Personalities | Eddie Cochran | Innovation Personified | Guitar Heroes
One of rock’n’roll’s most influential guitarists, Eddie Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota in 1938. Eddie wanted to join the school band as a drummer, but opted for trombone when he was told that he would have to learn piano before being allowed to play drums.
The family moved to California, where he formed his first group in high school. He later teamed up with Hank Cochran and the duo played country music as The Cochran Brothers (although they were not related) and made some recordings. On seeing Elvis Presley in late 1955, Eddie was inspired to switch to rock’n’roll, and The Cochran Brothers split up soon afterwards.
The year 1956 proved to be pivotal for Cochran. He recorded the Elvis-influenced ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ and performed it in the classic rock’n’roll movie The Girl Can’t Help It. The following year, he recorded what would be the only LP issued in his lifetime, Singin’ To My Baby (1957). He went on to create three seminal and frequently covered rock’n’roll songs ‘C’mon Everybody’, ‘Somethin’ Else’ and ‘Summertime Blues’.
Cochran was hugely popular in Britain. While on tour with Gene Vincent in April 1960, he was killed in a car crash in Chippenham, Wiltshire. He was 21 years old. Also in the car were his fiancée and songwriting partner Sharon Sheeley, who was not seriously injured, and Vincent, who was left with a permanent limp. ‘Three Steps to Heaven’ became a posthumous No. 1 in Britain. Cochran was a fundamental influence on the first generation of British rock’n’rollers. Paul McCartney showed John Lennon how to play ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ at their first meeting.
Cochran’s distinctive rhythmic approach both puzzled and fascinated listeners. One of his innovations was aligning the bass and guitar to equivalent harmonic frequencies. Cochran began by using a Gibson guitar, but is most closely associated with a modified 1956 Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins Western model.
Solo: Twenty Flight Rock
Solo: Summertime Blues
Solo: C’mon Everybody
Solo: Somethin’ Else
An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...
Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.
The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.
Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers
his life, music, art and movies, with a
sweep of incredible photographs.