Gene Vincent (Vincent Eugene Craddock)
BiographyNorfolk, Virginia, USA
Rock 'n' roll pioneer Gene Vincent was born Eugene Vincent Craddock (Vincent Eugene according to some biographers) on February 11, 1935 in Norfolk, Virginia. He quit school at the age of 17 to join the Navy. His naval career was ended following a motorcycle accident while on shore leave in 1955. Shortly thereafter he heard an up and coming singer named Elvis Presley and decided on a singing career of his own. His excellent voice helped to hook him up with Norfolk disk jockey Tex Davis who pushed him through to Capitol Records where he recorded the million selling Be-Bop-A-Lula in 1956. Read more... While his first record earned him several movie appearances including The Girl Can't Help It (1956) and Hot Rod Gang (1958) and helped him to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his success was short lived. His original Blue Caps band broke up fairly quickly and his fame in America dwindled as rebellious rockers of the 1950s were replaced by clean cut teen idols of the early 1960s. Vincent moved to Britain where he was a cult figure in 1959 and remained there for a decade when he returned to America in 1969 with a new record deal and enjoyed a brief revival amongst the hippy teenagers in California who revered him as a legend. His new found fame was cut short by his death on October 12, 1971 at the age of 36 years following complications of a bleeding ulcer and seizure. He had been married four times and was a reputed hard drinker which most likely caused his death.