The producer was afraid he’d lose his job. The studio was barely solvent. The engineer wrestled through twelve takes trying to get something usable. The record label didn’t really believe in the song, the artist or even in rock & roll. Out of such gloom came the bubbling magic of “Be-Bop-a-Lula,” and a career that was born under a bad sign.
Harold and Owen Bradley had constructed their Nashville studio a little over a year before Gene Vincent arrived on May 4, 1956. It had been built as a country-music recording base for Decca Records, but times were tough and the brothers were renting it out to anyone who wanted to use it.