Eddie Cochran was one of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s first ‘legends’ due to an early accidental death. A great performer of rockabilly music, and one of its most exciting and dynamic guitar players. As a young teenager Eddie had already become quite an accomplished guitarist and would rarely be seen without his most prized possession, practicing the licks and styles of country pickers like Chet Atkins. Late 1954, when still only sixteen, Eddie teamed up with his namesake Hank Cochran to form a duo known as The Cochran Brothers (though Hank was no relation). The Cochran Brothers style changed significantly in the year or so between their recordings for Ekko. In the intervening period a certain Elvis Presley had started creating quite a stir in the South with his famed and controversial performances on shows like the Louisiana Hayride.
In Late 1955, about the same time as Elvis had been snapped up by RCA, Eddie had already met the next big influence of his career - Jerry Capehart. Capehart, who would later become Eddie’s manager and co-writer, was an aspiring young songwriter on the look out for someone to make demos of his songs. In Eddie it seemed that he found his man. Hank Cochran didn’t fully share Eddie’s enthusiasm for rockabilly and the Inevitable split came in the summer of 1956. Jerry Capehart, however, clearly saw potential in Eddie as a solo artist and with this in mind set up his first ‘solo’ session for Crest Records. ‘Skinny Jim’ – Eddie’s first attempt at a solo recording on Liberty. A mixture of Jerry’s hard work and good fortune eventually resulted in a deal with Liberty Records. Although founded only in the previous year, Liberty had already hit big with Julie London’s stylish ‘Cry Me A River’ but, like most labels, was keenly on the lookout for another Elvis Presley. Eddie’s obvious talent as a musician and vocalist as well as his good looks not only landed him the Liberty deal but also a part in the classic Rock ‘n’ Roll movie ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’. Eddie’s sequence, though frustratingly short and frequently interrupted, is a masterly performance of the superb ‘Twenty Flight Rock’. In early 1957 Liberty rushed Eddie into the studio to record a cover version of a classy ten ballad ‘Sittin’ In The Balcony’. Aimed directly at the teen market it quickly became a top twenty hit and staying in the chart for some three months – duly earning Eddie his first Gold Record.
During the later part of 1957 Eddie was busy consolidating successful record sales with package shows across America and abroad. Of particular note was an incredible headline grabbing tour of Australia with Little Richard and Gene Vincent. June1958 ‘Summertime Blues’ was released and followed by ‘C’mon Everybody’ both which were written by Cochran and Capehart. A master of studio over dubbing Cochran sang all the parts on ‘C’mon Everybody’ and ‘Summertime Blues’. In early 1960 he toured the United Kingdom with his girlfriend, songwriter Sharon Sheeley, and fellow superstar performer Gene Vincent. The tour was a resounding success. Outside of London on the way to the airport to return to the United States, their cab was involved in a fatal accident in Chippenham, Wiltshire on April 17th. Sheeley was not seriously hurt, but Vincent sustained injuries that left him with a limp for the rest of his life. Eddie Cochran was killed. Following Cochran’s death Liberty rushed released ‘Three Steps To Heaven’ which quickly shot to the top of the British charts. One of the all time greats of the Rock ‘n’ Roll era.
These ‘Extended Play’ sides will evoke nostalgic memories, not only from the music of the day but fond memories of the EP’s they came from which featured many of his classic hits and more.