When a music critic really wants to indicate a song lacks lyrical sophistication, she or he will usually make reference to its lyrics as getting of the “moon in June” sort. It’s a label left from the Tin Pan Alley era, when even wonderful composers like Irving Berlin churned out 100 uninspired Moon/June tunes for every highly original classic like “Blues Skies” or “Puttin’ On The Ritz.” If stone comes with an equivalent in your community of clichéd lyrics, it really is possibly “Baby” and “Maybe”-a rhyming pair made most well-known in the smoldering early-rock classic “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” that was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, by the rockabilly legend Gene Vincent with this day in 1956.
The story of the way the decidedly un-complex lyrics of “Be-Bop-A-Lula” got written is shrouded in a specific level of controversy. Officially, Gene Vincent’s company manager, Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis, is credited because the co-writer, but Sheriff Tex, a savvy 40-year-old from Connecticut, appears an unlikely way to obtain such naïve gem. The story which has the higher ring of truth credits a man named Donald Graves-a buddy Gene Vincent stated 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 greater than a year, wherever a fellow patient remembers Vincent and Graves tooling round the facility functioning out the song that could at some time turn into a vintage. By enough time Gene Vincent’s demo tape reached Capitol Records the next spring, nevertheless, Graves have been bought out of his share in “Be-Bop-A-Lula” by Sheriff Tex, reportedly for $25.
It wasn’t the clear brilliance of “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” but instead the uncanny resemblance between Gene Vincent’s voice and Elvis Presley’s that explains the speed with which Capitol snapped Vincent up and got him in to the studio. In fact, when Vincent and his Blue Caps recorded “Be-Bop-A-Lula” on May 4, 1956, it had been as a “B” side to a now largely forgotten tune referred to as “Woman Love.” As soon as disk jockeys began “flipping” Vincent’s debut single, so even, “Be-Bop-A-Lula” became a smash, increasing to #7 on the pop charts and selling greater than 2 million copies in its initial year of release.