1001 Songs Challenge #71: Be-Bop-A-Lula (1956)
On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps – Be-Bop-A-Lula (1956)
” Be-Bop-a-Lula” is a rockabilly song first recorded in 1956 by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. The writing of the song is credited to Gene Vincent and his manager, Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis. Evidently the song originated in 1955, when Vincent was recuperating from a motorcycle accident at the US Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia.
We’re continuing in the US for now and with rock and roll in full swing, I imagine we’ll be staying here for quite some time now. For today’s song we have a variant of rock and roll known as rockabilly. Our guest on this list today is Gene Vincent whose career started so promisingly but would soon decline. The song for our magic 1001 is his biggest hit – Be-Bop-A-Lula.
Be-Bop-A-Lula is a catchy little number with Vincent singing about his love for a girl and how she loves him back. This isn’t just any girl though. Not only is she “queen of all the teens”, she has “red blue jeans” and “flyin’ feet”. Vincent refers to her as his “baby doll” and she inspired him and His Blue Caps to want to keep on rocking and rocking. You could say that he is quite keen on this girl.
Be-Bop-A-Lula has the rock and roll feel to it and will sound similar to other songs in this genre that you may have heard before. Vincent has a good vocal while His Blue Caps offer him great support that really enhances the song. Tragically, Gene Vincent would die in 1971 at the very young age of 36 from a ruptured stomach ulcer which followed many years of alcohol abuse.
Favourite songs so far:
Edith Piaf – La Vie en Rose (1946)
Elmore James – Dust My Broom (1952)