Gene Vincent – Be Bop a Lula

“That beginning – ‘we-e-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l!’ – always made my hair stand on end.”
John Lennon

Can this rock and roll possibly be improved on? I don’t think so.  When Gene Vincent starts this song with “well” along with that echo all around…it’s magical. Since Friday, I’ve covered songs that helped shape the young Beatles. It wasn’t just the Beatles  but all of the bands that came out in the sixties had music like this as their backbone.

The Beatles played at least 14 of Gene Vincent’s songs in their sets before they made it. A song like Somewhere Over The Rainbow that the Beatles would never think of covering until Gene Vincent covered it and gave the song his ok.

They also got to know Vincent in Germany while playing in Hamburg.

This song was recorded by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps in 1956. The song was successful on three American singles charts as it peaked at #7 on the US Billboard pop music chart, #8 on the R&B chart, and also made the top ten on the C&W Charts, and #16 in the UK in 1956. In April 1957, the record company announced that over 2 million copies had been sold to date.

As far as the origin of the song…I reblogged a fellow blogger (Freefallin’) a couple of years ago with this song. Here is the story:  Donald Graves—a buddy Gene Vincent made in a Portsmouth, Virginia, Veteran’s Hospital. Vincent—born Vincent Eugene Craddock in 1935—had just reenlisted in the U.S. Navy in the spring of 1955 when he suffered a devastating leg injury in a motorcycle accident. That injury would land him in hospital for more than a year, where a fellow patient remembers Vincent and Graves tooling around the facility working out the song that would eventually become a classic. By the time Gene Vincent’s demo tape reached Capitol Records the following spring, however, Graves had been bought out of his share in “Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Sheriff Tex (Vincent’s business manager), reportedly for just $25.

John Lennon covered it on his 1975 Rock and Roll album. As much as I’m a fan of Lennon…nothing touches the original but he does a great job.

Be Bop A Lula

Well be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby
Be-bop-a-Lula I don’t mean maybe
Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby
Be-bop-a-Lula I don’t mean maybe
Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby doll
My baby doll, my baby doll

Well she’s the girl in the red blue jeans
She’s the queen of all the teens
She’s the one that I know
She’s the woman that loves me so

Say be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby
Be-bop-a-Lula I don’t mean maybe
Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby doll
My baby doll, my baby doll
Let’s rock!

Well now she’s the one that’s got that beat
She’s the woman with the flyin’ feet
She’s the one that walks around the store
She’s the one that gets more more more

Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby
Be-bop-a-Lula I don’t mean maybe
Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby doll
My baby doll, my baby doll
Let’s rock again, now!

Well be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby
Be-bop-a-Lula I don’t mean maybe
Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby
Be-bop-a-Lula I don’t mean maybe
Be-bop-a-Lula she’s my baby doll
My baby doll, my baby doll

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

15 thoughts on “Gene Vincent – Be Bop a Lula”

  1. You know how I feel on this one Max. That live clip shows (to me) the pain Gene was in with that leg.
    Those early Beatles covers (like Bad Boy etc) would have captured Lennon in a better vibe on the song. They were raw and good. Keep the fire burning Max.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I found one Hamburg version but they let the bouncer sing it lol. Thanks CB..
      BTW….Eddy Dixon is a mystery man but I got some stuff.

      Like

  2. Terrific song to highlight, Max, a true classic rock & roll gem! And, man, what a bloody cool sound!

    I’ve also always liked John Lennon’s cover of the tune. In fact, I dig that entire “Rock & Roll” album. John was a great rock & roll singer. If I could picjk only one track off that album, I think I’d go with the “Bring It On Home to Me/Send Me Some Lovin'” medley – currently listening to it lovin’ it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think all bands then were influenced a bit by Vincent. The Beatles, of course, it was right up their alley. He played the Big D Jamboree in Dallas back in the 50s and was huge in Texas, almost as popular as E and Carl Perkins. Like a lot of those guys, gone too soon.

    Like

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