1961 10th/11th January 1961 : recording sessions at the Capitol studios in Hollywood, with the Jimmy Haskell Orches GENE VINCENT – IT’S BEEN NICE Extracts : Capitol Tower, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California Tuesday January 10, 1961 Producer Karl Engermann The Jimmie Haskell Orchestra Scotty Turner (lead guitar) Unknown : guitar, bass, piano, drums Written by Doc Pomus & Mort Schuman for Marty Wilde who recorded the original (Philips PB 972 – 1959) If you cannot hear the extracts, download Quick Time FOR FREE 20th january 1961 : Gene is back in the UK for a tour organized by Don Arden. He is accompanied by Chris Wayne & The Echoes. The tour begins the 23rd at the Adelphi Theater of West Brown. He performs at Grimsley the 27th and at the Imperial of Nelson the 28th. 29th january 1961 : Gene has to go back to the USA because of a health problem. He stays in Niles, California. Niles, Californie January 1961 : release of "Jezebel" / "Accentuate The Positive" (Capitol 15179 US). 7th february 1961 : the UK tour is resumed at the Floral Hall of Southport, until Gene performs at the Granada Theatre of Kingston on the 27th. Jess Conrad & The Flee Rekkers and the Four Jays do the opening of the shows in the Granada theatres. February 1961 : release of a UK single "If You want My Lovin" / "Mister Loniless" (Capitol F 4525 UK). February 1961 : Gene is a guest for the radio show BBC Saturday Club. He comes back to the USA at the end of the month Interview BBC UK Saturday Brian Matthew, 18th february 1961 13th march 1961 : Gene is already back to the London airport, for an Irish tour. He performs at the Opera House of Belfast, with Johnny Kidd, Vince Taylor, Terry Dene, Screamin’ Lord Sutch and Keith Kelly. Gene & Vince Taylor 20th March 1961 : Gene goes back to the USA, waiting for the renewal of his visa for the UK. 28th march 1961 : he is back in the UK on this Friday. Gene come back in the UK at the beginning of the spring for a record made with the “Jimmy Haskell Orchestra”, at the Capitol tower in January 1961. The two songs “Mister Loneliness” and “ If You Want My Lovin’ were done on commercial purpose but they met success. Capitol decided to come back to Gene’s roots, and the label was once more in the UK Top 30 with “She she Little Sheila”. This song had been recorded in 1959 during the sessions for “Crazy Times” with Jerry Merritt. 15th april 1961 : the tour begins at the Adelphi of Slough. April 1961 : release of "She She Little Sheila" / "Hot Dollar" (Capitol 15202 US). 15th april 1961 : Gene starts a fifteen days long trip to South Africa and Rhodesia. 28th april 1961 : Gene goes back to the UK to perform at the Gaumont Theater of Bradford on the 30th. May 1961 : Gene hires a new band, the Sounds Incorporated, and with whom he stars on the 7th on the first instalment of the TV show “Thank You Lucky Stars” shot in Teddington, they performed “She She Little Sheila”. Gene, in London 1961 with the Sounds Incorporated Live performance of She She Little Sheila Gene, in London 1961 with the Sounds Incorporated Gene, Londres 1961 avec les Sounds Incorporated Live, She She Little Sheila : As his visa is effective again, Gene starts on the 2th a tour in South Africa with the English band Mickey Most and his Plays Boys
29th may 1961 : Gene is back in the UK.
5th June 1961 : during this new UK tour, Gene performs at the Gaumont Theater of Rochester and in Mansfieled on the 25th. Gaumont Theater of Rochester 14th June 1961 : the steel splint that sustained Gene’s leg breaks during the show at the Majestic in Newcastle. Then another incident during the show Rock Across The Channel makes him cancel his concert in Nelson. Rock Across The Channel 1961 Margie behind him According to some magazines, Rock Across The Channel took place on the 17th june 1962, no hint that Gene was here at this date can be found. But he is here in 1961, with Margareth Russell Griffith, who he would marry in 1963. Rock Across The Channel 1961
7th July 1961 : Gene joins the radio broadcast Spectacle du Mond for Radio Luxembourg. 9th July 1961 : concert at the Queen’s Theater of Blackpool. Queen's Theater of Blackpool On the 9th july, Gene performs in Blackpool, starting point for a new tour, then he heads towards Scotland for a two weeks long stay. Gene faints on the last day of the tour. Two days later, he appears in two galas in Romgford and Hydley but he does not get beter and must go back to the USA to be treated 27th July 1961 : recording sessions at the St Johns Wood Studios in London with the Sounds Incorporated and the Charles Blackwell Orchestra directed by Norrie Paramor. Four songs are recorded. GENE VINCENT – THERE I GO AGAIN Johns Wood EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, U.K. 1961 Producer : Norrie Paramor There I Go Again (Whoops, I’m Falling or Whoops, I’m Dreaming) Words & Music : John St. Jones Gillard Musicians : The Sounds Incorporated John St. John (lead gtr), Wes Hunter (bass gtr), Bobby Cameron – not confirmed -(celesta), Tony Newman (percussion) Johns Wood EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London, U.K. At the end of July, Gene went to the Abbey Road studios to record the great rocking song « I’m Going Home ». The band brought a solid sax background to Gene’s performance, which should have done better than 36th in the charts. This release was Gene’s last great success, at a time when his contract with Capitol came to an end. August 1961 : Gene cancels his concerts in the UK to go back to the USA for his leg to be healed. 18th october 1961 : last recording session at the Capitol Tower studios with producer Nick Venet. Accompanied by the Dave Burgess Band (formerly known as the Champs), Gene records “Lucky Star” and “Baby Don’t Believe Him”. His last recordings in Hollywood allowed Gene to release his last US single « Lucky Star », recorded with the « Dave, the Champs, Burhess Band ». Gene now went regularly to the UK and went again at the end of 1961 to tour and to star in a movie. October 1961 : at the end of the month, Gene comes back to the UK with a new visa. 6th novembe 1961 : a long tour took Gene through Scotland and England until the 3rd december, with Johnny Kidd and Rory Blackwell to open the shows Gene & Johnny Kid November 1961 : release of "I'm Goin' Home" / " Love Of A Man" (Capitol 15215 US) and of the French EP “Be-Bop-A-Lula”. 4th december 1961 : Gene and the Sounds Incorporated go to the Shepperton studios to shot « Spaceship to Mars » under the direction of Richard Lester fro his Columbia movie « It’s Trad Dad » wih Helen Shapiro, John Leyton, the Brook Brothers, Craig Douglas, etc…produced by Milton Subotsky. At least three versions of “Spaceship to Mars” are edited. « It’s trad dad ». Gene gives a frantic performance of ”Spaceship to Mars” (a song he never liked) with the Sounds Incorporated. He also recorded a slightly different version, perhaps to release it as a single later on Even if Gene made an outstanding appearance, (dressed in white leather) Capitol decided not to release immediatly this single, promoting “Lucky Star” instead. “Spaceship to Mars” video: https://youtu.be/mmut2I361qY
December 1961 : Gene is back to the USA for Christmas and he is to star in a Texas TV show about country music and blues from the Deep South. He also intends to take control of his career in the USA. But in fact he will rest for four months in Niles, California.
GENE VINCENT wild cat saturday club 5th march 1960 GENE VINCENT rocky road blues 5th march 1960 saturday club rockabilly BILL MONROE recording date 16 fev 1960 ans on the air the 5 march BIG JIM SULLIVAN(lead guitar) TONY BELCHER(rhythm guitar)BRIAN LOCKING(bass) BRIAN BENNETT(drums)
January 1958 : Gene starts a new tour, from Texas to the West Coast. He records in Dallas the demo reels for ‘Lonesome Boy’ and ‘Lady Bug’, a Johnny Caroll cover, for the Ed McLemore agency with Big O’s musicians. (Roy Orbison). Dallas 1958 January 1958 : on Saturday night, Gene performs in Austin (Texas) at the Teenage Canteen of the Civilian Club, with Ray Campi, Joyce Webb, the Traits, the Shanies, Charlie Elgin, the Five Capris, the Debs, the Hi-Cards, and Dean Hester & The Clods. Austin Texas 1958 January 1958 : release of ‘I Got A Baby’/’Walking Home From School’ (Capitol F 3874 US) March 1958 : drummer Dickie Harrell leaves once again the Blue Caps. Gene replaces him with a 15 years old Mexican boy, Juvey Gomez March 1958 : Release of the album ‘Gene Vincent Rocks ! And The Blue Caps Roll’ (Capitol T 970 US) : Brand New Beat/ By The Light Of The Silvery Moon / You'll Never Walk Alone / Frankie And Johnny / In My Dreams / Flea Brain / Rollin' Danny / You Belong To Me / Your Cheatin' Heart / Time Will Bring You Everything / Should I Ever Love Again / It's No Lie. Picture taken during the recording sessions of march 1958. From left to right: Simmons, Owens, Jones Meeks. 25th/29th March 1958 : recording sessions for a new album, and for the movie ‘Hot Rod Gang’, in which Gene woul have a cameo thanks to the McLemore agency. Juvey Gomez, from Dallas, is hired as a drummer. Paul Peek and Tommy Facenda are back for the recording sessions in Hollywood. Eddie Cochran joins them, as a vocalist, on the 25th, 26th and 27th March. On the 28th, Eddie records ‘Summertime Blues’. 30th March 1958 : scenes from the movie ‘Hot Rod Gang’ are shot in Hollywood, under the direction of Jerry Capehart, Eddie Cochran’s manager. Meanwhile, Gene gives a few concerts in California. Dance In The Street 1958 - Hot Rod Gang Movie Baby blue 1958 - Hot Rod Gang Movie April 1958 : at the beginning of the month, drummer Juvey Gomez leaves the Blue Caps, and so do Johnny Meeks and Bobby Jones. A new band is put together for a 40 days long tour in Canada, with Howard Reed (from Dallas, guitar), Bill Mack (bass) Cliff Simmons (piano), Dude Kahn (drums), Grady Owen and Max Lipscomb (Clapper Boys). In Fargo, Dude Kahn is replaced by D.J.Fontana (since Elvis Presley is doing his military service). Gene Canada May 1958 : Release of "Baby Blue" / "True To You" (Capitol F 3959 US), and of the compilation “Teenage Rock!” (Capitol T 1009 US) with Ferlin Husky, Sonny James and Tommy Sands. The release of ‘Baby Blue’, one of the most powerful blues ever recorded by a White, doesn not do much regarding Gene’s popularity, both with the Disc-Jokeys and the audience. This song was ahead of its time. Moreover, Capitol is one of the last record company which does not follow the rules of the recording business (paying the radio programmers). Capitol Records had certified their anti-payola policies. The practise of payola means paying the radio stations and the DJs for them to play a song and thus make it a hit. May 1958 : after the concert of Ponchartrain Beach in Louisiana, the band split up. Gene put together a new band with Cliff Simmons (piano), Bill Mack (bass), Howard Reed (guitar), and Grady Owen (clapper boy), they will be later joined by Jerry Haynes and Butch White (drums). Nappy Brown Sugar Pie Desanto Gene Vincent Peewee Parham (Sugar Pie’s husband) May 58 May 1958 : Gene marries Darlene Hicks, who already had a daughter from a previous union, Debbie. Darlene 13th June 1958 : concerts in Oregon, at the Dumont’s Park, and in the Washington state. Gene, in Washington 2nd July 1958 : national release of the movie ‘Hot Rod Gang’ (these pictures are from the movie) July 1958 : release of "Rocky Road Blues" / "Yes I Love You Baby" (Capitol F 4010 US). August 1958 : Release of the EP "Hot Rod Gang" (Capitol EAP 1-985 US) : Dance In The Street / Baby Blue / Lovely Loretta / Dance To The Bop. September 1958 : release of "Git It" / "Little Lover" (Capitol F 4051 US). 13th/21st October 1958 : Recording sessions at the Capitol Tower. The members of the Blue Caps attending these sessions are: Johnny Meeks (guitar), Grady Owen (clapper boy), Cliff Simmons (piano), Jackie Kelso (sax), Clyde Pennington and Jerry Singleton, Johnny, Grady and Clyde did the background vocals. Octobre 1958 : You Win Again- Town Hall Party 1958 Rip It Up - Town Hall Party 1958 For your Precious Love - Town Hall Party 1958 Dance To The Bop - Town Hall Party 1958 Be Bop A Lula 1958 - Town Hall Party 1958 October 1958 : at the end of the month, Gene performs in the suburbs of Los Angeles. November 1958 : release of "Say Mama" / "Be Bop Boogie Boy" (Capitol F4105US) and of the album " A Gene Vincent Record Date" (Capitol T1059US) : Five Feet Of Lovin" / The Wayward Wind" / Somebody Help Me / Keep It A Secret / Hey, Good Lookin' / Git It / Teennage Partner / Peace Of Mind / Look What You Gone And Don't To Me / Summertime / I Can't Help It / I love You (also available as 3 EP s) Gene and Eddie Cochran befriended each other during their touring in Australaia: Eddie Cochran is glad to help Peek and Facenda for the background vocals of the 4th album ‘Record Date’. He made the band benefir of his ideas and of his deep voice that can be noticed in ‘Git It’ or ‘Peace of Mind’ among others. Gene and Eddie Cochran’s Gretsch
Gene, Darlene & Eddie Cochran
From a technical point of view, this album is more advanced than the previous ones. Meeks has at last his own microphone. But Jones and Owens use the same one. Cliff Simmons does a terrific job on the grand piano, and something else is new: Gomez has a whole drum kit (while Dickie Harrell only had a snare, a cymbal and a bass drum).
Gene, Usa 1958
November 1958 : Gene appeared at the Country American Show in Los Angeles. The Blue Caps split up for good. Then Gene goes to Alaska with his wife Darlene. Los Angeles at that time
December 1958 : Gene resumes his performances in the Northern States, with the support of his manager Pat Mason. Gene is now accompanied by local bands and guitar player Jerry Lee Merritt. Jerry Lee Merritt 12th December 1958 : Concert in Portland, Oregon, with Clayton Watson & His Silhouettes.
Portland Oregon 1958
At the end of 1958, the Blue Caps split up and Gene left the McLemore agency from Dallas. Gene had come to the end of a step in his career.
Gene & Darlene, Christmas 1958 :
Gene, Darlene, Debbie (born from a previous union), and Darlene’s parents)
January 1957 : Gene is still in convalescence, this allows him to put a new band. The lack of shows during the first months of 1957 is a problem for Gene : he wants to start a real rock n roll show, in which he would perform with the Blue Caps. This new band is going to introduce a brand new sound from which Gene and the whole genre will benefit. The band will evolve from an electro-acoustic style to a more electric sound, with three guitarists and one drummer. The main difficulty is to find a guitarist able to replace Gallup. A young guitarist, Johnny Meeks, who played in the same orchestra as Paul Peek, ‘Country Earl’ of Greenville (South Carolina) will become the leader of the Blue Caps for two year and a half. Hard-working, Meeks asks at first if he can plays as he usually do it, thus showing his great abilities, despite his self-conscious attitude. He can even excel his great predecessor, in a different style, being more interested by the search for a new sound instead of pure virtuosity.) Still deeply affected by the departure of Cliff Gallup, Gene was very impressed by Meeks and quickly accepted him, as well as his own bass player, Bill Mack, from South Carolina. Influenced by Black Rythm’n Blues bands, like the ‘Coasters’ or the ‘Flamingos’,…Gene decided that the stage of the new show would be occupied by three singers and he would be the leader. This lead to the birth of the Clapper Boys, whose role would be to back up Gene, for the vocal performance, but also from the point of view of the presence on stage. Paul Peek and Tommy ‘Bubba’ Facenda would get this role. Peek became one of the chorists, and also one of the famous clapper boy, along with Tommy Bubba Facenda, neighbor and friend of Dickie Harrell. Facenda was a handsome boy from Italia, who dropped from school so that he could follow Gene. They used to clap, dance and sing in a unique way, falling on the ground, their head in the amplifiers during the guitar breaks. Dickie Harrell is still on the drums, Meeks and Jones are above all used to play Country and Western music. This change from Hillbilly music to Rock n Roll will take them time. They rehearsed until aprtil 1957 at Gene’s parents’. Meeks used a three-shafted guitar (6 cords and a mandolin), which made quite an impression on Gene. The new show was on a lot of technically advanced visual effects. Gene could not stand imprecise work. with Bill Mack 7th January 1957 : rekease of ‘Crazy Legs’/’Important Words’ (capitol F3617 US) February 1957 : Stay at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Then Gene must once again go to the hospital after wounding his leg again, in Norfolk. March 1957 : Gene is again in convalescence, at his own place (Norfolk, Viriginia). 4th March 1957: the album ‘Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps’ came out (capitol T811 US) : Red Blue Jeans And A Pony Tail / Hold Me, Hug Me, Rock Me, Unchained Melody / You Told A Fib / Cat Man / You Better Believe / Cruis'in' / Double Talkin' Baby / Blues Stay Away From Me / Pink Thunderbird / I Sure Miss You / Pretty, Pretty Baby (also available as 3 EP s). 25th march 1957 : Release of ‘Five Days’/’Bi Bickey Bi Bo Bo Go’ (Capitof F 3678 US) April 1957 : six days long tour in Ohio, with Sanford Clark, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison. April 1957 : Show at the Mastbaum Theatre, in Philadelphia, with Eddie Cochran. 28th April 1957 : concert at this Howard Miller Show in Chicago, in front of 32000 people. Gene was also awarded a golden record for ‘Be Bop A Lula’, given by his producer Ken Nelson. Chicago at that time May 1957 : The Blue Caps’ bass-player Bill Mack is replaced by Bobby Jones. Gene needs a new manager if he wants to tour again : Ken Nelson made him sign a contract with Ed Mc Lemore from the Dallas Agency ‘Artist Service Bureau’. Mc Lemore bought a huge Chrysler ‘Windsor’ : 9 seats, and a trailer for the instruments, as well as new stage wear: green suits for Peek and Facenda, red suits with brown velvet collars for the others, and a dozen of satin or velvet shirts for Gene. June 1957 : Gene signed a new managing contract with the Artist Service Bureau from Dallas, directed by Ed McLemore. Larry Thacker was made personal manager. Gene also sang at the Ozark Jubilee in Springfield with Red Foley. Then he went back to the hospital to have a steel splint put on his wounded leg. 19th/20th June 1957 : Recordings at Capitol studios in Hollywood. Buck Owens was hired as acoustic guitarist for the recording session of the 19th. The Owen Bradley studio in Nashville was not available: they had to record at the Capitol studios in California, in the basement of the ‘Capitol Tower’. The place looks a bit like a train station hall: the sound is going to change. Pictures of the Capitol studio in 1957 : 22nd July 1957 : Release of ‘Lota Lovin’/’Wear my ring’ (Capitol F 3763 US) , n°12 in september. 12th August 1957 : Gene performed at the TV show American Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark. For his first appearance at this show, he did ‘Lotta Lovin’ and ‘Wear my Ring’. August 1957 : Gene’s new touring in the US lead him to Twin Falls Idaho, and Iowa. Gene Vincent - Matter's Ballroom Decorah Iowa 9 August 1957 September 1957 : at the end of the month, Gene is done with his touring of the main states of the USA. 29th September 1957 : Gene leaves the USA for what would be his first stay abroad. 30th September/17th october 1957 : he tours through Australia for 18 days with Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, Alis Lesley and Johnyn O’Keefe. Gene and Eddie, in Australia. Gene Vincent, 1957, Australia, INTERVIEW October 57 : November 1957 : new tour in the US, Max Lipscomb (aka Scotty McKay) is hired as rythm guitarist and pianist. Max Lipscomb November 1957 : The Georgia Auditorium Vancouver : Gene Vincent Vancouver 1957 INTERVIEW https://youtu.be/fwOG2ntrB3c 17th November 1957 : Gene Vincent appears on the Ed Sullivan Show, for the presentation of a gold record for ‘Lotta Lovin’, which sold 1 500 000 copies. He also sang ‘Dance to the Bop’. Despite the fame, the burden of the constant touring had made Dickie Harrell leave the Blue Caps before the appearance on TV at the Ed Sullivan Show on Sunday 17th November 1957. However Gene asked him to come back for the show: he can be seen on recently found video clips, on the drums, playing franctically on crazy stage versions of ‘Lotta Lovin’ and ‘Dance to the Bop’. 18th November 1957 : Release of ‘Dance to the Bop’/’I Got it’ (Capitol F 3839 US). Drummer Dickie Harrell was replaced by Dude Kahn, and the Grestch guitar used by the Blue Caps were replaced by Fenders. 20th November 1957 : Re-issue of ‘Lotta Lovin’/’Be Bop A Lula’ (Capitol F3871 US). 6th/18th December 1957 : Recording session at the Capitol Tower studios in Hollywood, with the comeback of Dickie Harrell. Gene and the Caps recorded 15 title in 4 days, including ‘Baby Blue’, ‘Frankie & Johnny’, ‘I Got a Baby’, ‘Brand New Beat’,…The recording conditions were worse than beforer. The ingeniors used only three microphones: one for the vocals, one for the drum, and one for the two guitars and the bass, the whole thing plucked on the same amplifier. They often rehearse songs on the day before, in hotel rooms and record them the following day, in one or two takes. Each musician can give his own idea, since there is no technical advisor. Johnny Meek likes to use gadgets, for exemple a coin instead of a mediator in ‘Yes I Love You Babe’. This brings to the group a new and original sound which will make up for the shortcomings of the recording conditions. One album is recorded: ‘Gene Vincent Rocks and The Blue Caps Roll’, from which will be taken a lot of singles. 16th December 1957 : Gene appeared for the second time on the Dick Clark TV show, American Bandstand, without his band. He sang ‘Dance to the Bop’ : 19th december 1957 : The Blue Caps take a plane to New York to appear on the ‘Alan Freed package show’ at the Paramount Theatre, broadcast on the station WINS. December 1957 : back to Portsmouth for the Christmas. Max LipsComb lef the band to resume his studies. He was replaced by Cliff Simmons (piano) and Grady Owen (rythm guitar). In 1957, changes among the Blue Caps became usual, Gene being unable of keeping together the same people for more than a few months. Shortly after the last recording sessions of 1957 with Lipscomb, Peek and Facenda left the band to start a solo career. Gene was then worried because of the upcoming release of a new movie, ‘Hot Rod Gang’ (1958) in which he performed 4 songs. He hired Grady Owen as a rythm guitarist, and a 15 years old boy, Juvey Gomez to replace Dickie Harrell who had now left for good. Peek and Facenda were however persuaded to come back for the movie, because their work as clapped boys and vocal performances were essential to the stage presence of the Blue Caps. Their harmony with Gene, standing at his side while he performed ‘Baby Blue’ in ‘Hot Rod Gang’ really showed the talent of the Blue Caps while Gene was at the peak of his stardom.
interview : https://youtu.be/fwOG2ntrB3c Gene Vincent Vancouver 1957 https://youtu.be/2SxBnX1cYUg Gene Vincent 1957 Avalon Ballroom Visconsin
1935.1955 february 11th 1935 : Vincent Eugene Craddock is born in Norfolk Virginia. Norfolk in 1935 Gene, age 5 with his uncle and cousin The young Vincent worked as an apprentice within a poor community of the deep south,mixing his country music roots with Rythm and Blues.He showed the first signs of interest for music at the time his parents were living in Munden Point , Virginia , near the North Carolina railroad track . There , they operated an old grocery store. During that period ,while he was still in his prime and listened only to country music , everybody already nicknamed him Gene.Never the less,the racial cultural mix of Munden Point had already planted the seeds of Blues and Gospels.The blend of music broadcasted from the grand ole opry and heard on the family radio, as well as the Negro Sprirituals and Godspels one coming from the neighborhood, irresistably attracted Gene. Type of house in Norfolk in 1948 Gene got his first guitar at age 12 ,while visiting a friend in west Virginia, and whose sister was learning to play .This friend gave him the guitar asking him to keep it.Gene was shocked , not knowing if the gift was a sign of destiny ,or just from a friend who wanted to prevent his sister from continuing to practice .When the young vincent played the blues , godspels or country songs of the time , the bystanders were sometime sitting on the front porch to listen. 1948 his father Ezechiah Jackson Craddock and mother Mary Louise eventually left the store and returned to Norfolk,Virginia. As he was short and skinny, Gene was often subject to teazings and mockering at the school, to the point it often ended in fights. frustrated by being short and the fact that he was not very good in school , Gene droped out, and enlisted in the navy. His father, who served as a cost guard during the second world war, signed the papers which allowed the 17 year old young boy to do so in the middle of the corean war . Vincent was often singing or playing guitar with the other sailors,but soon found a new passion for motorcycles, beside the one that he already had for the music. February 19th1952 : Gene enlist in the Us Navy at age 17 , by cheating on his age Docks Norfolk Virginia,in 1950 1955 In March of 1955, after serving for a year, Gene renewed his enlistment for an other 6 years , with the sole purpose of receiving the incentive bonus coming with it. With this newly acquired money, he bought himself a big Triumph motorcycle . In July of this year, while on leave in Norfolk, Gene was struck by a car when he was riding his Triumph, and got his left leg severly injured as a result. At the hospital, the doctors decided to amputate his leg but he begged his mother not to let them, by not signing the required authorizing documents. Gene was going to spend the following six months going back and forth to the Portsmouth naval Hospital, and the rest of his life with a heavy metal armature attached to his leg. Norfolk Naval Hospital, Portsmouth During his stay at the hospital he practiced writing songs and created ''Race with the devil'' as well as ''Be bob A Lula'', a song inspired by a comic strip character named ''Little Lulu'' (see section '' biography'' for details). Norfolk in 1955 October 9th,1955 Gene starts up as a singer for the local DJ Teddy '' bear '' Crutchdield broadcasting show .He is attending a contest aimed at discovering a new Elvis Presley talent . There were only five contestants that came forward with an original composition..