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Ray Edward "Eddie" Cochran (October 3, 1938 - April 17, 1960) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician. With a charismatic voice that could switch effortlessly between smooth ballads and raucous rockabilly, Cochran epitomized the rebellious '50s rocker. Although killed in a tragic accident at the age of 21, the influence of his brief career, and life, was immeasurable, having inspired many of the greatest artists of the '60s. Cochran's distinctively rough, bass-driven singles (such as "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else", and "Summertime Blues") have granted him the title of "grandfather of punk" by luminaries of the genre.Read More...
Ray Edward Cochran was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota; however, as his parents were from Oklahoma, he considered himself an Oklahoman, and introduced himself as such in interviews. He took music lessons in school, but eventually quit the band to play drums. Rather than take piano lessons, Cochran began learning guitar, playing the country music he heard on the radio. As time went on, Cochran moved to Los Angeles, California in 1953. Together with Hank Cochran, Eddie formed The Cochran Brothers, though the two shared no relation.
Around the same time, Cochran worked as a session musician, but aspired to be a songwriter and artist in his own right, and recorded a demo with songwriting partner and future manager, Jerry Capeheart. Cochran's first notable foray into the public eye was as one of the many performing artists featured in the musical comedy film The Girl Can't Help It starring Jayne Mansfield, eventually resulting in a recording contract with Liberty. He would follow up on this appearance by appearing in several films of the same genre. He also performed as a support act for such stars as Gene Vincent and Little Richard, who were among Cochran's co-stars in the aforementioned film.
For his recordings, Cochran often used experimental techniques that would later become part and parcel for other recording artists, notably recording numerous overdubs in order to create the rich, distinctive guitar sound for "Summertime Blues" and "C'mon Everybody". "Twenty Flight Rock", the song Cochran performed in The Girl Can't Help It, was the very first song a young Paul McCartney played for John Lennon as his audition for Lennon's group, The Quarrymen, which would later metamorphose into The Beatles.
Cochran was killed in an automobile accident in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England during a tour of Britain with Gene Vincent. Vincent and Cochran's fiancee, who were both in the car, survived the crash. Scholars have noted that, somewhat eerily, Cochran's last single release in his lifetime was "Three Steps to Heaven", although the song's lyrical context has nothing to do with death. Cochran's death occurred little over a year after the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, to whom he paid tribute in his recording of the song "Three Stars", which remained unreleased until 1966.
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsI'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna raise a holler
About a workin' all summer just to try to earn a dollar
Every time I call my baby, and ask to get a date
My boss says, "No dice son, you gotta work late"
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do
- C'mon Everybody - 420,388 plays
- Three Steps to Heaven - 155,946 plays
- Twenty Flight Rock - 150,541 plays
- Somethin' Else - 132,969 plays
- Nervous Breakdown - 90,857 plays
- Cut Across Shorty - 66,052 plays
- Sittin' in the Balcony - 62,003 plays
- Skinny Jim - 56,891 plays
- Weekend - 54,813 plays