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GENE VINCENT 1935.1955
5th January 1959 : The movie ‘Fury Unleashed’ (also known as Hot Rod Gang) is released in the UK, while Gene performs at the Prom Ballroom of St Paul (Minnesota) with the Big Beat.
January 1959 : release of "Over The Rainbow" / "Who's Pushing Your Swing" (Capitol F 4153 US)
Gene, Darlene (his wife) (pregnant) and her parents
30th January 1959 : back in Portland, Oregon, performance at the Corral Ballroom with Clayton Watson & His Silhouettes.
13th February 1959 : Gene is in Portland again .
27th February 1959 : concert at the Corral Ballroom of Portland, opening show with Bobby Darin.
13th march 1959 : Gene is the star of the Rock ‘n’ roll Dance Show at the Corral Ballroom in Portland.
27th april 1959 : Birth of Gene’s first child, in Anchorage (Alaska), her name is Melody Jean Vincent.
Gene, Darlene, Debbie… and Melody
Anchorage, Alaska :
9th May 1959 : demo reels are recorded in Dallas for the Ed McLemore agency: “Lotta Lovin’” “In My Dreams”, “Nervous”.
June 1959 : release of The Night Is so Lonely" / "Right Now" (Capitol F 4237 US), with a colored sleeve and of the album "Sounds Like Gene Vincent" (Capitol T 1207 US) : My Baby Don't Low" / "I Can't Believe You Want To Leave" / "I Might Have Know" / "In Love Again" "You Are The One For Me" / "Ready Teddy" / " I Got To Get To You Yet / "Vincent's Blues" / "Maybe" / "Now Is The Hour" / My Heart / "Maybelline".
June 1959 : at the end of the month, Gene starts a three weeks long tour in Japan, with Jerry Lee Merritt, accompanied by a Japanese band. Jerry Merritt does the opening for every show.
Gene & Jerry Merritt , Tokyo
More than 10 000 frantic fans greeted Gene and Jerry when they arrived at the airport, and similar scene could be seen in all the other filled theaters where they performed. Gene went back to the USA pretty soon, and Jerry replaced him for the three last shows.
Gene and Jerry with fans - Japan
After their trip to Japan, recording sessions were planned for August. 14 titles were recorded until the 6th August. Jerry Merritt was lead guitarist, Red Callender was jazz bass player, Jackie Kelso was one more time sax player, Jimmy Johnson played piano, and Sandy “let there be drums” Nelson was their drummer. The Eligibles did the background vocals. The album “Crazy times” was released, and turned out to be one of Gene’s most successful album, even if Johnny Meeks and his great guitar cannot be heard on it.
Rockabilly singer Whitey Pullen was Gene’s manager back then, and he wrote with Jerry Merrit “She, She little Sheila”...which gained a certain success in the UK two years later. Pullen also wrote “Everybody’s Go A Date But Me”, and Gene contributed to the writing of the ironic song “Darlene”, the lyrics making reference to his wife. He also took part in the creation of “Pretty Pearly”, and in the adaptation of an old flok song, “Green Back Dollar”. Some other songs were also recorded in August, including Bing Crosby’s “Accentuate The Positive”, and Fred Rose’s “Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain”, as well as a certain number of rock songs with sax and guitars such as “Why Don’t You People Learn To Drive?”, “Hot Dollar”, “Big Fat Saturday Night”, and the song inspired by the Japan tour, “Mitchiko From Tokyo”.
July 1959 : Gene Vincent performs in Hawaii for two weeks.
25th July 1959 : "Town Hall Party"
Over The Rainbow
Rocky Road Blues
High School Confidential
3rd/6th August 1959 : recording sessions with Jerry Merritt (guitar), Sandy Nelson (drums), Jackie Kelso (sax), Red Callender, Clayton Watson and Jimmy Johnson & The Eligibles.
Gene & The Eligibles
August 1959 : touring with Jerry Merritt starts again
7th November 1959 : "Town Hall Party"
Over The Rainbow
She She Little Sheila
Roll Over Beethoven
November 1959 : Gene performs in Kansas.
Gene Vincent Kansas 1959
November 1959 : release of "Wild Cat" / " Right Here On Earth" (Capitol F 4313 US)
5th December 1959 : on this Saturday, Gene Vincent arrives in the UK to promote his tour planned in Jabuary 1960, organized by Jack Good, in which he would star himself, along with Marty Wilde, Little Tony and the Vernon Girls. He is accompanied by Joe Brown and his band, the Firing Squad.
Jack Good & Gene
Gene and the Vernon Girls
Marty Wilde, Joyce Baker, Gene, Joe Brown & Little tony
Gene made an important move in deciding to tour in the UK, and appear on British TV. It will save his career and bring him new possibilities with enthusiastic european crowds. Gene arrived in the UK on the 6th of december 1959 and was made a hearty welcome.
Gene arrives at the Heathrow airport. He starts a new career in Europe where his fans grow more and more numerous
After his great success in the USA, American teenagers have forgotten Gene for crooners. The european audience will put him on a pedestral and consider him as the real king of Rock ‘n’ Roll, despite medias which gave this title to other singers.
nterview in London on the 5th december 1959
By Rayd Orchard, DJ for radio-Luxembourg
Marty Wilde, x, Gene & Jack Good
6th december 1959 : on this Sunday, rehearsalsfor the Marty Wilde Show began, with Terry Dene, Vince Eager, Dickie Pride and Johnny Gentle. The show would be held at the Granada Theatre of Tooting, set in the suburbs of London.
Tooting - Granada Theatre
On the 6th december, Gene is asked by be the guest star of the Marty Wilder show, at the Granada theatre of Tooting. It is his first appearance on a show without his famous band, the “Blue Caps”, which had greatly contributed in making him of the big american rock star.
The british fans are now ready to discover a live perfomane of Gene after following with enthusiasm his career in the US.
It is a huge surprise : Gene Vincent’s live performance is very difference from the image shown in movies. The Granada Theatre is crowded.
Here comes Gene Wearing a black trouser, and a red and black sweater. The audience applause him while he grasps the microphone, swings his leg over it, and starts “Be-Bop-A-Lula”.
10th december 1959 : concert in Manchester. On the same day, rehearsals are held for the BBC TV show Boy Meets Girls, which should be broadcast on the 12th, 19th and 26th december. Gene meets for the first time Cliff Richard and the Drifters (which would later become the Shadows).
Boy Meets Girls
Gene Vincent & Joe Brown
He appears on stage wearing his famous black leather suit.
15th december 1959 : on this Tuesday evening, Gene Vincent sings for the first time in France, at the Olympia of Paris for a « Musicorama » accompanied by the Grand Orchestre de l’Olympia, broadcast on the Saturday on the radio station Europe n°1.
Gene in his dressing room :
Gene in his dressing room at the Olympia during his first concert in France
Olympia 1959 France
Gene Vincent & The Shadows
December 1959 : Gene tours the american bases in Germany. The first step is Frankfurt.
Wilde, Tony & Gene 1959
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