Edward Raymond ‘Eddie’ Cochran (October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960) was an American musician. Cochran’s rockabilly songs, such as “C’mon Everybody”, “Somethin’ Else”, and “Summertime Blues”, captured teenage frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He experimented with multitrack recording and overdubbing even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums. His image as a sharply dressed and good-looking young man with a rebellious attitude epitomized the stance of the 50s rocker, and in death he achieved an iconic status.
Cochran was born in Minnesota and moved with his family to California in the early 1950s. He was involved with music from an early age, playing in the school band and teaching himself to play blues guitar. In 1955, he formed a duet with the guitarist Hank Cochran (no relation), and when they split the following year, Cochran began a song-writing career with Jerry Capehart. His first success came when he performed the song “Twenty Flight Rock” in the movie The Girl Can’t Help It, starring Jayne Mansfield. Soon afterwards, Liberty Records signed him to a recording contract.
Cochran died aged 21 after a road accident, whilst travelling in a taxi in Chippenham, Wiltshire, during his British tour in April 1960, having just performed at Bristol’s Hippodrome theatre. Though his best-known songs were released during his lifetime, more of his songs were released posthumously. In 1987, Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His songs have been covered by a wide variety of recording artists (see the “Style and Influence” section of this article for examples).
- October, 03, 1938
- Albert Lea, Minnesota
- April, 17, 1960
- Chippenham, Wiltshire, England
Cause of Death
- severe head injuries from car crash
- Forest Lawn Memorial Park