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Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps


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PICTURED ABOVE, in the heading, is a recent photo of the Blue Caps taken atCapitol Towers in Hollywood. Left to right: Paul Peek, Johnny Meeks, Tommy Facenda and Dickie Harrell.

  • SPENT BROTHERS PRODUCTIONS proudly presents the Revised and Enlarged Second Edition of GENE VINCENT, A DISCOGRAPHY by Derek Henderson. This definitive guide to Gene Vincent's recorded legacy firstly lists all known extant recordings.

  • GENE VINCENT RECEIVES FIRST ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME'S INDUCTION CERTIFICATE Although the Internet's Rockabilly Hall of Fame was created March 27th, 1997, award Official Certificates are now being issued. The first one (#0001) was presented personally to Sarah Craddock in honor of her brother Gene Vincent on Sunday, November 16, 1997 by Bob Timmers, curator of this web site. Rockabilly Hall of Fame Certificates are now being sent to many other individual Rockabilly Hall of Fame Inductees on a regular basis.
    Please don't confuse the Internet Rockabilly Hall of Fame with Cleveland's R&R HOF as the two have no connection in any way. We hope to have comments regarding the Cleveland 1998 induction posted soon from Sheriff "Tex" and some of the Blue Caps.

    CD: The Lost Dallas Sessions / Gene Vincent & Blue Caps

    Gene Vincent Website T-SHIRT

  • Posted 25, October, 1997
    MICHAEL NORMAN, 10/24/9, The Plain Dealer Cleveland, OH (Copyright (c) The Plain Dealer 1997).
    The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, the Mamas & the Papas, Santana, Lloyd Price and Gene Vincent have been selected for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The New York-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation made the announcement late yesterday. The 1998 inductions will be in mid-January at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. The rock hall had planned to make the inductions announcement next week during a nationally televised news conference on the cable music channel VH1. But the names of the inductees began leaking out Wednesday after Daily Variety, a newspaper covering the entertainment industry, published a story identifying Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles as inductees. .... Gene Vincent was one of the original 1950s rock 'n' rollers. His hits include "Be-Bop-A-Lula." Artists are eligible for induction into the rock hall 25 years after the release of their first recording. The nominations are made by a 29-member committee appointed by the foundation. An international group of more than 800 writers, artists, producers, broadcasters and music-industry executives votes on the inductions. The top five to seven vote-getters with 50 percent or more of the vote are inducted.

  • Here are the tracks of the new CD on Dorig 124, EMI, SHAKIN' UP A STORM, GENE VINCENT & THE SHOUTS:
    1. HEY, HEY, HEY, HEY (2:05) (Penniman) ATV Music Ltd.
    2. LAVENDER BLUE (3:19) (Morey/Daniel) Francis Day & Hunter Ltd/EMI.
    3. PRIVATE DETECTIVE (2:39) (Ann) Ardmore & Beechwood/EMI.
    4. SHIMMY, SHAMMY, SHINGLE (2:05) (Bates/Reece/Field/Baker/Clark/Copyright Control.
    5. SOMEDAY (You'll Want Me To Want You) (2:21) (Hodges) MCA Music Ltd.
    6. ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT (1:41) (Cooke) ABKCO Music Ltd.
    7. SLIPPIN' AND SLIDIN' (2:27) (Penniman/Collins/Bocage/Smith) ATV Music Ltd.
    8. LONG TALL SALLY (1:58) (Johnson/Penniman/Blackwell) Peermusic (UK) Ltd.
    9. SEND ME SOME LOVIN' (2:27) (Price/Marascalco) ATV Music Ltd.
    10. LOVE LOVE LOVE (2:10) (Mcrae/Wyche/Davis) Francis Day & Hunter Ltd/EMI.
    11. GOOD GOLLY MISS MOLLY (2:15) (Blackwell/Marascalco) Prestige Music Corp.
    12. BABY BLUE (2:33) (Vincent/Jones) Campbell Connelly & Co. Ltd.
    13. SUSIE Q (2:00) (Hawkins/Lewis/ Broadwater) Copyright Control.
    14. YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE (3:33) (Davis/Mitchell) Peermusic (UK) Ltd.
    THE SHOUTS: Tim Bates (Lead Guitar & Vocals) + John Reece (Bass Guitar & Vocals) + John Field (Tenor Sax & Vocals) + Eric Baker (Organ, Piano, Celeste & Percussion) + Victor Clark (Drums, Percussion & Vocal).

    BLUE SUEDE NEWS, Spring, 1997 Issue #38 features our Sheriff Tex Davis interview in print, with some nice photos. This issue also has articles on Sleepy LaBeef, Peggy Sue andloads of CD reviews. Check it out! See: BLUE SUEDE NEWS PO Box 25, Duvall, WA USA 98019 for subscription rates. Editor: Marc Bristol (

    PAUL PEEK CD. Released: March, 1997. "Rockin' Through the Teenage Years" contains 30 tracks. Eagle Records EA-R 90123. Nice variety of cuts with the classic '50s sound, showing Paul's talents as a vocalist. Available from Eagle Records, Birkenwig 37, 52080 Aachen, Germany. Fax int: +49 241-9609657. A good listen of Paul's material, everything from his first "Rock Around" (the one he does on stage with The Caps these days) to "Be Bop A Lula" and "Lotta Lovin'".

    Surf 94 Pix

    Above photos are courtesy of Tim Verthein, Grand Rapids, MN, USA, taken at the 1994 Buddy Holly Surf Ballroom blast, Clear Lake, Iowa USA. Pictured, left to right, Johnny & Paul; Johnny, Dickie, Tommy and KOZY-DJ Dave Michaels. Tommy with Graham Fenton (one heck of vocalist that looks, acts and sings just like Gene); and Dickie Harrell at the drum kit.

    Rocker's Reunion Pix

    THE 14th ANNUAL UK ROCKERS REUNION, Sat., Jan. 25, 1997.
    --The Blue Caps played 17 songs in total and were a great success.
    --The songs were as follows: Lotta Lovin' / Rock-A-Round / Yes I Love You Baby Frankie & Johnny / Rollin' Danny / Lovely Loretta / I Got A Baby Who's Pushing Your Swing / Say Mama / Dance To the Bop / Right Now / Somewhere Over The Rainbow / Rocky Road Blues / Baby Blue / Be-Bop-A-Lula / I Wish I was In Dixie / Suzie-Q.
    --The band did an interview for BBC TV and appeared on two radio stations during their stay in England.
    --Dickie Harrell wants to personally thank all the fans that attend the gig. He appreciates the loyalty. He said, "Some I spoke to came to see if we were really alive. I enjoyed meeting and talking with as many as I could. There was one time I almost started to cry as they were so nice to us. All I can say is that they made this old Blue Cap feel good. It was wonderful to see so many age groups asking about Gene. I gave away all my drum sticks and hats. I loved it! Will we go back? Who knows, maybe." Dickie also wants to add the following observation: "When I saw all those fans lining up with my Drums & More Drums album in their hands, I thought they wanted their money back...but instead I wound up autographing them." ;)

    Johnny at the Rockers Reunion. Photo by Gosta Jansson (a Swedish gentlemen who travelled over from Sweden just for the gig).

    by Derek Henderson and Rod Pyke
    TIME: 10.45pm, Saturday 25 January 1997.
    VENUE: Brixton Academy, London, England.
    OCCASION: The 14th Annual Rockers Reunion Dance.

    Crowds were making their way from the Bars and side-shows into the Academy's auditorium, joining the other Rockers who had been bopping and enjoying some of Britain's best Rock and Roll bands. These included Johnny Fox and The Hunters (voted Top Rock & Roll Band in 1996), The Raiders, Rev. D. Brown and The Boogie Men, The Avengers Big Roll Band (who augmented their normal five pieces by the addition of a piano and second saxophone), Nero and the Gladiators (the sixties cult instrumental band, re-formed especially for the occasion), and new act Big Rumble. The evening was to be closed by Matchbox, who need no introduction to fans, having brought Rock'n' Roll back into the charts in the 70's. This was a rare appearance by the original line up. In between acts, spinning the records were two of Britain's top Rock 'n' Roll Disc Jockeys, Pete Bruce and Wild Cat Pete.

    Many of the people had come for just one reason, though. To witness the greatest Rock and Roll Band ever - The Blue Caps. Fans had travelled from all corners of the world, from the USA and Japan, from Europe (France, Belgium, Italy, Germany etc.) and Scandinavia. Many were veterans who have followed Gene and the band from the beginning. Some were not old enough to have seen Gene, the greatest R 'n' R performer of them all. Many had never had the chance to see the Blue Caps perform or meet them. This was their big chance and they did not want to miss it.

    As 11pm approached, you could feel the buzz of excitement simmering among the audience. There was some confusion as the band took the stage, and then left again, Johnny looking disgruntled, then at about 11.10pm Boogie Del Richardson, the Master of Ceremonies, came to the centre of the stage, took the microphone, and announced "Now for the moment you have all been waiting for, let me introduce you to Gene Vincent's Legendary Blue Caps" A loud cheer came from the packed Auditorium, as they moved forward to the front of the stage to get a better view of their idols. "Introducing on Lead Guitar, Johnny Meeks. On Rhythm Guitar and one of the original Clapper Boys, Paul Peek. On Vocals and the other original Clapper Boy, Mr. Tommy "Bubba" Facenda. On drums the legendary Dickie "Be-Bop" Harrell. Making a special guest appearance with the Blue Caps this evening, on bass, from the Avengers, Pete Pritchard". The crowd were waving, cheering and jumping up and down. Johnny took his place left stage, near a piano, his Red Guitar glistening in the spotlights. Tommy came front of stage, left of centre. Paul came front of stage, right of centre, and Dickie was seated at his drums, centre back, joined by Pete Pritchard. The Blue Caps were all wearing Black Rockers Reunion T-shirts, with Dickie wearing an Orange patterned jacket on top. All were wearing their famous blue caps.

    Johnny started playing the immediately recognisable intro to "Lotta Lovin'", Dickie's drums started to pound, and Paul's rhythm guitar and Pete's bass joined in. Tommy grabbed hold of the mike and the show was underway. Paul came forward to his microphone for the chorus, but alas, it wasn't working. Like a number of times during the show when confronted with technical difficulties, the Blue Caps experience and professionalism shone through as he calmly transferred down stage to one set up for a later sax player. A big cheer went up at the end of the number. Paul took over for the next number, his own big single, "Rock-A-Round". "Yes I Love You Baby" brought Tommy back to the mike for lead vocals, a really boppin' rendition. A moment of confusion followed when Johnny started to play the intro to a wrong number, having missed out a song in the playlist, but the band kept on playing while Tommy put him right and the song metamorphosed into "Frankie and Johnny", sung by Tommy. This saw him rolling on the floor at the front of the stage, with Paul playing his guitar on his knees and leaning back horizontally. The Caps were hotting up and taking control of the audience. The loudest ovation yet went up at the end of this song.

    The band were then joined by the first guest singer, Vincent fan club President, Steve Aynsley, with a convincing performance of "Rollin' Danny". He was then replaced by Vincent impersonator Cliff Edmunds who sang "Lovely Loretta", complete with great backing vocals from the Clapper Boys and Johnny, who then took over the vocals on "I Got A Baby". Johnny was in very good voice throughout the gig. One big surprise came when he slung his guitar over his back and proceeded on several occasions to hammer out some great Jerry Lee Lewis style piano. Tommy was really working the crowd, going through the whole Clapper Boy routine, and they loved it. The Avengers sax player joined the Caps on "Who's Pushin' Your Swing", a raunchy and swinging rendition by Johnny. A big cheer went up when Johnny started the introduction to "Say Mama", which he sang with authority and conviction. A great favourite in Britain, the audience sang along with him, the sax player providing the familiar horn breaks. At the end, Dickie came forward and tossed his blue cap into the audience.

    A warm welcome was given to Graham Fenton when he came on. His first song was "Dance To The Bop". Tommy was really going to town now, as well as doing backing vocals, he was dashing about front stage, clowning it up. Everybody at the front was trying to grab his hand. The sweat was beginning to run down his face. He picked up his white towel and wiped his face, then skipped up and down the stage twirling the towel above his head. It was difficult to tell who was enjoying themselves the most, Tommy or the audience.

    The same pandemonium followed for Graham's next number "Right Now", during which Johnny's amp blew up. Graham tried to cover by introducing the band again, and then went into "Over The Rainbow", which he sang excellently, while Paul played some tasty guitar as Johnny and a roadie set up a replacement amp, which proved inferior but adequate for the rest of the show. One knew that a slow song had to be followed by a real rocker, and what better than "Rocky Road Blues"? Dickie was at his brilliant best during this number. Graham did a good job with the song, using the mike just as Gene would have done. The next song needed no introduction. Paul Peek, Tommy Facenda and Graham Fenton all gathered around the same microphone. What else could we expect but "Baby Blue", performed a la Hot Rod Gang movie? This must go down as the best number of the night. It had everything. Graham did a great job with the lead vocal. Tommy and Paul's harmonies were impeccable, and Dickie kept the dramatic beat going perfectly. Johnny provided an immaculate guitar solo during which Tommy showed us his vibrant shimmy. The second solo saw Tommy improve on his first shimmy and brought screams of approval from the assembled young ladies. A roar went up throughout the auditorium at the song's conclusion.

    Graham then took the mike and addressed the audience, thanking them and saying what a pity Gene couldn't have been there. He then got the crowd chanting. "Gene Vincent, Gene Vincent, Gene Vincent..." Introducing the next number, he began "There is only one four letter word Gene will ever be remembered for saying and that is...We-e-e-e-ll", before the band launched into the inevitable "Be-Bop-A-Lula". Everybody took a turn with the vocals on this one, including Steve and Cliff who returned on stage. Even Dickie aired his vocal chords on a chorus, as well as his famous screams while Johnny did the famous Cliff Gallup guitar solo. The audience were encouraged to join in and they duly obliged. Many people were dancing in the auditorium by now.

    The MC then came on and asked for a big hand for the Blue Caps and for Graham Fenton, who had done a marvellous job deputising for Gene. The ensemble left the stage to great applause, as the chants "More, More, More..." began. After a short while, to the audience's delight, the Blue Caps reappeared. They took up their instruments and Tommy came to the mike and asked for their appreciation for Paul, Johnny, Dickie and Pete. The fans did not need any encouragement. Paul took the mike and asked for the same for Tommy, who then said "I wish our governor could have been here tonight". He then reminded everybody of the band's Southern roots, and Johnny began playing the opening bars of the "Dixie" segment of "American Trilogy". With this, Tommy pulled out a Confederate Flag, held it aloft and danced up and down the stage with it. At the end of the number, Tommy gave the flag to somebody in the audience as a souvenir.

    Was this the end we thought? No, there was still one more song to come as the group broke into "Susie-Q". The group were clearly all enjoying themselves, the guest singers were called back and were shaking hands and congratulating the Blue Caps. Everyone on and off stage was now singing and clapping along to the music. By now Tommy had his T-shirt off and was prancing around the stage bare chested and waving the shirt above his head. As the song reached its finale, he rolled it up and hurled it into the crowd. Dickie came from behind his drums and threw his jacket into the outstretched arms of his fans. The session had sadly come to a close. The band had played their hearts out, performed the best and tightest set ever in Europe certainly, and made many people very happy, despite the poor sound and the most inept lighting imaginable.

    Before and after their spot all the band had mingled with the crowds, happily signing autographs and having photos taken with grateful fans. Will this be their last tour? Is this the end of an Era? We don't think so. Speaking with the Blue Caps over the weekend before and after the gig, it was clear how much they were enjoying themselves, and there is already talk of future tours. If the deal is right, we shall see them again. Asked about his introduction of piano into the set, Johnny laconically replied "well, it was there, so I figured I'd make use of it"! The after show celebrations back at the hotel went on till 4am, despite the fact that the boys were flying home the next morning.

Caps 1982 Graphic
    The Blue Caps in 1982

    NEW BLUE CAPS CD RELEASE, Contains some older tracks, Feb., 1997, Label: Pollytone in England; Cat. No. PEPCD119; Title Hep to the Beat - The Blue Caps and Friends.
    The 15 Cuts are: Stringbuster - The Sundowners / Rockaround - Paul Peek & The Blue Caps / Pretty Baby - Graham Fenton & The Blue Caps / Moonshine Liquor - Paul Peek & The Blue Caps / The Night is So Lonely - Graham Fenton & The Blue Caps / Buffalo Grass - Jerry Merritt & The Blue Caps / Be-Bop's Boogie - Dickie Harrell & The Blue Caps / High School UK - Tommy Facenda & The Blue Caps / Lady bug - Paul Peek & The Blue Caps / The Darkside - Graham Fenton & The Blue Caps / If Only I Could Come Back Again - Paul Peek & The Blue Caps / Everybody's Rockin' - Graham Fenton & The Blue Caps / World Stop Pickin' on Me - Jerry Merritt & The Blue Caps /and/ Stringbuster - reprise - The Sundowners.
    An early review says that this album could have been one of those awful 'tribute' things, but it ain't. It's quite credible. Available Feb. 3, 1997 from Nervous Distribution ( They say click on 'B' for Blue Caps, where you'll see it listed with an order form at the bottom of the page. I think it's 14 pounds (around $26 US).

    GENE VINCENT/BLUE CAPS STARTER CD. Tues., Jan. 21, 1997. Razor & Tie, NYC/USA has released a CD of Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps. It's called "The Screaming End: The Best Of Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps." a 20-track compilation of their most rockin' tunes from '56-'57.Here's the track listing: Be-Bop-A-Lula; Race With The Devil; Woman Love; Who Slapped John; Jump Back, Honey, Jump Back; Bluejean Bop; Bop Street; Jumps, Giggles & Shouts; Crazy Legs; Cat Man; Cruisin'; Hold Me, Hug Me, Rock Me; B-I-Bickey-Bi, Bo-Bo-Go; Double Talkin' Baby; Pink Thunderbird; Red Blue Jeans & A Ponytail; You Told A Fib; Wear My Ring; Lotta Lovin' and Dance To The Bop. All songs feature Dickie Harrell on drums. The first 17 cuts have Cliff Gallup on lead guitar, while lead on the last three is performed by Johnny Meeks.
    All good stuff. A nice way to pick up some of Gene's early tunes. They used the original mixes straight out of the Capitol vaults (not like theremixes on the Capitol Collector's Series CD from 1990) and put together anice looking package with a 12-page booklet, lots of photos and great linernotes by Bob Hyde (he works at Capitol). Order info is on their website: or E-mail:

    GENE VINCENT A DISCOGRAPHY by DEREK HENDERSON. Spent Brothers Productions First Edition 1992 ISBN 0-9519416-0-7 £8.95.50pp. A.4 plus soft cover, with two illustrations and five previously unpublished photographs. Contains full details of over 450 studio and live recordings made 1956-71, including dates, locations, and accompanying musicians, and lists over 200 singles, 60 Eps, 200 LPs and 60 CDs released in 28 countries 1956-92. Following excellent reviews in the Music and Record Collecting media, the book was so successful that it was out of print within a year of publication. At that time, Derek took the decision not to reprint but to produce a later edition. He is now working to produce the promised Revised and Enlarged Second Edition for publication in 1997. Derek would like to hear from anyone who bought the First Edition and who has corrections and additions to it. He would also like to hear from anyone with details of any releases (vinyl or CD) worldwide containing Gene Vincent material since 1992. Details requested are Format/Title/Year of issue/Country of origin/Label/Number/List of contents (if possible saying which version if songs recorded several times by Gene are included). All assistance will be acknowledged in the book. The new edition will contain better quality reproduction of the photographs, and at least one extra previously unpublished photograph taken by the author.
    Please send material (photocopies are appreciated) to Spent Brothers Productions:
    Mail: 12 Arthur Road Southampton Hants SO15 5DY England
    Fax: FAO DGHenderson 00 44 1962 849372 (outside UK) 01962 849372 (UK)

    1996 Tour Graphic

    Blue Caps sign an old Capitol photo, meet Tracy Nelson and visit Gene's Hollywood star in August, 1996.


    AUGUST, 1996 -- A new CD on Skizmatic Records (and there may even bea second CD coming) has been recorded and issued in California titled "Turningthe World Blue: A Tribute to Gene Vincent and his Blue Caps." Someof the original Blue Caps (Johnny Meeks, Dickie Harrell, Paul Peek, TommyFacenda and Jerry Merritt) reunited to perform some cuts. Other top localbands, including The Wankin' Teens, provided the other tracks .

    A mini tour subsequently happened! These shows to took place in mid-August,1996 to promote the CD. It featured the old Blue Caps and the other participatingbands including: The Wankin' Teens from San Francisco, The Hooligans fromSan Diego, Hot Rod Lincoln from L.A., and The Sugar King Boys from SanFrancisco. The first gig was at The Derby in Hollywood, CA; then on to... Wed., Aug 14 at The Agenda in San Jose, CA; Thur., Aug. 15 at The DNAin San Francisco, CA; Sat., Aug. 17 at The Casbah in San Diego, CA; andSun., Aug.18 at The Foothill in Signal Hill, CA.

    During this 1996 Blue Cap tour Dickie Harrell, Johnny Meeks, Tommy Facenda and Paul Peek visited the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood for one-half day. They signed the old Gene Vincent & Blue Cap photos that are hanging in the hall and president's office. The photo shown on the above page header is from that visit. Also, at one the gigs, Ricky Nelson's daughter Tracy (who is currently touring in the GREASE production) stopped by backstage to visit the band. Seems that Tommy was a good friend of Ricky. Ricky told Tracy years ago that The Blue Caps were the craziest band he knew. So she just had to stop by and catch the boys. Gene's wife Darlene and her daughter also caught one the above mentioned gigs. The band really had a good time and may do a west coast mini tour again.

    The King Teen from The Wankin' Teens was kind enoughto give us the following report.

    "The shows were great. We joinedWednesday in San Jose. The caravan from L.A. was late arriving, so we hadto play for over an hour to kill time. The Thursday show in San Franciscowas the best of the lot. I thought, with a full house (all the houses werefull except the song Sunday). The Blue Caps really tear it up, man. They'rewild men! They asked me to sing "Baby Blue" with them (that'sthe song we do on the CD), and what a thrill it was to be up there withthe Clapper Boys on either side of me, Johnny Meeks ripping off those bluesriffs to my right and Be-Bop Harrell drumming behind me. Pretty awesome.They're all great guys, really supportive of younger musicians, and alwayshaving time for everybody. They were all having a good time, especiallyPaul Peek. Tommy Facenda's a wild man on stage, jumping around, dancing,falling on the floor singing. Man! I was afraid a couple times he was goingto have a heart attack! It was great hangin' with those guys. Especiallythe one-liners, mostly by Dickie."

    Ex-Blue Cap guitarist Jerry Lee Merritt and Buddy Knox also performedat the tour shows.

    Here's a comment by a Gene Vincent fan, Alan Crandall, who attendedthe San Jose show.

    "I really didn't expect that much. They had a coupleof good local bands opening. I didn't think the Blue Caps would be allthat hot ... but they ROCKED! Johnny Meeks can still crank out those rockabillyriffs like it was 1957 all over again. Dickie "Be Bop" Harrellcan still play like a demon. It was a really great show, an honor and ablast, to see these guys in such fine form."

    ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 1994, 8 pm at The Palomino in North Hollywood, CA.,Ronnie Mack hosted a free concert that featured approximately 16 local rockabillyartists all performing songs by GENE VINCENT and Eddie Cochran.