Ray Edward 'Eddie' Cochran was born October 3, 1938, in Albert
Lea, Minnesota. . He took music lessons in school, but quit the band to
play drums, he would have been required to take piano lessons also.
Instead, he began playing his family's guitar and playing the country
music he heard on the radio. In 1955, Eddie's family moved to Bell
Gardens, California. Eddie's guitar playing kept improving and he formed
a band with two friends from his Jr. High School. His most famous hit, "Summertime
Blues" (co-written with Jerry Capeheart), was an important
influence on music in the late 1950s, both lyrically and musically.
Cochran's brief career included only a few more hits, such as "C'mon
Everybody," "Somethin' Else," "My Way," "Weekend,"
"Nervous Breakdown," On the night of Saturday April 16, 1960,
at about 11:50 p.m. while on tour in the United Kingdom, Cochran died in
a traffic accident in a taxi He was 21. The taxi crashed into a lamp
post on Rowden Hill. There was no other car involved. A plaque erected
there shows the actual spot. He was taken to St. Martin's Hospital,
Bath, but died at 4:10 p.m. April 17, 1960. Songwriter Sharon Sheeley
(Cochran's fiancée) and singer Gene Vincent survived the crash.
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