Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night
Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night 137
July 22, 2017
Rebel Rouser by Duane Eddy
Rebel Rouser by Duane Eddy
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Be Bop a Lula by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps

Be Bop a Lula by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps

The selection for this week’s Flip Side Monday is “Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. The song was recorded in Nashville in 1956 and was first released as the B-Side to “Woman Love.”  That song was deemed too risqué, which caused radio stations in the U.S. as well as the BBC in the U.K. to ban it. Soooo, Capitol Records flipped the songs, which somehow rendered “Woman Love” O.K., and “Be-Bop-A-Lula” became a hit.  In 1956, it rose to #7 on the Billboard Pop Chart, #8 on the R&B Chart, and #10 on the C&W Best Seller chart.

There are different stories about the origin of the song, any or none of which might be true. The song is credited to Gene Vincent as well as to his manager  DJ Bill ”Sheriff Tex” Davis (disputed), and Donald Graves (disputed).  One story  is that Vincent wrote the music for the song during a six-month stay in the Portsmouth Naval Hospital, where he was recovering from a motorcycle accident. He played his guitar and came up with the tune inspired by the newspaper cartoon strip “Little Lulu.” The melody and chorus are inspired by The Drifters’ “Money Honey,” which was #1 on the R&B Charts in late 1953. Another story is that Graves wrote the lyrics, and Davis bought him  out for a few dollars. Whatever it was, Capitol Records signed Vincent, as they were searching for someone like Elvis Presley. Vincent, who was born 34 days after Elvis, had the rebel image they were looking for.

Gene Vincent was born Vincent Eugene Craddock in Norfolk, Virginia. He was a singer and guitarist and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for his work in both genres. After time in the U.S. Navy, Vincent formed with a band in Norfolk called the Blue Caps. (This was a term used for enlisted sailors in the Navy. The caps were also similar to the hat President Eisenhower wore to play golf.) The group included Vincent, Willie Williams, Jack Neal, Dickie Harrell, and Cliff Gallup.

Here are the lyrics to“Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Gene Vincent and His  Blue Caps:

“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 gal in the red blue jeans.
She’s the queen of all the teens.
She’s the one that I know
She’s the one 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 one with the flyin’ feet.
She’s the one that walks around the store.
She’s the one that gets more 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.”

Steve Allen, who introduced rock and roll stars the likes of Elvis Presley Jerry Lee Lewis to the national audience on The Steve Allen Show, also poked fun at the genre. Here’s a video clip of Steve Allen reading the lyrics to “Be-Bop-A-Lula” in a mock serious tone as if they were great poetry.

If you are interested in purchasing and listening to more music by Gene Vincent (rockabilly and rock and roll golden oldies, please consider this: Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps – Greatest Hits

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Gene Vincent & His  Blue Caps.

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