. Also included are classic hits from his Stray Cats days, Brian Setzer Orchestra tunes and tracks from his solo albums. In front of the wildly enthusiastic audience, Brian Setzer and his band Noah Levy (Drums), Kevin McKendree (Piano and Guitar) and Mark Winchester (Bass) are firing on all cylinders.
Black and White Night
Runtime: 1 hr 5 minIn 1987, Roy Orbison crowned his critical rehabilitation with this concert in Los Angeles, where he runs through his greatest hits with the help of some famous friends. Those joining the Big O for such classics as 'Only the Lonely', 'Crying', 'It's Over' and 'Oh, Pretty Woman' include Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Soles, J.D. Souther, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits and Jennifer Warnes.
Keep on Rockin'
Runtime: 28 minLittle Richard was one of the first great wildmen of rock, with his sky-high pompadour, manic scream and frantically rockin' tunes like "Tutti Frutti" and "Keep A' Knockin'." Keep On Rockin' captures the self-proclaimed "quasar of rock" in fine and unfettered form in this 1969 date at a Toronto festiva
Story of Rock and Roll
Jerry Lee Lewis
Runtime: 52 minJerry Lee Lewis - Story of Rock and Roll is a biography of pioneering rock-and-roller Jerry Lee Lewis, with clips from his past concerts, television and movie appearances.