Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gene Vincent – "Baby Blue" (1958)

I know my baby loves me
I know that she'll be true
I'm sure of this each time I look
Into her eyes of blue

(You really believe that bushwa?  Spare me.)

Gene Vincent – who was born Vincent Eugene Craddock in Norfolk, Virginia on this date in 1935 – was a rockabilly singer.  Think of him as a poor man's Elvis Presley.  

"Baby Blue," which sounds a little like "Heartbreak Hotel," was performed by Vincent and his band (the Blue Caps) in the 1958 American International Pictures movie, Hot Rod Gang.  

The only member of that movie's cast that I had ever heard of was Doodles Weaver, a wacky comedian who was a member of Spike Jones's City Slickers.  

Doodles Weaver's real name was allegedly Winstead Sheffield Glenndenning Dixon Weaver.  

Spike Jones and Doodles Weaver
According to a 1951 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of Weaver's NBC variety show – the reviewer characterized it as one of half a dozen then-current TV shows that was "given over to general wackiness" – Doodles was suspended from Stanford University for a prank he played during a train ride after the 1937 Rose Bowl:

[Weaver went] through the train shouting "Everybody up!  Next stop, Palo Alto!"  It was 3 o'clock in the morning and Palo Alto  was some hours away.  The passengers didn't think it was funny.

One problem with this account is that Stanford didn't play in the 1937 Rose Bowl.  It did win the 1936 Rose Bowl, however, so maybe the story is basically true.

Doodles once recorded a parody of the Beatles song, "Eleanor Rigby," which was regularly featured on the Dr. Demento radio show:

I'm not a fan of rockabilly music, and "Baby Blue" doesn't do a lot for me.  "Baby Blue" was a favorite of Bob Dylan's when he was in high school, and inspired Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue."  

Here's the scene from Hot Rod Gang where Gene Vincent performs "Baby Blue":

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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