"Don't Mean Maybe," my latest piece for Coastal Virginia Magazine, takes a look at how "Be-Bop-a-Lula" came to be, and why it resonated over the years with so many later-influential performers -- the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Jeff Beck, etc.
Vincent’s voice was not only chameleonic in the way that Elvis’s was—it was schizophrenic. Going from a drawling croon to a piercing cry, he was volatile, loving, temperamental, soothing; the ultimate “tough” teenaged child-man. His brooding performance, aided by deep, cavernous slapback echo, perfectly matched up with the tortured teenage fantasia being played out on theater screens at the time, in movies such as The Wild One, Rebel Without a Cause and Blackboard Jungle.Click here to read "Don't Mean Maybe: The Story of 'Be-Bop-a-Lula'."
If you enjoy this article, you'll also dig "Virginia Rocks," a 2-CD box set and book of liner notes (co-written by yours truly with archivist Brent Hosier). You can get that here. In 2007-08, Brent and I worked with the Blue Ridge Institute to research Virginia's rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll history. For more on that project, click here.