Singer of the top ten hit "Be-Bop-a-Lula" who became one of rockabilly's most well-known acts.
He joined the U.S. Navy in 1952.
He overcame a serious car accident that broke several of his bones to become a star with his six-piece band.
He was born in Norfolk, Virginia; his father was a coast guard officer during World War II.
Robert Downey, Jr. covered three of his songs, though not his most famous one, in the 2003 film The Singing Detective.