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Gene Vincent

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

    Year: 2016

    Runtime: 1 hr 1 min

    Vincent 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."