Gene Vincent, real name Vincent Eugene Craddock, (February 11, 1935 – October 12, 1971) was an American rockabilly pioneer musician, best known for his hit "Be-Bop-A-Lula". Early life: His parents, Ezekiah Jackson and Mary Louise Craddock, were shop owners in Norfolk, Virginia. He grew up in Virginia under the influence of country, Rhythm and Blues and Gospel music. He received his first guitar as a gift from a friend at the age of 12. In 1952 Gene left school and joined the Navy.