‘Lotta Lovin’’: After ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula,’ Gene Vincent’s Only Other Top 20 Hit
On August 19, 1957, Gene entered the US singles chart with what became his only other US Top 20 hit, ‘Lotta Lovin’’.
Think of original rock’n’roller Gene Vincent and you’re bound to think of “Be-Bop-A-Lula.” You might call to mind his tragically early death at the age of just 36, or the affectionate 1977 tribute to him by avowed fan Ian Dury, “Sweet Gene Vincent.” But what about Gene’s other hit? On August 19, 1957, he entered the American singles chart with what became his only other US Top 20 success.
The song was ‘Lotta Lovin,’’’ which became a Capitol single after Vincent and his Blue Caps had performed “Be-Bop-A-Lula” on the big screen in the Jayne Mansfield movie The Girl Can’t Help It. That picture was the rock’n’roll vehicle that also had song cameos for Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and Fats Domino, among others.
The songs of Bernice Bedwell
Vincent’s follow-up to “Be-Bop,” the track “Race With The Devil,” spent one week on the charts at a measly No.96; the next four didn’t make the bestsellers at all. Then came “Lotta Lovin,’’’ which was unusual for the time in being written by a woman, Bernice Bedwell. She reportedly played it over the phone for Gene, who later also recorded her songs “Lonesome Boy” and “In My Dreams.” “Lotta Lovin’’’ went on to be covered by Don McLean, Jeff Beck, and many others.
Listen to uDiscover Music’s official Gene Vincent Best Of playlist.
The original climbed Billboard’s various charts in an era when the Hot 100 was still more than a year away from inception. In September 1957, the song reached No.13 on Best Sellers In Stores, peaking one place lower on Top 100 Sides two weeks later. It was backed with “Wear My Ring,” co-written by Bobby Darin.
Sadly for such an important figure in the early days of rock’n’roll, Gene Vincent would only make one more US singles chart appearance. He died from a ruptured stomach ulcer in 1971, but was remembered by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 1998. To quote Ian Dury: white face, black shirt, white socks, black shoes…there was only one Gene Vincent.
Buy or stream “Lotta Lovin’’’ on Gene Vincent’s Capitol Collectors Series compilation.
August 19, 2014 at 9:17 pm
music of my long lost youth .say momma being my favourite /
August 20, 2014 at 5:30 am
Great Gene Vincent article, thankyou. What was his last and 3rd and final chart entry?
August 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm
Greg, his last US hit was Dance to the Bop which peaked at 23 in January 1958.
August 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm
no one has mentioned my favourite song
August 20, 2014 at 5:44 pm
Gene released a series of some of the best double sided singles of the rock’n’roll era. Luckily my older sister purchased them all. It is a sin that he didn’t enjoy a lot more chart success, songs such as Rocky Road Blues, Baby Blue and Say Mama were amongst the very best singles of that and any other era.
August 20, 2014 at 6:58 pm
he was the best any one remember five days / .Who slapped John /and of course unchained melody
May 30, 2018 at 6:06 pm
thank God he went to the UK where he was really appreciated
November 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm
i have just about every song he recorded rollin danny being mine
May 11, 2015 at 2:44 am
I have a dvd copy of “The Girl Can’t Help It.”
July 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm
The flipside of Bebop a lulu , Woman Love, is truly amazing, I am still in awe of both these songs.