Extended Play CD
Gene Vincent was born in Norfolk, Virginia, home to one of the largest US Naval bases, in February 1935.
Like so many of the young men from the region, the teenage Vincent was destined for a career afloat.
That was until a horrific motorcycle accident whilst on shore leave in the summer of 1955.
He severely injured his left leg, which led to him being invalided out of the Navy.
In an attempt to while away the long hours of recuperation, both in and out of hospital, Gene turned to playing the guitar and singing and is a fine example of personal courage in the face of adversity.
Gene started hanging around the local C&W radio station WCMS eventually managing to get the occasional stand-in with the house band The Virginians.
Early 1956 and along with other young singers influenced by the rise of Elvis Presley, Gene started to change his style from Country to Rockabilly.
This was most evident when he sang a song he picked up from a fellow sailor; the song was of course Be-Bop-A-Lula.
Tex Davis, one of the local D.J.’s spotted Gene’s potential and sent a demo of the song to a contact at Capitol Records.
Capitol too could see potential and were keen to ask Gene And The Virginians, soon to be renamed The Blue Caps, to Nashville to record with producer Ken Nelson.
Be-Bop-A-Lula was recorded by Capitol in early May and released in early June.
It only took a few weeks catch on before rocketing up the HOT 100 charts eventually earning Gene the first of three gold records.
In the summer of 1956 this unusual rock ‘n’ roll single burst onto the British charts and soon made it’s mark as one of the classics of the era.
This excellent 31 track collection gathers the highlights of the many EPs that Gene released, and includes several true Rock 'n' Roll classics.