By 1959 Rock and Roll was beginning to rule the music world; besides the famous names, Chuck, Elvis and Jerry Lee, there were a plethora of other singers trying to break through to stardom, one who tried and made it in his teens was named EDDIE COCHRAN.
Eddie would have a meteoric life and career that ended when he was just 21. Eddie did what we called Rockabilly, a mixture of countryish songs with the big beat. Eddie released quite a few records in a short time, back then they turned them out literally like hot-cakes hoping one of their efforts would catch the public fancy. Cochran had two radio hits, "Summertime Blues" and "C'Mon Everybody." But "Summertime Blues" was the Teen Theme of the summer of 1958 and his biggest hit going Top 10 on the Pop Chart and Solid Gold.
Two years later he was touring England with fellow American singer Gene Vincent (Be Bop A Lula) and just outside of Bath in Chippenham their Taxi Driver lost control of the car and ran into a tree. Eddie was in the backseat with his girlfriend Sharon Sheeley and threw himself across her body to save her...the car door flew open and he flew out catching the next plane to Rock and Roll Heaven.
Gene Vincent, who already had a bad leg, crushed it, and at the hospital he refused amputation; so instead he had a steel sleeve made to hold himself up. In a way that ended up working for him; Gene had kind of a scary look to start with, greasy with black leather, the juvenile delinquent look, and when he began to perform again he'd come on stage dragging the leg and sneering to hide his pain; a rather freighting sight.
Eddie Cochran's death was a big story; he was very popular with the kid's, but not as big as Buddy, Richie and the Bopper's airplane crash. Eddie was a good looking kid, pompadour, and a cool jacket with draped pants. He was a pretty good guitar player, and as we'll see in the video he had adopted some of Elvis' movements and attitude. So let's go back to the 20 year old Eddie Cochran in his prime on a local TV show in 1958, singing his hit tune, THE SUMMERTIME BLUES. Rock On!
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