Cliff Gallup was an American Electric Guitarist born on June 17, 1930.
Cliff Gallup was a lead guitarist who played rock and roll in ‘Gene Vincent’s’ Band ‘Blue Caps’ in 1950s.
Sheriff Tex Davis a local radio DJ heard Gene Vincent performance at a talent show in Norfolk, Virginia and formed a band of local musicians to back him in February 1956. This band of local musicians included Cliff Gallup who was older than Vincent and the other band members. Cliff Gallup had previously played in a local band called The Virginians. The Band recorded in Nashville, Tennessee in May, 1956, producer Ken Nelson had arranged session musicians standing by in case. The band was not up to par in the arranged session, but when Cliff Gallup played the solos on ‘Race with the Devil’ they knew that they wouldn’t be needed. The ‘Race with the Devil’ and ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’ were the two songs recorded at this initial session. Both songs had solos which showcased Gallup’s talent, his quick hands and unexpected notes that fit.
Cliff Gallup has played 35 tracks with Vincent. ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’ is his first rock and roll song with Gene Vincent band the ‘Blue Caps’ in 1956. This song was a big hit and gave him a reputation as one of the most proficient guitarist in early rock and roll.
Cliff Gallup left the Gene Vincent band the ‘Blue Caps’ in 1956 as he was a married person and unwilling to tour.Gallup made a solo album ‘Straight Down the Middle’ for the local Pussy Cat label in Norfolk in 1960s.
Cliff Gallup was working in school maintenance and occasionally played with local bands. He was the Director of Maintenance and Transportation for his regional school system at the time of his death in 1988. Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck made an album-length ‘Crazy Legs’ tribute to Gallup in 1993. Cliff Gallup is a member of ‘Rockabilly Hall of Fame’.
Cliff Gallup albums include ‘The Race with the Devil’, ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula’ in 1956, ‘Straight Down the Middle’ in 1960s. Cliff Gallup died of a heart attack in October 1988.