Top Albums of the 1950s: Gene Vincent Bluejean Bop

Top Albums of the 1950s: Gene Vincent Bluejean Bop

Gene Vincent: Bluejean Bop Takes Lead Guitar to a New Level

Gene Vincent tore out of the gates of rock & roll in 1956 when Capitol – then an independent label specializing in pop standards – released his debut album, “Bluejean Bop.” As the title implies, the emphasis was on the beat, though this and other Gene Vincent recordings of the day are remembered not only for their unremitting rockabilly chord structures, but for the well-deserved spotlight shone on the lead guitarist, Cliff Gallup, who has come to be recognized as one of the forefathers of lead rock guitarists.

Gallup built echo units from discarded tape recorder parts, creating a trademark sound that left an indelible impression on rock’s royalty. Jeff Beck notably paid tribute to Vincent and, in particular, Gallup, on his 1993 collection entitled, “Crazy Legs,” which is faithful rendering of Vincent’s greatest hits with Beck emulating the style and tone of Cliff Gallup.