Personalities | Gene Vincent | Fifties | Rock
Virginia-born Eugene Vincent Craddock, who wore a steel leg brace after a 1953 motorcycle crash and used it as a stage prop, fronted The Blue Caps: Cliff Gallup (lead guitar), Willie Williams (rhythm guitar), Jack Neal (double bass), and Dickie Harrell (drums). Gallup’s lead guitar work on Vincent’s early recordings has been admired by innumerable rock’n’roll players. Vincent’s classic is his 1956 debut hit, ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’, which he and the Blue Caps memorably performed in the 1956 rock’n’roll movie The Girl Can’t Help It. Surprisingly, Vincent released more hits in the UK than the US, and he suffered further injury in the 1960 car crash in Britain that killed Eddie Cochran. This led to alcohol problems, and a once-great rocker turned to country music in the last decade of his life.
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