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Eddie Cochran

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Los Angeles, United States (1953 – 1960)

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 , Cochran epitomized the rebellious ‘ 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 ‘. 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 ” by luminaries of the genre.

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.

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