“When I first started I never meant to make money. My only thought was to make a living singing, but all of a sudden I was getting $1500 a night. And if you take a 19-year-old boy and put him in those circumstances…it was a bad scene, it shouldn’t have happened on that first record. I didn’t know how to handle a hit: I was only a child, a boy.”
~Gene Vincent in 1969
Gene Vincent only had one really big hit, “Be-Bop-a-Lula,” which epitomized rockabilly at its prime in 1956 with its sharp guitar breaks, spare snare drums, fluttering echo, and Vincent’s breathless, sexy vocals. Yet his place as one of the great early rock & roll singers is secure, backed up by a wealth of fine smaller hits and non-hits that rate among the best rockabilly of all time.
~Richie Unterberger (allmusic.com)
Gene Vincent tribute:
Vincent Eugene Craddock
February 11, 1935
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
October 12, 1971 (aged 36)
Rockabilly, rock and roll
Vincent Eugene Craddock (February 11, 1935 – October 12, 1971), 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”, is considered a significant early example of rockabilly. He is a member of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
He was the first inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame upon its formation in 1997
The following year he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Vincent has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1749 N. Vine Street
In 2012, his band, the Blue Caps, would be retroactively inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by a special committee, alongside Vincent.