John Braley's Photo Page

My name is John Braley (one of the gang of four) and I have been associated with Gene's fan club since 1981, I was in Gene's fan club from 1964 when it was being run by Harry Dodds. I hope to place photographs from my collection on this site on a fairly regular basis. Hope you enjoy them.

Gene in the classic all leather pose perhaps more well known to UK and European fans than American Vincentologists. Circa 1961.

Gene arrived for the very first time in the UK on Saturday 5th December 1959, it was very early in the morning at London Airport and Gene was surprised at the number of people there to meet him. This pic shows him with the Vernons Girls and Italian rock star Little Tony.

Whilst in the UK Gene appeared on TV on many occasions, unfortunately little footage remains. A good photographic record exists however of Gene's Boy Meets Girls TV appearances. He featured in five transmissions between December 1959 and February 1960. Both BMG pics are courtesy of ABC-TV and the studio shot with Gene in the distance also shows (L - R) Joe Brown, guitar, Cherry Wainer (slightly obscured), piano, Andy White, drums, Red Price, tenor sax, Brian Daly, guitar, Eric Ford, guitar. It is possible that the guy on Gene's left, obscured by the Vernons Girls on backing vocals, is Don Storer, drums - can anyone confirm?

Gene appeared at the New Musical Express 1960 Annual Poll Winners' concert at the Empire Pool, Wembley (now known as Wembley Arena) on Sunday 21st February 1960. Gene was backed, on this occasion, by the Wildcats. You can see Brian Locking on bass guitar in the photograph, Brian later replaced Jet Harris as a member of the Shadows. Eddie Cochran also appeared at this event.

A fairly well-known pic taken backstage at the 1960 NME Poll Winners' Concert, surely worth a repeat though, left to right John Barry, Eddie Cochran, Adam Faith and Gene.

Gene & Eddie at the Glasgow Empire, the first week of February 1960.

After the well documented car crash, which killed Eddie Cochran, Sunday 17th April 1960. Gene was discharged from hospital on the afternoon of Tuesday 19th April 1960 and flew home Wednesday 20th April 1960 at midday, arriving in Vancouver, Washington, late Wednesday night. Gene arrived back at London Airport with Jerry Keller as shown in this shot on 29th April 1960 and recommenced the tour at the Gaumont, Hanley on 30th April 1960.

Here is Gene at Abbey Road Studios, London 11th May 1960, at his first UK session. Gene cut two tracks - Pistol Packin' Mama and Weeping Willow.Backing was by the Beat Boys and the Norrie Paramor Orchestra and Chorus respectively. The session was produced by Norrie Paramor and the arrangement was by Eddie Cochran. Apparently Gene and Eddie had worked out the arrangement for Pistol Packin' Mama whilst on tour. Gene's voice is double-tracked and if you listen carefully, you can realise what a great voice Gene had. It was often rumoured that Gene and Eddie had worked on this in the studio - I think this is extremely doubtful. Pistol Packin' Mama did make the top twenty in the UK

Gene regularly appeared on the TV show Thank Your Lucky Stars, which was transmitted early on Saturday evenings during the early 60's. If only all the tapes had been kept, and not junked, we would have been able to have viewed a good record of Gene's early UK career, as his singles were released during the period 1961 - 1965. Here he is on TYLS singing She She Little Sheila 7th May 1961.